About virtual testing from NWEA during school closures

Document created by Community User on Mar 20, 2020Last modified by Community User on Mar 23, 2020
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The following is a statement from NWEA regarding virtual testing as an option during school closures.

As of March 20, 2020,

As schools deal with prolonged closures and the impacts this will have on their students, many are considering if virtual testing is an option. At this time, we don’t recommend that schools who have traditionally tested in a brick and mortar classroom, make the shift to test virtually this spring. First of all, schools are focused on how best to continue instruction. In addition, the implementation process involves many considerations and can be a steep learning curve for school staff, even under typical conditions not impacted by a worldwide crisis.

Here are key factors to consider regarding virtual testing:
  1. The home environment needs to able to support the testing. Not all families will have equal access to the correct devices, reliable internet, or the expertise and skill to navigate technical difficulties that may arise. Some families may not have the physical space to allow students the atmosphere they need to be fully engaged in a MAP Growth test. See MAP Growth system requirements for more information.
  2. Test integrity – the role of proctors. In a typical MAP Growth test administration, the proctor (typically the teacher) plays a key role in actively facilitating testing, building and encouraging student engagement during the test and responding to needs of students. In a virtual setting, a proctor will need to view all students at once which can be overwhelming and frustrating and be able to navigate the technology while maintaining clear communication with the students. This takes specific training and guidance to ensure test integrity. See the Proctor Quick Start Guide in the MAP Help Center for more information. 
  3. Reliability of the data - Since schools have less control over test environments in remote scenarios, schools should consider the reliability of the data they will receive from this process. This is especially a key factor to consider if MAP Growth data is tied to high-stakes decisions.
  4. Availability of support – NWEA support staff are available to support schools through the challenges that lie ahead. Due to student privacy concerns, we are extremely limited in the support we can offer to parents. In addition, many schools have varying rules of engagement when it comes to using NWEA products, and we want to honor those nuances. NWEA Support staff will refer parents back to schools for support. Schools are encouraged to use NWEA product help videos and documents as they see fit. The Student Resource page is particularly useful as an introduction to MAP Growth testing, and we also have a Family Tool Kit that provides lots of great information for parents.
These are serious considerations that each school community needs to evaluate before making any decisions when it comes to virtual testing this spring. NWEA is committed to working in partnership with schools during this unprecedented time. We ask that our partners consider all the factors about what is best for students before making decisions about virtual testing. In addition, we are already developing additional guidance and support for partners should schools remain closed for an extended period of time.

For a list of recommended instructional connections to continue remote learning at home, see Instructional Connection resources in response to remote learning

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