Olympiads Online is an online learning tool designed specifically to support and challenge top-performing Australian science students in Years 10 and 11. The interactive assessment resource provides opportunities for the students to practise and check their readiness for the Australian Olympiad Exams. The main aim of this online initiative is to ensure every high achieving student in Australia, regardless of where they live or what school they go to, has the support they need to feel confident in entering the Exams. However, the tool is available to all Australian students, both those aiming for the opportunity to represent Australia in the International Olympiads Science Competition, and those looking for additional support for their regular classroom work. Each year, the content will be updated with new exam questions, providing ongoing support for science students across Australia.
The interactive assessment resource provides opportunities for the students to practise and check their readiness for the Australian Olympiad Exams.
The tool contains self diagnostic and three levels of quiz questions in each of four discipline areas: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science and Physics. The diagnostic questions help student's assess if they already know some of the basic concepts and processes that are tested in the Exams. Selected questions from past Exam papers have been arranged in three levels of difficulty. The tool has a formative assessment focus, with feedback being provided on a student's correct and incorrect responses to individual quiz questions. Hints are provided for questions, and hyper-linked glossary terms are available. Additional information, including external links, is tailored to questions, so that concepts can be explored further.
A student-centred pedagogy underpins the design of the materials on the site. Students work through the materials at their own pace. Based on their answers to questions, students are provided with suggested pathways to follow as they interact with the material, but ultimately they decide on which areas they wish to concentrate. They might work their way through the quizzes in order, or they might chose to make their own way through the resource. A progress bar helps students track their individual pathway and badges are awarded for components attempted.
Embedded collaborative features provide an avenue for students to connect with other students using the 'Ask a Question' feature, providing an online chat forum.
Teachers have their own forum, the 'Teacher Staff Room' where they can discuss and share ideas with their colleagues and other experts. Webchats held prior to the exams are posted on the site, and inform FAQs on the site.