NAPLAN tests to be marked by computers

by Robert Ballantyne30 Apr 2015

Under the proposed changes by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), cognitive computing technology will be used to “auto-score” the annual tests.

ACARA’s general manager, Stanley Rabinowitz, sought to reassure concerned teachers, saying they would “still be very much involved” in the process.

“We are not the only ones doing this. It is happening more and more around the world,” Rabinowitz told iTnews.

However, teachers have vowed to fight the move, saying that they had not been consulted about the proposed changes.

Maurie Mulheron, president of the NSW Teachers Federation, slammed ACARA’s decision to computerise the marking process.

“I’m not sure that this will work,” Mulheron told 2UE on Wednesday.

“Assessing a student’s piece of writing takes a human being. It requires a very sophisticated approach. I don’t think a computer can do the job.”

Mulheron added that there is “no way” that a computer can be adequately trained to undertake such a complicated task and that the brighter students will be penalised under such a system.

Rabinowitz has insisted that the new marking process would have the same protections that ensure quality and consistency as the existing human marking procedures.

More than one million students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sit the literacy and numeracy exams in May each year.
 

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