Education is vital in shaping the lives of children. It helps prepare them for successful futures, which also leads to a prosperous and productive society. That is the vision that drives ACARA, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. The organisation is an independent authority operating under the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to oversee curriculum in Australia.
“ACARA works to improve learning for all young Australians by looking at learning in three ways: curriculum, assessment and reporting,” explains Paul Fraser, Senior Manager, ICT at ACARA. “This includes developing the Australian Curriculum, running the national assessment programme and providing detailed reports on schools as a resource for parents, educators and the community.”
The Australian Curriculum outlines what students are expected to learn in Foundation (the first year of formal schooling) to Year 10. Reviewed and updated every six years, the Australian Curriculum can deliver important information for parents and community members, but it’s critical for teachers. Teachers typically reference the Australian Curriculum when they are planning their teaching and learning programmes. This process involves them using the content descriptions as they outline what content to cover. Teachers need to connect the content to achievement standards so they can assess and report student learning.
For several years, ACARA has provided curriculum information online through the Australian Curriculum website. Fraser and his colleagues at ACARA wanted to make the website more responsive and useful for teachers, giving them a better experience and making it easier for them to look through complex curriculum information.
With support from design and implementation partner Merkle, ACARA recently released a new version of the website using Adobe Experience Manager Sites and Experience Manager Assets, part of Adobe Experience Cloud. The new experience is much faster and more flexible, taking advantage of rich APIs to deliver content through a single-page application (SPA). Adobe Analytics and Target, also part of Experience Cloud, help to optimise and eventually personalise the site for viewers.
“Our goal was to build a digital experience for our teachers, not just a website,” says Fraser. “Adobe Experience Cloud gives us the technology to do more, moving from a static website to an interactive ecosystem with multiple ways of keeping teachers engaged and informed.”