Winter testing…holidays…we know it’s a busy time of year for all. But we also know how helpful it is for you to learn about the exciting and important updates to MAP® Growth™. Effective Monday, January 1, you’ll notice a change in appearance of the student toolbar. Also, read on for information about upcoming new practice tests, text-to-speech functionality, lockdown browsers, and a few inspirational tidbits.
Since you may be the only recipient of this email within your district, please forward this email to teachers and other MAP Growth users who might need this information.
New lockdown browsers and testing apps for all platforms
We've updated the lockdown browser for all platforms to provide the following improved testing experiences:
- Windows: Updates browser framework for security and compatibility with newer test items and accommodations, addresses defects, and supports text-to-speech audio playback
- Mac: Updates compatibility with newer test items and accommodations
- Chromebook: Improves testing security and compatibility with newer test items and accommodations
- iPad: Implements Automatic Assessment Configuration (AAC) to improve testing security and ease of test management. Students using iPads for testing with the NWEA secure testing app will see the following screen and need to click ‘yes’ to begin taking the test.
Depending on which platform you use, lockdown browser icons will either say:
As part of the changes to the lockdown browsers and the Chromebook app, the exit key sequence has been updated for additional security. Find the new sequence for your specific platform here. Please note: The exit sequence is secure information; sharing this with students renders the lockdown browser ineffective. To ensure test security, the exit sequence should only be used by a proctor or a technology coordinator to exit the lockdown browser and end the test for the student.
We strongly encourage you to update your lockdown browsers for Windows and Mac, and testing apps for iPads and Chromebooks, at your earliest convenience. If your district has installed a lockdown browser for MAP Growth on student testing devices, you should install these new platform-specific versions by July 2018 as older versions of these lockdown browsers will no longer be usable.
Action required: You MUST update your Windows lockdown browser if the workstations are used for students requiring text-to-speech accommodation. The older versions of the Windows lockdown browsers do not support text-to-speech audio playback.
Visit the MAP Help Center for information about updating lockdown browsers.
Text-to-speech and a new look for the student toolbar
We’re excited to let you know that text-to-speech is now available. Text-to-speech allows a student to have a question read aloud to them by the computer, replacing the need (in some cases) for a proctor to read the questions for each student, and enabling a larger percentage of students to be assessed at once.
When activated by the proctor, the speech controls will now appear on the student’s toolbar where the highlighter and eraser are currently located. The toolbar will appear slightly different than it has in the past, though all the original functionality remains the same. You and your students can practice using text-to-speech for MAP Growth (without any proctor involvement) at http://warmup.nwea.org/screenread.html. It’s recommended to use Chrome or Firefox browsers with the practice tests.
When proctors enable text-to-speech for a student, the accessibility feature will be noted on the Comprehensive Data File.
Action required: Please whitelist the following websites to ensure that text-to-speech will work properly in your district:
If wild cards are an option when whitelisting (meaning you are able to use an asterisk in front of a domain), use the following:
Whitelisting does not need to be done on each device. It’s typically done by your school or district IT administrator and should only take a few minutes. Whitelisting is often done only once a year, or when setting up for testing, so please ensure you whitelist the above websites after the December MAP Growth release. For information about how to use text-to-speech, refer to this article in User Assistance. For information about accessibility and accommodations, refer to this FAQ.
Please note: text-to-speech will not be available for the following tests:
Tests that contain items with audio, including:
- MAP Growth: Math K–2
- MAP Growth: Reading K–2
- MAP Growth Skills Checklist: Math
- MAP Growth Skills Checklist: Reading
- MAP Skills Locator or Mastery Assessments
- Screening: Math Early Numeracy
- Screening: Reading Early Literacy
Tests that are not in English, including:
- MAP Growth: Spanish Math 2–5 & 6+
- Screening: Spanish Math 2–5 & 6+
- Screening: Spanish Reading Grades 2–8
Teaching students the value of assessments
Reduce the stress of testing by sharing these fun, short, animated videos with your students. In just a few short minutes, they’ll learn from students just like them why taking MAP Growth assessments is important and what taking the tests is really like.
Leading from the Classroom podcast series is live
|If you need a few minutes of inspiration, tune in to our new podcast series, Leading from the Classroom. Hear teachers share their stories about young students managing challenges like poverty and immigration, the critical importance of the relationship between students and teachers, and the deep responsibility teachers feel to influence everything from classroom instruction to state policy. Enjoy the first of 45 podcasts featured through the month of January. And be sure to subscribe to the series from our podcast page to be notified of new episodes.|
Coming soon: MAP Growth warmups replaced by practice tests
MAP Growth warmups will be replaced by new practice tests by mid-February, enabling students to practice using the new text-to-speech capability. Students will follow a link (just as they did before), then enter a new generic student username and password. There is no proctor involvement required. It’s recommended to use Chrome or Firefox browsers with the new practice tests.
When the transition to practice tests happens, we’ll announce it through a message at the top of pages within the system and provide a link to view the new MAP Growth practice test login information in “User Assistance.”
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