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Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

Resources and Documentation

Manuals and User Guides

Resource Description

This manual provides information for District/School Test Coordinators and Test Administrators regarding policies and procedures for the Smarter Balanced Field Test as well as screenshots and step-by-step instructions on how to administer the online Field Tests.

TAM UPDATES - All TAM updates are listed in the Change Log section at the back of the TAM.

February 6, 2014 - Streamlining added to the list of accommodations available on the Practice and Training Tests; Table 9: Assessment Sequencing – ELA correction made to reflect the accurate sequence of the ELA performance task.

March 10, 2014 – The following updates were made: All references of “note paper” were changed to “scratch paper”, Help Desk hours of operation were updated to reflect extending hours of support during Field Test administration, the proper use of scratch paper during PT administration was clarified, Pause Rule scenario #2 was clarified, Table 10: Assessment Sequencing – Math was updated to show graph paper as an additional required resource for grade 6 and above, Table 14: Test Security Incident Log Headings was updated to reflect a change in requirement to report “State-SSID” to “State and Student Identifier” in the Test Security Incident Log.

March 17, 2014 – The test window dates were updated, a correction was made to the pause rule language, and the links to the Technical Specifications Manual and the Classroom Activities page were updated.

March 24, 2014 – Additional instructions were added about taking notes during the mathematics PT and language was added to help TAs ensure students select the correct test when starting a test session.

States may choose to customize the TAM to address state specific policies, procedures, and/or guidelines. As customized versions are created, they will be listed below, with a link to where the web-version is posted.

CaliforniaConnecticut (addendum to the TAM)Delaware;  HawaiiOregon; South CarolinaWisconsin

No other states have customized versions of the manual at this time.

This resource supports individuals using the Test Delivery System applications to manage testing for students participating in the Field Test. This user guide provides information about the Test Delivery System, including the Test Administrator and student applications.

Updated 3/25/14 - Listed the test settings that cannot be changed without resetting the test; Clarified that students with the embedded designated support for translation (stacked) for math tests will also receive translated test directions; Provided additional guidance and updated instructions for selecting tests in the TA Interface; Added information about the embedded dictionary and thesaurus tool.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines focus on universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations for the Smarter Balanced content assessments of English language arts/literacy and mathematics (math). The Guidelines are intended for school-level personnel and decision-making teams, particularly Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams, as they prepare for and implement the Smarter Balanced assessment. The Guidelines provide information for classroom teachers, English development educators, special education teachers, and related services personnel to use in selecting and administering universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations for those students who need them. The Guidelines are also intended for assessment staff and administrators who oversee the decisions that are made in instruction and assessment.

This manual provides states with both (a) clarification of the critical information to convey to districts and schools about the Smarter Balanced document Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, and (b) strategies for ensuring that the information in that document is conveyed to districts and schools.

The Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) is the system used to manage student information and user accounts for online testing. The TIDE User Guide uses a step-by-step approach to using the enhanced user management system.

Updated 3/24/14 - Clarified that translated directions appear as part of the stacked translation; Included screenshots demonstrating the step-by-step process associated with submitting, viewing, approving and retracting appeals in TIDE. Note: The TIDE appeals system will become available on April 1. If between March 25 and March 31, a district or school has an urgent need to submit an appeal in TIDE, please contact the Smarter Balanced Help Desk.

The Online Reporting System (ORS) enables authorized users to view test progress information for students participating in the Spring 2014 Smarter Balanced Field Test. The ORS User Guide provides information about the ORS features that are available to authorized state, district, and school personnel.

This manual provides technology staff with Internet and network requirements, general hardware and software information, secure browser installation instructions, hardware and software requirements for Braille users, and information about text-to-speech and voice packs.

Updated 3/24/14 - Included current keyboard information for tablets; Included additional URLs and IP addresses that will allow users to access the Field Test; Included URLs and IP addresses that will allow data to be pulled from Merriam-Webster for the dictionary/thesaurus tool.

This document provides technology staff and Test Administrators with information on installing the secure mobile browsers, as well as configuring the test environment. Testing with iPads requires Guided Access to be enabled and activated before students can log in to a pilot or practice test. Testing with Android tablets requires selecting the secure browser keyboard before the secure mobile browser application can be opened.

Test Administrator Resources

Resource Description

This document helps Test Administrators troubleshoot problems with audio features.

This document provides step-by-step instructions for Test Administrators to create a session ID and make test selections.

Confirmation Code is, new, required field on the TIDE student data file layout for the Field Test (FT). This document is intended to provide guidance on how to assign and communicate the Confirmation Code.

This one-page documents provides information about how students can adjust the volume within the secure browser while testing. At this time only desktop instructions are available.

