How Online HSA Assessments Adapt to Each Student across Opportunities
If we are measuring ability to achieve specific benchmarks, why is there a difference in difficulty attached to the items that are given to some students and not others
The adaptive online HSA Science System selects items for each student that most accurately align with his or her performance on the test to that point. In general, students who are doing well on the test will see more difficult items, and students who are struggling will see easier items. Regardless of the difficulty of the items, all students are tested on the breadth of the grade-level content, and all students get an opportunity to demonstrate their higher-order thinking skills.
How is a student’s achievement measured from one test to another if there is also the factor of difference in difficulty of items given to students at different times?
Each item has a measured difficulty, so the items can be arranged along a scale. Student scores lie along that same scale. Imagine two students, one getting difficult items and the other receiving easier items. Suppose they both answer half of their items correctly. The student with the more difficult items will get a higher score. This is made possible through a statistical process known as equating, and it is used on virtually all contemporary tests.
Since the HSA Science Assessment is given at three different times to students, those students who score high the first time are then given hard items the next time they’re taking the assessment. How do we answer the angst and tears when the students drop by many points? They have learned more, studied hard, and motivated themselves. This seems to be detrimental to these students’ well-being and can cause even more anxiety and self doubts about test taking in the future.
During the administration of each opportunity, students see items aligned to their performance on that assessment. The initial item selection is based on performance by the student on earlier assessment opportunities, but item difficulty quickly adjusts to current performance. As explained above, students receiving more difficult items get higher scores when they answer the same number of items correctly.
Some student scores drop because of distractions, a bad testing day, or other reasons. The adaptive nature of the test does not lead to this phenomenon, and in fact, generally reduces it.
The standard error of measurement (SEM) also needs to be considered when reviewing a student’s scores for each opportunity administered for an HSA Science Assessment.
The observed score on any test is an estimate of the true score. If a student took a similar test several times, the resulting scale score would vary across administrations, sometimes being a little higher, a little lower, or the same. The SEM represents the precision of the scale score, or the range in which the student would likely score if a similar test was administered several times. The “+/–” next to the student’s scale score provides information about the certainty, or confidence, of the score’s interpretation. The boundaries of the score band are one standard error of measurement above and below the student’s observed score, representing a range of score values that is likely to contain the true score. For example, 310 ± 10 indicates that if a student was tested again, two out of three times the student’s true score would likely fall between 300 and 320.
Because students are administered different sets of items of varying item difficulties in each computer-adaptive content area assessment, the SEM can be different for the same scale score depending on how closely the administered items match the student’s ability.
A student’s scale score should be evaluated after the SEM is added to or subtracted from the scale score. This provides a score range that includes the student’s true score with 68 percent certainty (i.e., across repeated administrations, the student’s test score would fall in this range about 68 percent of the time).
A small difference between scale scores (e.g., within one SEM) should not be interpreted as a significant difference. The measurement error should be taken into account when users are comparing scores. For example, students with scores of 301 and 303 are not reliably different because those scores differ by less than one SEM.
The student’s true score can lie outside the score band. The score band contains a student’s true score with 68 percent certainty; therefore, the student’s true score can lie outside the score band.
How are the DOE and testing office informing teachers, parents, students, and the public about the way students are being tested, e.g., the adaptive construction of the tests?
Teachers, parents, students, and the public are encouraged to visit the non-secure online HSA Science website (alohahsap.org) where information about how the adaptive online HSA Science System works is posted under the Resources section.
What is the purpose of making the HSA Science Assessment adaptive?
An adaptive test gives a more precise estimate of ability for most students than a comparable fixed-form test. This provides better instructional information, more accurate measures of growth, and a challenging but accessible testing experience for each student.
Does the adaptive nature of the test mean that questions will go above or below a student’s grade level?
No. A requirement of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (formally No Child Left Behind) is that the questions on the Hawai‘i State Science Assessment must be based on the Science Hawai‘i Content and Performance Standards (HCPS III) for the grade level in which the students are currently enrolled.
