'Keeping up with the times': HSC moves online

HSC Online

The HSC will go online for the first time next year in a move that has been described as "keeping up with the times".

The NSW Education Standards Authority has decided a computer exam is the best way to conduct the final assessment for the new, high-level science extension course, in which students will answer questions about their research project.

But Education Minister Rob Stokes said the move was a one-off, and there were no plans for other subjects to follow.

Science extension is a new course that allows top students to investigate the subject of their choice. They'll propose a question, come up with a hypothesis, explore it with research and produce a report.

"If we are going to do a course we've never seen in NSW before, you can't expect kids to sit down with a pen and paper test and be assessed in the same way," said Paul Stenning, head of maths and science at Catholic Education, Parramatta.

"You can't ask stock-standard questions – 'recall this', 'define that'."

The students will use a laptop or computer with a locked internet connection. They will be able to look at their own research project, listen and view audio and video and copy and paste text. They won't have access to spelling or grammar checks. Sample tests will be available from term one next year.

Professor Merlin Crossley, the deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, at the University of NSW, said the online test had several benefits.

"One is keeping up with the times and going online as much as possible, which brings efficiencies and uniformities and verifiability," he said.

"The other thing is that ... online allows you to present different data, graphics, interactive things that paper can't do. You can get students responding directly to their own project, and that's important to integrity."

Read the full article online at the Sydney Morning Herald


Posted By Jordan Baker | Sydney Morning Herald at 24/08/2018 9:26:04 AM

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