The Smarter Balanced Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines include the use of read-aloud as a designated support and accommodation. The Guidelines for Read Aloud, Test Reader will assist state staff, test administrators, educators, and scribes in ensuring read aloud is standardized and contributes to valid measures of students’ college and career readiness. The read aloud resource should be used when a student cannot access text-to-speech, an embedded resource available on the Smarter Balanced assessment.

The Smarter Balanced Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines include the use of a scribe as a designated support and accommodation. The Scribing Protocol for Smarter Balanced Assessments will assist state staff, test administrators, educators, and scribes in ensuring scribing is standardized and contributes to valid measures of students’ college and career readiness.

This document provides instructions on how to access and use the embedded glossary designated support.

This document provides instructions on how to use the Embedded Dictionary/Thesaurus feature.

The document provides information about the technology requirements for administering the Field Test to students with the Braille accommodation.

This document provides instructions and a template of the incident log that Test Administrators, School Test Coordinators, and District Test Coordinators will use to report any Test Security Incidents that occur during testing.  The Test Security Incident Log is the document of record for all test security incidents.  For more information on test security, please review the information in the Online Field Test Administration Manual.

This document provides instructions on how to access and use the American Sign Language (ASL) embedded accommodation.

This document contains a checklist of sequential activities to be conducted by Test Administrators for the Smarter Balanced Field Test. In addition, this checklist provides references and resources to other documents and target completion dates for activities.

School Test Coordinator and District Test Coordinator Resources

Resource Description
Lessons Learned from Week 1 [pdf]
Updated April 17, 2014

This is a resource for districts and schools starting the Field Test during window two, April 7 – April 25.  The document includes various tips and important reminders based on feedback and questions that were received during the first week of the Field Test.

This document provides estimated average times for  students to complete  the Smarter Balanced Field Test.   In addition, this document outlines the number and duration of sessions, breaks, total duration of the assessment, and additional resources for math non-performance task items, classroom activity, and performance tasks.

March 6, 2014: Updated to show graph paper as an additional required resource for mathematics assessments for grade six and above.

This document provides estimated average times for students to complete  the Smarter Balanced Field Test.   In addition, this document outlines the number and duration of sessions, breaks, total duration of the assessment, and additional resources for ELA non-performance task items, classroom activity, and performance tasks.

The Classroom Activity and Performance Task Administration Guidelines provide specific information on how to identify the classroom activity topic for each school and grade, download the classroom activity materials, administer the classroom activity, and administer the performance task.

March 10, 2014: Updated to show the final version of screenshots that will be seen when using the Field Test Assignment Lookup Tables.

The Accessibility Guide for Classroom Activities provides teachers with accessibility options that may be implemented during the classroom activity for students with disabilities and English language learners in order to give appropriate access to the information included in the Classroom Activity.

To help states identify similarities between the assessment resources and classroom practices, Smarter Balanced has developed a Resources and Practices Comparison Crosswalk. This document lists the resources that are currently included in the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines and assists educators and decision-makers by providing a description of both each resource and its classroom equivalent.

This document catalogues the various item types that students may encounter on the Smarter Balanced assessment, describes how students will respond to each item type, and lists where examples of each type can be found in the Practice and Training Tests.

The document provides information about the technology requirements for administering the Field Test to students with the Braille accommodation.

This document provides instructions and a template of the incident log that Test Administrators, School Test Coordinators, and District Test Coordinators will use to report any Test Security Incidents that occur during testing.  The Test Security Incident Log is the document of record for all test security incidents.  For more information on test security, please review the information in the Online Field Test Administration Manual.

These four documents contain checklists of sequential activities to be conducted by State users, District Test Coordinators, School Test Coordinators, and Test Administrator for the Smarter Balanced Field Test. In addition, these checklist provide references and resources to other documents and target completion dates for activities.

Student Resources

Resource Description

Single digit (1-9) multiplication table is a non-embedded accommodation for Grade 4 math items and above.   This is to be used only for students with a documented and persistent calculation disability (i.e., dyscalculia).  This can be printed for students requiring this accommodation.

This document provides keyboard commands students can use to navigate between test elements, features, and tools.

Field Test Communications Toolkit

Resource Description

This two-page factsheet is appropriate for sharing with parents, community leaders, and the general public and is available in Word format so states may customize it.

A suggested communications plan with reference to useful toolkit resources to support each activity.

Talking Points [docx]

Research-tested messages to integrate into state/district/school communications on Smarter Balanced generally and the Field Test.

Tips for communications staff on effective communications about the Field Test.

These guidelines clarify the limits of media access during the Field Test and suggest alternative approaches to providing reporters with information on the Smarter Balanced assessment.