Is there a purpose in giving students the test more than once if they pass the first time? It is taking valuable instructional time that could be used for collaborative projects, art, music, social studies, etc., but instead continues to be used for ‘preparing to do better on the next test.’
The Department of Education requires schools to administer the online HSA Science Assessments to the students in the identified grades only once.
If teachers are going to be evaluated on the progress of their students on the HSA Science Assessments, how is the adaptive construct being factored in?
The adaptive design makes the online HSA Science Assessments among the fairest ways to measure student growth because the design can accurately measure students along a broader range of the proficiency continuum. This is not always the case with traditional tests that administer the same items to every student.
Is the testing office doing a study on the effect of testing students more than once and what the value is in doing so?
The Assessment Section and its contractor, American Institutes for Research (AIR), routinely review test data of students’ first, second, and third opportunities and have found in general that students score higher on their second and third opportunities. The Assessment Section does not plan to do a formal study at the present time.
How does marking a question for review during the test affect the next question? Does it lower the level and value? Does it remain at the same difficulty level?
Marking an item for review does not in any way affect the selection of subsequent items. It is simply a way for a student to make a note to himself or herself to review the initial answer for an item. Only a student’s initial response to an item (independent of whether the item is marked for review), which is used to update the student’s ability estimate, will affect the selection of subsequent items. If a student changes the initial response to a marked or unmarked item, the change in response will result in an update of the student’s ability estimate, which will affect the selection of any additional items.
Online Assessment Format and Content
What assessments must students take?
Students in grades 4 and 8 must take the online Hawai‘i State Science Assessment at least once. Schools have the option of administering the HSA Science Assessment to a student up to three times. The online HSA testing window is October 11, 2016, to May 26, 2017.
What types of items are on the assessments?
The online HSA Science Assessments include multiple-choice and multi-select items, and constructed-response items. Students must select one or more of the answer options for each multiple-choice or multi-select item. They must type one or two short sentences or draw or move objects on the computer screen for various constructed-response items. All items are machine-scored.
Go to the Training Tests (with a Firefox web browser or the Secure Browser) on alohahsap.org to see some of these types of items.
Training and Communication Resources
What training and resources are available for the online assessment system?
TA Certification Course
Anyone who will be administering an HSA Science Assessment to students must first pass the online TA Certification Course. To access this course, Test Administrators will need their TIDE username and password. Test Administrators will not be able to log into the Test Administrator (TA) Live Site without passing this course. Please note that this requirement does NOT include proctors because they will not be using the online assessment system. Proctors will only assist with monitoring students during assessments. Even if you were certified for the 2015-2016 administration, you must retake the online TA Certification Course because it has been updated for the 2016-2017 school year.
Training and Practice Tests
The Training and Practice Tests site can be used to access training tests and practice tests online to become familiar with the HSA Science Assessments.
The short Training Tests are designed to provide students and teachers with opportunities to familiarize themselves with the software, user interfaces, and navigational tools that they will use on the respective online tests. The questions on the Training Tests were selected to provide students with an opportunity to practice a range of question types and may be the same for multiple grades.
The Practice Tests mirror the content of the various tests. The Practice Tests allows teachers, students, parents, and other interested parties to experience a full assessment or exam and gain insight into how the test will assess students’ mastery of the appropriate content standards.
The Department of Education recommends that the Practice Tests be accessed through the HSAP Secure Browser (which may be downloaded from the HSA portal at alohahsap.org) in order to replicate, as much as possible, actual testing conditions. The Test Administrator may create a training test session in the TA Training Site and have each student log in using his or her login information and the session ID that is generated in the TA Training Site.
Students may access the Training Tests through a web browser such as Firefox; however, text-to-speech and other features may not be available. No password is needed to try out the Training Tests using a web browser.
