Presenter Information

David Wasson, DET NSW

Start Date

18-8-2009 11:00 AM

End Date

18-8-2009 12:15 PM


This paper discusses the introduction and use of data from large cohort testing into teaching and learning in New South Wales schools. It highlights the conditions that existed towards the end of the 1990s when a number of influences and initiatives coalesced to enable large cohort testing to impact positively on student outcomes. It then considers how some of these lessons might be employed to enhance the impact of the new era of national testing heralded by the introduction in 2008 of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). In order to contain the scope of the discussion, this paper begins with an examination of the NSW experience with the use of the data from the Basic Skills Test in literacy and numeracy in Years 3 and 5 from 1996 to 2007. To assess the impact on teaching and learning this paper also looks at a range of school effectiveness indicators used in NSW to drive school and system improvement, including the notions of measuring growth, and value added and relative effectiveness. In addition, it traces the development of the Like School Group structure employed in NSW to more meaningfully compare the performance of schools. It also evaluates the utility of various tools in supporting the analysis and interpretation of these indicators at both a school and system level. Finally, the paper highlights the merits of a transition from current pencil-andpaper testing to an online environment to enable the assessment of a greater range of syllabus outcomes and to provide more timely feedback to teachers, students and parents.

Aug 18th, 11:00 AM Aug 18th, 12:15 PM

Large cohort testing : how can we use assessment data to effect school and system improvement


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.