Principals point out problems with new online assessment platform

TWO central Victorian school principals have pointed out problems with the state government's plans to develop an online assessment platform. 

Initial work has started on creating a system where testing, including the Victorian Certificate of Education, would be moved online. 

The system would be introduced to younger levels to monitor learning growth, with the potential to host all assessments. 

Kerang Christian College principal Michael Bond said while he supported the idea, there were issues that would need to be straightened out. 

"I think the modern day student is comfortable with using a keyboard and I like the idea of seeing how a student progresses overtime," he said. 

"However students who come from low socio-economic backgrounds or who don't have access to a computer will be at a disadvantage.

"There will have to be systems put into place to prevent cheating and the state government will have to ensure school's have enough facilities." 

Mr Bond said the online assessment testing was a positive step forward and he was aware technology was already a tool students used regularly. 

Bendigo Senior Secondary College principal Dale Pearce said he had identified two problems with the platform. 

"The big one is the VCE where there are potential issues with the integrity of testing and perhaps equity issues for students without access to computers," he wrote on his blog.   

"A move to online VCE assessment will take years and a lot of money - change at other year levels can be achieved much more quickly and cheaply."

Mr Pearce said the portability of each student's assessment data would also prove difficult to navigate. 

"At present, testing results from NAPLAN and other tests do not transfer with students when they move from one school to another," he wrote.  

"Testing undertaken in upper primary school is not transferred with the student into their secondary school.

"Wouldn't parents want new teachers of their children to have access to anything that might help with their learning? 

"Some inbuilt functionality and regulations addressing potential privacy concerns should be high on the list of whoever is looking at Victoria’s new system." 

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