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Monday, September 15, 2014

Getting our students used to online testing before this spring

So, we don't yet know who the content provider will be for this spring's assessments. We know it won't be Smarter Balanced. Here's just the little we do know:
  • The assessments will be online and testing windows have been assigned
  • Specific dates have been assigned for assessment for those school that elect to do paper-pencil testing instead
  • The mathematics assessments will be offered grades 3-8
  • The content of the assessments will be taken from our Common Core State Standards
  • The platform used will be the same as the platform for the Interim Assessments.
So, how can we get our students ready to take online assessments? The answer might sound a little strange: Sign up for the Michigan Interim Field tests.

Why? There are now two good (big) reasons to do this.
  1. Students can become familiar with the testing platform that will be used this spring. They'll get their practice now in a no-stakes testing environment.
  2. School Districts will earn a $3.00 minimum participation incentive per completed test for the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Test

Although the interim assessment field test window begins Monday, September 15, testing does not have to begin Monday and there is still time for your district or school to participate.

Funding is being made available through the Technology Readiness InfrastructureGrant (TRIG), furthering the TRIG goal to support and build state capacity in technology.
Additional Reasons to Participate
  • The Fall 2014 Field Test provides an opportunity for schools to test bandwidth capacity and student scheduling for online testing, prior to the state summative assessment to be administered in the spring 2015.
  • Students will have the benefit of taking an online assessment in a low-stakes situation and practice using common online assessment tools (calculators, highlighters, etc.)
  • Earn TRIG incentive funds in the amount of $3.00 minimum, per test completed (Each content or subject area test consists of two parts, and both parts of the test must be completed to be eligible for the participation incentive. For example, a student who completes both parts of each assessment in ELA and Mathematics will earn the school district a participation incentive of a minimum of $6.00.)  Final amount to be based on the total number of completed tests throughout the state.
  • Teachers will receive an invitation to provide feedback and recommendations for improvement. 
Technology Considerations
  • Schools may use Windows or Mac desktops and laptops to administer the field test assessments. The field test window is September 15, 2014 through October 17, 2014. Schools may administer the field test assessments any time within this five-week test window.
  • NEW - MDE is also seeking schools to administer the field tests on iPads and Chromebooks. This separate window encompasses only these devices and runs from October 20 - November 14, 2014. Additional information on sign up and on testing with these devices will be provided during the next few weeks. Tests completed as a part of this separate window will also qualify for the TRIG participation incentive as well.
Details regarding the minimum requirements for each device type are provided in the Michigan Testing Device Requirements document.
To participate in the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Test, please complete the registration survey for each school. If you have already completed the registration survey, you do not have to complete it again to qualify for the TRIG participation incentive.

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