Scores are not provided for the Training and Practice Tests. When students complete a Practice Test and click [End Test] and select “Yes” to continue to the next page, they should click “Review My Answers” to check their answer for each question while also reviewing the Scoring Guide or Answer. Once the student clicks “Submit Test,” all of their answers will be erased. Practice Test answers cannot be printed. Answer keys for the Training and Practice Tests can be accessed on the Student Training and Practice Tests login page. Students and others can print out the answer keys and refer to them as they proceed through the training tests.
Training Modules and General Resources
Training modules for individual testing systems are posted in the “Training and Webinars” resources section on alohahsap.org.
A number of manuals, user guides, and a list of Important Dates are also available to assist with the use of the online assessment system. Go to the HSA Science Resources page on alohahsap.org to view all of the available information. Additionally, the HSAP Help Desk is available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. HST, Monday–Friday (except holidays) at 1-866-648-3712 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can a Test Coordinator find out which Test Administrators have passed the Online TA Certification Course?
Yes. Test Coordinators will be able to use the TIDE system to verify which Test Administrators in the school have passed the online TA Certification Course. This information will be available in the “Trained User” column in the “View/Edit Users” tab in TIDE. This column will be set to “YES” (if the Test Administrator has passed the course) or “NO” (if the Test Administrator has not passed the course).
Are hardcopies of all the online user guides and manuals available?
No. If hardcopies are preferred, school-level personnel will need to download and print their own copies.
When should schools send Parent Information Booklets to parents?
The Department of Education recommends that schools send the Parent Information Booklets to families about three weeks before a student’s first opportunity to take an online HSA Science Assessment.
Online Assessment Administration and Results
When and where will the grades 4 and 8 students take the online HSA Science Assessments?
The assessments may be administered at any time during school hours during the testing window. Students can be tested in any room that provides a quiet environment where other students are not participating in learning activities and where there are enough computers for a group of students, plus one computer for the Test Administrator. Some schools will use computer labs, and others will use mobile computer carts brought into classrooms.
How long will the assessments take?
Most students will need approximately 90 minutes, scheduled during two 45-minute test sessions, to complete one online assessment. This includes time to read the Directions for Administration to students, have the students log into the testing site, and distribute and collect scratch paper and keyboard shortcut sheets.
Remember that the assessments are not timed; students may have as long as they need to complete the assessments, provided that they complete each assessment within 45 calendar days of starting it.
Students must wait 14 calendar days between testing opportunities. Any school that schedules a student to begin a new testing opportunity less than 14 calendar days after completing an HSA Science Assessment will see a message that reads, “Your next test opportunity is not yet available,” and will be unable to proceed. For example, a student who completes his or her first testing opportunity for the HSA Science Assessment on November 5, 2016 will be unable to take another online HSA Science Assessment opportunity until November 20, 2016 or later. The 14-calendar day wait period will be lifted during the last five weeks of the testing window (April 24–May 26, 2017).
Are students who meet proficiency on their first administration of an HSA Science Assessment required to take that assessment for a second or third time to increase their score to “exceeds proficiency”? What if a student gets a lower score the second or third time he or she takes an assessment? What is the time frame for re-testing any students who are not proficient? What if a parent requests that a student be re-tested?
Students are not required to take an assessment more than once but may be tested up to three times in Science. Each school will determine how many times each student will take the HSA Science Assessment. Schools are not required to retest a parent’s child if he/she has received a Meets Proficiency scale score of 300 or above. If a student has not received a Meets Proficiency score, he/she should be given one or two additional opportunities to take the assessment.
Students can be tested at any time during the testing window, and will likely benefit from additional instruction before being tested a second or third time. Remember that students must wait 14 calendar days between testing opportunities for the HSA Science Assessment. Also, the 14-calendar day waiting period will only be lifted during the last five weeks of the testing window (April 24–May 26, 2017).
A student’s highest score across all opportunities is used for official reporting purposes, regardless of when that score was received during the testing window.
Must all students be tested online?
With the exception of students who need to take the paper/pencil version of the HSA Science Assessment at an off-campus site that does not have Internet access, all students must be tested on a computer with an Internet connection. Ultimately, all student responses must be entered into the online system. The use of a scribe to record all responses online is allowed for students using approved and verified accommodations. Refer to the Hawaii State Science Assessments and End-of-Course Exams Test Administration Manual for details on accommodations.
