VCE exams to move online

WIMMERA students could soon replace pen and paper with keyboards and computer screens for exams under a State Government initiative.

The government is developing a new online assessment platform, which could see school assessments and Victorian Certificate of Education exams move online.

EDITORIAL: Online exams move unnecessary

Education Minister Martin Dixon described the move as logical.

“We are already in a world where digital technology is an integral part of Victorian classrooms, so the development of this platform is a logical step,’’ he said.

“There are lots of different online testing systems being used in schools at the moment – and they’re often cumbersome and not compatible with one another.

“The government is developing a one-stop-shop for testing that can be used from the very early maternal and child health checks all the way through to the end of school.’’

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has released a tender for the initial

development of the platform, with responses due in early 2014.

Mr Dixon said the platform would be developed in phases.

He said the initial phase would focus on creating a system that would host existing online assessments, such as English, mathematics and health and physical education online interviews.

Primary school teachers host the interviews to gauge students’ abilities.

Mr Dixon said the first phase would allow teachers to connect different assessment tools over time and provide a snapshot of how students were progressing.

He said it would also provide teachers with valuable feedback on how they could contribute to improved student learning.

He said the system could potentially host all assessments in the future, including VCE, Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning and Vocational Education and Training assessments.

Mr Dixon said the system would be based on existing technology.

The new platform would help teachers better tailor their lessons to individual students.

“Having all our testing in the one place means teachers will have better information on where their students are doing well and where they’re having difficulty,’’ he said.

“Teachers will only need to use the one system, rather than navigating through the range of assessment tools in place today.’’

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