The Quarter 1 Illuminate Interim Assessments for both Math and ELA will open this Monday, September 28th. Teachers will be rostering this test via their Illuminate dashboard account the same way they have previously done with the Illuminate practice test (you can click here for a reminder of now this process works). The window for this test will remain open from Monday, September 28th through Wednesday, October 7th.
Posted below are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions which should help you to begin working with your teachers to administer this test starting next week.
Who has to take the Illuminate Interim Assessment? All ELA students in grades 3-11 should take the assessment. All math students in grades 3-8 AS WELL AS Freshman Academy students taking Freshman Geometry and Algebra should take the test.
*Note: During the Spring 2016 AzMERIT testing, students taking high school level courses with an End-of-Course test will not be required to take the grade level test for that content area. (For example, 8th grades students taking Algebra will not take the 8th grade mathematics test. They will only take the Algebra I EOC test.)
Because of this, honors math students should participate in the SUSD Illuminate Interim Assessments as follows…
||Illuminate Test Level/Subject Q1
|6th Grade Honors Math
||6th Grade Math Interim
|7th Grade Honors Math
||7th Grade Math Interim
|8th Grade Algebra
How much time should schools schedule to take the test? The ELA assessment is comprised of three to four distinct reading sections with corresponding questions for each. The math assessment is between 22 and 35 questions (depending on grade level). You should plan on scheduling NO LESS than two full class periods (i.e. 110 minutes) to deliver each interim assessment. Please remember however that this test is NOT timed and appropriate accommodations should be made for any students requiring additional time. Please do not attempt to schedule both assessments on the same day.
How can I locate the interim in my teacher dashboard? Both the ELA and Math assessments are set to each individual student grade level and are named accordingly (e.g. 15-16 Math Interim Q1 Grade8). To find your grade level assessment, click on Assessment along the top-right corner of your dashboard and then select List Assessments. You can then use the search filter to more easily locate your specific test (see below)
How do I roster the test for mixed grade levels? Because each student will be taking the interim assessment which is aligned to their specific grade level, teachers of mixed grade classrooms will have to roster each grade level test separately for each group of students by grade level within their class.
Does Illuminate have any text to speech features built in? Illuminate (unlike the AzMERIT test) does not currently have built-in online accessibility features such as text to speech or text size or background modifications built in. Testing accommodations specified within the student IEP should be delivered using a staff facilitated, small group testing environment OR via the accessibility features which are built in to the individual student device. You can click here for more specific details related to testing accommodations.
Do instructional staff who are NOT rostered to specific students in PowerSchool have the ability to schedule a test for students? Yes. As long as your support staff member is listed in Illuminate with a site level role (e.g. ”Coach”, “Principal”…etc) they have the ability to connect to all students within your school. If you have a staff member who is unable to connect to students or teachers classrooms within Illuminate, please send in a request to Digital Curriculum via http://helpdesk.susd12.org or contact Bernadette Martin at ext. 2162. Please be sure to list the name, job title, and username of the individual.
Do all Instructional Support Staff now have an Illuminate account? Yes. All of your instructional support staff should be able to log-in to Illuminate using their district username. If they have never logged in to Illuminate before, they would use the temporary password susd12 and they will be prompted to update their user account the next time they log in.
Will students require headphones or earbuds for any part of this test? No, none of the current questions within this set of interim assessments require any audio enhancements.
Does Illuminate have any highlighting or annotation tools? Although the Illuminate system does have a simple text highlighter which appears automatically when students left-click with their cursor, it is a very basic function and the highlights do not remain on the page when students click off the page. If students require a more extensive and functional highlighting tool, they have the ability to use the Scrible Toolbar Highlighter within the test to both highlight and add margin notes (see below).
Will we be using a “lock-down” browser for testing purposes? Although the Illuminate system has the ability to run a lock-down browser (similar to the one used during AzMERIT) we will NOT be utilizing it during this first round of testing. Please make sure that your teachers are aware that they will need to circulate and visually monitor student screens during the testing to make sure students do not open additional tabs. The Hapara teacher dashboard which is available to all teachers in grades 4-9 can also help with this process (click here for more information).
Does the test “auto-save” student responses? The Illuminate system is designed to save all student answers automatically “with each click” on the test. If students pause the test at any time, their answers will be saved up to the last question which they responded to.
How should we treat students who have to leave school during the test or who are unable to finish during the school day? Unlike the AzMERIT test, students who do not complete the assessment during a specific testing session MAY be permitted to get back into the test to finish the following day. If the student has not finished the test but needs to either take a break or leave the testing environment, they should pause the test by clicking the on the pause button along the upper-right hand side of the page (see below). Please check in with Hans Schot at ext. 2164 if you have any specific questions regarding test procedures or protocols.
Should a password be used for each test? Yes. When rostering (scheduling) the session, select “Password” under Online Testing-Administration Settings and enter a password. (Keep it short and simple and different for each rostering.)
Do test items need to be randomized? No. This will better facilitate sessions where a student is receiving accommodations.
Can students use calculators on the Interim Assessments? AzMERIT calculator guidance will be used for the Interim Assessments and should be activated using the Online Testing – Tool Settings during the rostering process.
Grades 3-6: No calculators permitted
Grades 7-8: Scientific Calculators as appropriate to the items
High School: Graphing Calculators as appropriate to the items (Graphing calculators are not yet available in Illuminate, so the basic or scientific calculator tool may be used.)
We will continue to provide you with updated information on the SUSD Assessment Blog (linked here) so be sure to check back and subscribe to the page if you have not done so already.
As with previous testing sessions, please check in with the following folks for support regarding testing issues (see below).
Thanks for all of your help, and please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.