Will schools be responsible for administering the HSA Science Assessment to students who are receiving educational services off campus at alternative sites?
Yes. Refer to the Student Participation section in the Hawaii State Science Assessments and End-of-Course Exams Test Administration Manual for details. Schools must offer at least one assessment opportunity to students who are receiving educational services at alternative sites if they can cope with the assessment requirements. These sites also include students who are receiving educational services at home or in a hospital based on their documented physical, mental, or emotional needs. These students must be tested online if Internet access is available. Otherwise, they will need to take the paper/pencil version of the assessment.
What steps must I take to administer the HSA Science Assessment to home-schooled students?
Students who are home-schooled may participate in the online HSA Science Assessment at the request of their parent or guardian. Schools must provide these students with at least one testing opportunity if requested. For the purposes of assessment, these students are considered Courtesy Tested students, and their scores will not be included in the school’s results.
Prior to administering an online HSA Science Assessment to a home-schooled student, the Test Coordinator must complete the Courtesy Testing for Home-Schooled Students form found in the Hawaii State Science Assessments and End-of-Course Exams Test Administration Manual and fax the form to the Assessment Section at 808-733-4483, to request that a student’s grade level be entered in TIDE. Parents should not be asked to bring their home-schooled child to a school to be tested until an Assessment Section staff member informs the Test Coordinator that the student can access the secure online HSA Science Assessment.
The Test Coordinator will send the parents a Parent Information Booklet and a Parent Letter that includes the testing dates for the HSA Science Assessment. Schools should not provide separate testing schedules for these students. Refer to the Student Participation section in the Hawaii State Science Assessments and End-of-Course Exams Test Administration Manual for additional details.
What if students transfer during the testing window?
If students transfer from school to school during the testing window, the system will keep a record of any complete or incomplete assessments. After students transfer, they can resume where they left off, including finishing any incomplete assessments, provided that the 45 calendar day time frame for a specific assessment opportunity has not yet expired. From the Plan and Manage Testing section available in the TIDE system, Test Coordinators will be able to see how many opportunities a student has used. However, a transferring student’s enrollment information must be updated in Infinite Campus by the receiving school’s clerk or registrar before it can be included in the Department’s nightly upload to the TIDE system.
How will I know which students still need to take the online HSA Science Assessment before the testing window ends? Will I be able to print a master list of all students in all grades who did not finish their assessments so that I can schedule make-ups or completion sessions?
The online assessment system automatically keeps track of which students have and have not completed their assessments. Test Coordinators will have access to this information through the Plan and Manage Testing section in the TIDE system. The Plan and Manage Testing section will show which students have completed the assessment, how many times they have taken the assessment, and their scores for each assessment opportunity. The reports will also show which students have not completed their assessments. The HSAP TIDE User Guide, which explains how to access and read these reports, is available on the HSA Science Resources page at alohahsap.org.
If a student logs in and realizes an error in his/her information (e.g., misspelled name), does the student have to wait 2–3 days to get that corrected, or should he/she go ahead and take the test?
If any of the student’s information in the student testing site is incorrect, the student should not proceed with testing. The student should log out, and the Test Coordinator should be notified. The student’s record must be updated in Infinite Campus before he or she can begin testing. The Department of Education uploads student information from Infinite Campus and eCSSS to the online TIDE system on a nightly basis. Student records should be updated within 48–72 hours. After a student’s record has been updated, he or she can begin testing.
If I have a student who is supposed to take the Hawai‘i State Alternate Assessment (HSA-Alt), and he or she is appearing on my list of HSA Science students in TIDE, what should I do?
