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The decline of writing skills in the digital age

The Challenge

 

This years NAPLAN results have been published, and students across Australia have achieved their lowest writing results since NAPLAN tests began, with more than one-fifth of year nine students not reaching the national minimum standard.

Every year, the test assesses Australian school students in years three, five, seven and nine in all school types (government and non-government) across four domains: reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, and grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. This year, 20% of students completed the new test online, with the remaining 80% doing the pen-and-paper version. A discussion is currently ongoing on whether the results of the online test are comparable with the pen-and-paper version of the test. However, According to the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (ACARA), the test results should be considered comparable while some experts disagree. 

In summary, the results show that primary school students continue to improve in reading, spelling and grammar, with average results significantly higher than the 2008 average. Numeracy results for students in years five and nine are also above the 2008 average. However, writing performance continues to decline, particularly in the high school years. The results show that year nine students on average performed better on the writing test when completed online compared to those who completed the writing test with pen and paper. In NSW, Victoria and Queensland, 96 per cent of year three students are meeting the minimum national benchmark in reading and numeracy. Results were slightly lower in Queensland, and significantly lower in the Northern Territory. The ACT remains the highest performing state across all measures.

 

In this Challenge, we would like you to share your thoughts on the NAPLAN test and its results. Also, we would like you to share your point of view and expertise on how students performance in pen-and-paper writing skills can be improved. 

  • What are your thoughts on this years NAPLAN test and its results?
  • How relevant is the test and its results?
  • What effect do the results have on the education sector and teachers?
  • What can or should be done to improve the pen-and-pencil writing results of students?

 

Challenge Opened: 01:13 AM, Tuesday 28 August 2018
Challenge Closes: 01:30 PM, Tuesday 04 September 2018
Time to go: Closed

 

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The context

Challenge Opened: 01:13 AM, Tuesday 28 August 2018
Challenge Closes: 01:30 PM, Tuesday 04 September 2018
Time to go: Closed

Do you want to contribute to this Challenge?

Thought Leader

Pankaj Arora Director, International Research Engagement
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William Bell Research Associate
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Liz Jones
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Caroline Jones
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Malcolm Kinns Managing Director
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Terry Heath Principal
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