Exploring the conditions to support assessment for more equitable learning outcomes
NAPLAN RESULTS HAVE gained socio-political prominence and have been used as indicators of educational outcomes for all students, including Indigenous students. Despite the promise of open and in-depth access to NAPLAN data as a vehicle for intervention, we argue that the use of NAPLAN data as a basis for teachers and schools to reduce variance in learning outcomes is insuffi cient. NAPLAN tests are designed to show statistical variance at the level of the school and the individual, yet do not factor in the sociocultural and cognitive conditions Indigenous students' experience when taking the tests. We contend that further understanding of these infl uences may help teachers understand how to develop their classroom practices to secure better numeracy and literacy outcomes for all students. Empirical research fi ndings demonstrate how teachers can develop their classroom practices from an understanding of the extraneous cognitive load imposed by test taking. We have analysed Indigenous students' experience of solving mathematical test problems to discover evidence of extraneous cognitive load. We have also explored conditions that are more supportive of learning derived from a classroom intervention which provides an alternative way to both assess and build learning for Indigenous students. We conclude that conditions to support assessment for more equitable learning outcomes require a reduction in cognitive load for Indigenous students while maintaining a high level of expectation and participation in problem solving.
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Education Assessment and Evaluation