December 16, 2016
The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) has announced that the next iteration of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) in March 2017 will be administered in paper format only.
Originally, the agency’s intention was to deliver the March 2017 OSSLT online and provide a back-up paper version of the assessment. In October 2016, however, an online OSSLT trial was cancelled due to technical disruptions caused by a cyberattack. Because EQAO has not yet successfully completed a large-scale trial of its system, and given the considerable frustration and anxiety that resulted from the cyberattack, EQAO feels that it would be irresponsible to put students at risk of any further issues without having completed a successful large-scale online trial.
This pause will be an opportunity for EQAO to gather further comments about its online system from students, parents, teachers and educators across Ontario, and to integrate that feedback into its system design. In the interim, EQAO will continue to provide data that helps Ontario’s education community improve student achievement.
Investigations into the cyberattack are ongoing and these will lead to recommendations with respect to additional system security measures.
EQAO remains committed to modernizing its assessment delivery in order to offer students the most authentic opportunities to demonstrate their learning.
Consulting the Education Community
Student Results from the October 2016 OSSLT
"While we are pressing ‘Pause’ on EQAO’s move toward online assessments, we are by no means hitting ‘Stop.’ In the days following the cyberattack in October, we heard from hundreds of members of Ontario’s education community about the online OSSLT and we will take the time required to continue those discussions, so that we can integrate feedback into our system design. The intent is to come back with a system that better addresses needs in terms of usability, accessibility and security."
—Richard Jones, Interim CEO, EQAO