Student experiences of NAPLAN: sharing insights from two school sites

Katharine Swain, Donna Pendergast, Joy Cumming

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper provides insight into middle school students’ perceptions and reactions to their participation in the Australian National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). A case study was conducted over 10 months at two Queensland schools with different approaches to NAPLAN implementation. Student voice was elicited via focus groups and 35 students provided drawings and words describing their experience in four stages: preparing, sitting, completing and receiving their results. Thematic content analysis of the textual data and trait and holistic coding of the visual data revealed five themes and suggests that the approach adopted by the school may impact on students’ NAPLAN experiences. This study privileges student voice and enables access to student experiences as they participate in a testing regime which is now a feature of the Australian school assessment landscape.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)315-342
    Number of pages28
    JournalAustralian Educational Researcher
    Issue number3
    Early online date2018
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


    • Education
    • High-stakes assessment
    • Middle schooling
    • National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
    • Student voice


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