Balarang Public School students give thumbs up to online NAPLAN

Parent, teacher groups and even state government education ministers are calling for its demise.

But NAPLAN got the thumbs up from Balarang Public School year 5 students on Tuesday.

Many the Mercury spoke to especially enjoyed doing the literacy test online for the first time.

Although they did experience “some worrying” teething problems with the online system.

Year 5 student Tori Henderson said it was nerve-wracking at first “because we had some problems with the system”.

“People kept getting stuck out of the test and we had to get it paused and logged back in and when we were going back to delete, it would not work to delete... but overall it wasn’t that bad,” the 10-year-old said.

“It probably would have worked better if it was easier to understand and had more practices.

But I think it is better online because you don’t get cramps in your hand.

Tori Henderson

“But I think it is better online because you don’t get cramps in your hand.”

Classmate Krystal Ezeoke added doing the test online was fun, even though she lost connection some times.

“I thought I was going to lose time and not finish in time but I did, which was good,” she said.

Tevel Afriyie was also on online fan.

“I’d rather it online because it looks more clearer. You can read it easier than on paper,” he said. 

More than one million students sat for the tests on Tuesday with one in five swapping pencils for computers for the first time.

Balarang Public School was among 500 trial schools across NSW to do NAPLAN tests online.

Kiama, Shell Cove and Thirroul are among the other Illawarra primary schools involved in the trial.

Figtree High School and Illawarra Sports High School also did the online test which uses tailored testing, where the test automatically adapts to student performance and asks questions that match the student achievement level.

Balarang Public School principal Anne-Marie Hurley said the response from students to the online format was generally positive.

“They seem to be more engaged in the online platform. They are talking about the fact that they are not as stressed because they are used to using computers all the time,” Mrs Hurley said.

“There was slight interruption but the students just got on with it and completed the test within the time frame.”

This story Some NAPLAN online teething problems but thumbs up from students first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.