Sample OpEd [docx]

Materials to customize for use with state and local media.

Fact Sheet [docx]
FAQ [docx]

Information on the Field Test to share with civic and business leaders and the general public.

Parent Q&A [docx]

Resources for communicating with parents about the Field Test.

This article could be customized for use in print or e-newsletters, or as a blog post.

This presentation is customizable for use with a variety of audiences, including teachers, parents, and civic or business organizations.  It includes suggested speaker notes.

Web Button [docx]

States, districts and schools can use these web resources to direct traffic to www.SmarterBalanced.org and the Smarter Balanced Practice Test and Training Test.

Training Modules

Resource Description

This module describes the recommended uses of available universal tools, designated supports, and documented accommodations for student accessibility to Smarter Balanced assessments.

Two additional documents have been created that provide instructions on how to access and use the American Sign Language (ASL) feature and Glossaries feature within the online delivery system.

American Sign Language (ASL) feature: http://sbac.portal.airast.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Embedded-Accommodation-ASL-Instructions-Final.pdf

Glossaries feature: http://sbac.portal.airast.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Embedded-Designated-Support-Glossaries.pdf

This module prepares District/School Test Coordinators and Test Administrators with an overview of procedures, including policy matters and test security processes.

Note: This module was updated on 3/31/14 to reflect the revised start date of the Field Test administration as 3/25/14.

This module presents an overview on how to navigate the Test Administrator Interface.

NOTE: The most up-to-date instructions for setting up a test session should be used. These instructions can be found in the Session ID and Test Selection Instructions for Test Administrators document.

Performance Task Overview [11:13 runtime]

This module provides District/School Test Coordinators and teachers an overview of what a Performance Task is and the purpose of the classroom activity as it pertains to the performance task.

Before taking the module, there are a couple frequently used terms that you should become familiar with:

Multiple Standards – Represent a set of expectations for student knowledge and skills that high school graduates need to master to succeed in college and careers.  These standards are aligned with college and work expectations, include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills, are built upon strengths and lessons of current state standards, informed by top-performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society and, are evidence and/or research-based.

Domains- A well-defined set of achievement tasks or body of knowledge. A domain is large group of related standards within a content area such as those dealing with numbers and operations in mathematics.

This module provides District/School Test Coordinators and teachers the characteristics and advantages of Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) that will be available for the operational assessment in spring 2015. The Field Test will not be a Computer Adaptive Test.

Before taking the module, there are a couple frequently used terms that you should become familiar with:

Performance Task – A performance task is a required portion of the Field Test that requires students to answer a set of complex questions that are centered on a common theme or problem. The Smarter Balanced assessment is comprised of two components: a classroom activity with a performance task and non-PT items. Prior to the performance task, teachers or instructional staff conduct a classroom activity for all students in the class to ensure that the context of the task does not interfere with a student’s ability to address the content of the task.

Blueprint – Each Smarter Balanced assessment is designed based on a test blueprint. The Smarter Balanced test blueprints for ELA and Math describe the depth and breadth of the performance expectations of the Common Core State Standards for each assessed grade (3 – 8, and 11), and contain critical information about the number of items, score points, and depth of knowledge for items associated with each assessment target.

Let’s Talk Universal Tools [14:07 runtime]

This module acquaints students and teachers with the online, universal tools (e.g., types of calculators, expandable text) available in the Smarter Balanced assessments. This module should be shown to students in a classroom/group setting. For grades 3-8 it is encouraged that the teachers be in the room to answer questions from the students as they view the module.

Before taking the module, there are a couple frequently used terms that you should become familiar with:

Online – Being connected through a computer system.

Software Programs – Computer programs needed in order to administer the Smarter Balanced assessments.

An additional document has been created that provides instructions on how to use the Embedded Dictionary/Thesaurus feature within the online delivery system. http://sbac.portal.airast.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Embedded-Dictionary_Thesaurus.pdf

This module provides District/School Technology Coordinators current information about technology requirements, site readiness, supported devices and secure browser installation.

March 7, 2014: Updated to correct the sat1.sbacpt.tds.airast.org IP address.

This module explains to District/School Test Coordinators, Test Administrators, and teachers how to navigate the Student Interface.

This module provides District/School Test Coordinators and Test Administrators detailed information on how to upload student information, manage users, and use other features of the TIDE system.

What is a Field Test? [5:52 runtime]

This module is designed for students and should be shown to students in a classroom setting. It is intended to answer student questions on what a field test is and why it is important for students to participate in the Smarter Balanced field test. For grades 3-8 it is encouraged that the teachers be in the room to answer questions from the students as they view the module.