Testing Season Checklist
Determine Testing Window Dates
Work with district staff to determine the dates of your testing window. In order to monitor growth of students across time, a testing window of no more than three weeks is recommended. For accurate comparison of growth data, your test window should be consistent from year to year. Also keep in mind that you will need to submit your district’s Class Roster File two weeks (14 days) prior to the start date of your testing window.
Create your Testing Schedule
Once you have set up your testing window, create a testing schedule for each school, and share the schedules with all staff. Remember to include time for make-up tests for students who were absent on the day of testing.
Only one group of students should be scheduled in each lab the first day of the testing window. This gives proctors the opportunity to test the systems and procedures to make sure everything is working properly.
Ensure Staff Receives MAP Training
Teachers, proctors, and school administrators who are either new to MAP testing or who need a refresher can visit the Professional Development section of the NWEA web site to take advantage of the self-paced online tutorials, to learn more about the NWEA Knowledge Academy, or view the Regional Training Calendar for upcoming workshops in your area. In addition to the Professional Development training offerings, be sure your staff has access to the NWEA Training School sample environment.
Establish or Review Procedures and Communication Plans
Before each testing season, it’s a good idea to review your school and district testing procedures. Items to consider include the following:
- Do all staff have appropriate network permissions and software to administer tests, add or modify student testing accounts, or access online reports?
- Who will be responsible for uploading test results to NWEA each day?
- What is the process for submitting Problem Item Reports to NWEA?
- What is the process for submitting and tracking Data Repair Requests (DRRs)?
- Who should proctors talk to for help with technical troubleshooting?
- Do you have a plan for communicating with parents and students, providing testing status information to staff, or collecting feedback from staff on established procedures?
Verify Reception of NWEA Email
As you prepare for your first testing season, it's important to make sure that you're able to continually receive relevant information from NWEA. NWEA sends informational emails to share pertinent, time-sensitive information related to administering NWEA products and services. In addition, informational notices about new products, services, and resources as well as relevant assessment subjects may be shared. Take the following steps to ensure your MAP personnel receive the appropriate communications from NWEA.
Enroll Students Using the Class Roster File
The NWEA Class Roster File (CRF) is the file your district submits to NWEA that specifies which students you will be testing as well as the reporting groupings necessary for reports. The validity of your reports depends upon the quality of the data you begin with.
CRFs require two weeks for processing time, so be sure to submit your district’s CRF at least 14 days before you plan to begin your testing window.
Optional: Include a Special Programs File (SPF)
Your Special Programs File (SPF) is only necessary if your district plans to disaggregate data based on special programs, such as Title I, ESL, or Talented and Gifted. This optional file is separate from the CRF, yet if you are using an SPF, it must be submitted at the same time as your CRF.
Set up the Network Test Environment (NTE) Admin 2 software
Once your District MAP Team has been established, you'll begin by getting ready to take sample assessments. Start by setting up NTE Admin 2 on a Windows-based computer with both Internet and local network access. You will be using NTE Admin 2 to upload and download testing data, as well as administer student and employee accounts during the testing season. The NTE Admin 2 computer should be in a location that can be accessed by the MAP Coordinator, CRF Coordinator and the Technical Coordinator.
Please note: accessing NTE Admin 2 for training purposes requires a specific training user name and password. The training user name and password are included in an email sent to your District MAP Coordinator; these credentials are different from your district-specific logins because they provide access to sample, anonymized data. If you have questions about the training user name and password, contact your Partner Relations Representative.
Install MAP TestTaker
Once you've set up your training environment folder, you're ready to install MAP TestTaker, the software students will be using to take MAP assessments. MAP TestTaker can be installed on a Windows server or on any individual testing workstations; if you install on a server, the application must be accessible by all of the computers in your testing labs.
Please note: MAP TestTaker is available for local installation in both Windows and Macintosh environments; however, server-side installations are limited to Windows environments. Macintosh machines must install MAP TestTaker locally.
Prepare Your Local Testing Environment
Once you receive notice that your Class Roster File (CRF) and the optional Special Programs File (SPF) are processed, you can set up your local Network Test Environment (NTE) at each school where testing will occur. To implement MAP at each school, you will repeat the process of installing the training package, except you will be using your real data.
Create a new folder for the testing term for your district, and populate it with your Test Packages, School/District, and Student Data following the steps below. (Click here to access the "Testing Season Quick Start Guide" if you have set up an NTE and tested in the past.)
Optional: Install MAP for Primary Grades Audio Files and the Collector Application
MAP for Primary Grades assessments are an enhanced audio version of our standard MAP assessments requiring some unique installation and setup steps. Follow the steps below to install the MAP for Primary Grades audio files and the Collector application. The Collector is a program that gathers student interaction data collected by MAP TestTaker. This program will search through your NTE database, locate the student interaction data, and collate the data into a single text file.
Discuss Test Administration Logistics with Teachers and Proctors
A few weeks before testing begins, school administrators, teachers, and proctors should plan out assigned seating arrangements for each class and processes for tracking testing progress. Items to consider include the following:
- Plan ahead for students with special needs. It may be necessary to test some students in small groups or alone.
- When creating a seating chart, determine where students should sit in the testing area to maximize their testing potential, keeping in mind distractions such as proximity to the door, windows, and fellow students.
- Remind the school administrator and/or office staff to make any pre-determined bell accommodations for testing days and to hold PA announcements to a minimum.
Verify Computer Labs are Ready for Testing
The workstations where students will be taking MAP assessments will need to have access to the MAP TestTaker application, whether it is installed on a local machine or on a local server. Each workstation will also need both "read" and "write" access to your local Network Test Environment (NTE) folder.
Create, Retrieve, and Distribute Employee Logins
District staff will need MAP employee accounts to set up your local testing environment, administer tests, and access reports.
Prepare Students for MAP Testing
Before your test window begins, teachers should spend a few minutes talking with students about the purpose of the MAP tests and the specifics of how the tests work.
- For MAP assessments, show the MAP Student PowerPoint Presentation.
- Also for MAP assessments, let students practice with different types of interactive questions by using MAP Familiarization Tests.
- For MAP for Primary Grades, let students practice with the Online MAP for Primary Grades Warm-Up.
It is important to monitor students during testing. Proctors have some general duties that need careful attention. Teachers will help with many of these responsibilities while they are in the lab with their class.
Upload Test Results Daily
Use Network Test Environment (NTE) Admin 2 to upload test results to NWEA.
Access Reports During Testing
Preliminary data is available on the NWEA Reports Site 24 hours after test results are uploaded to NWEA, including teacher, class, and grade reports.
Declare Testing Complete
To receive summary calculations on your End-of-Term reports, you must declare that you have completed testing by officially closing your test term window. After students have finished testing and you have uploaded all test data to NWEA, follow the instructions below to close your test window.
Optional: Email Activity Files from the Collector Application
The Collector application is software used in conjunction with MAP for Primary Grades. The application captures additional data about students' interactions with these assessments. Once testing is complete, run Collector specifying your NTE folder, and submit the resulting file to NWEA.
Order End-of-Term Reports
MAP Coordinators and School Administrators can use the online Report Order page of the NWEA Reports Site to request school- and district-level reports. While these reports can be ordered at any time during the testing season, this collection of reports is often referred to as the End-of-Term Ordered reports because if the district’s test window has been closed (declared complete), district and school summary reports are available in addition to the other reports that are part of this collection.
Ordered Reports can be requested via the NWEA Reports Site as often as is needed at no additional cost. Reports are available for download within 72 hours of the order submission.
Download and Print your End-of-Term Reports Package
When your report order is ready, follow the steps below to download the report package from the NWEA Reports Site, and to install the Crystal Reports Viewer so you can print reports. Please note that Crystal Reports Viewer must be installed on a Windows machine.
Schedule Time to Review MAP Data with Staff
Celebrate successes and document ways for improving your testing processes. Brainstorm how to use the test results data to plan for instruction, and work with your district leadership team to identify training and resource needs to support teachers’ use of data.
Contact NWEA to Update Records if People in Key Roles Change
NWEA wants to be sure we are communicating with the appropriate people on your staff throughout the various phases of your testing season. Please let us know about changes in staff or contact information for your MAP Team, including the MAP Coordinator, CRF Coordinator, or Technical Coordinator.