If an HSA-Alt student is appearing as an HSA Science student in TIDE, it means they have not been identified as eligible for the HSA-Alt at the school level. Once an IEP team determines that a student meets the criteria for participation in the HSA-Alt and that this is the most appropriate assessment option for the student, the IEP Care Coordinator (who is often the student’s classroom teacher) will need to document this decision in eCSSS by selecting “H-4: HSA-Alt” in the Statewide Assessment section of the IEP. The Department of Education uploads student information from eCSSS to the online HSAP system on a nightly basis. Student records in TIDE should be updated within 48–72 hours once the change in status has been made in eCSSS.
Note: If the student is appropriately identified for the HSA-Alt, the student will appear in TIDE with the HSA-Alt ‘flag’, and will appear in the Plan and Manage Testing section of TIDE. The scores for students who take the HSA-Alt will be posted in ORS and may be found by searching for “HSA-Alt” test results.
How do students log into the online HSAP Secure Browser to take a test?
Students must use their legal first name (as it appears in Infinite Campus and TIDE), their 10-digit State Student ID Number (SSID), and the test session ID that will be generated by the Test Administrator in the TA Live Site. Student information will be pre-loaded from Infinite Campus and eCSSS into the online TIDE system. If inaccurate student information exists in the online TIDE system, it must be corrected by the school’s clerk or registrar in Infinite Campus. Information from Infinite Campus and eCSSS will be automatically updated each night into the online TIDE system. Test Administrators will be able to look up a 10-digit SSID number using a search feature.
Where do I find the 10-digit State Student ID Number (SSID) for a student? Can Infinite Campus export students’ 10-digit ID numbers?
The 10-digit SSID is available to schools through Infinite Campus. Your clerk or registrar should be able to provide a roster of 10-digit SSIDs and student names.
Can Test Administrators help students log in?
Students need to log into the system using their legal first name and 10-digit SSID number. Test Administrators may assist students with this if necessary. This information can also be provided to students on a card, or a test ticket generated in TIDE, before a test session begins to help them type the information in accurately. Please remember that 10-digit SSIDs are confidential information, and cards/test tickets must be collected and stored in a secure location or shredded after all testing for 2016-2017 has been completed.
Can a Test Coordinator create the test sessions for Test Administrators using their passwords prior to the day and time of a test session?
No. Test Coordinators cannot create test sessions ahead of time for Test Administrators. Test sessions can only be created on the day of an assessment. As a reminder, Test Administrators should NOT give their passwords to anyone (even Test Coordinators). Test Administrators can create their test session on the day of an assessment before the actual test session begins if they wish. However, the Test Administrator must remain logged in to keep the test session active. Once Test Administrators log out of the TA Live Site, the test session will end and cannot be resumed.
What if I cannot see the whole session ID?
In the web browser toolbar, there is an option to change the text display size. For example, in Internet Explorer, you would click “View” and “Text Size,” and then select “Smaller” or “Smallest.” Once the text display size has been reduced, you may need to restart your browser and navigate to the TA Live Site before the change takes effect. This change should allow you to see the whole session ID.
If a student needs more time for an assessment and has to continue later, can a different Test Administrator administer the rest of the assessment?
The student can be assessed by anyone who is certified to administer the HSA Science Assessments. The student can complete an assessment that was begun in one session during a later session. The online assessment system keeps track of which assessments students have started and completed and will allow students to access an incomplete assessment during a later session. The assessment belongs to the student, not to a session. The Test Administrator should start a new session and include the incomplete assessment (e.g., grade 4 Science), and the student should enter the new session. If the student has already started an assessment, he or she will be able to resume it (provided it is being resumed within 45 calendar days of starting the assessment opportunity).
If a Test Administrator is administering an assessment to some students in a class and another Test Administrator is in charge of administering the assessment to the students needing accommodations from that class, do the groups need to use the same test session ID?
Students from the same class who take assessments at different times or with different Test Administrators do not need to use the same test session ID. In this example, the person managing the accommodations group can create a different test session with his or her login and administer the assessment to students that way. If each Test Administrator is in a different computer lab or setting, each needs to create his or her own test session. When the test session is created, a session ID is provided by the system, and that session ID is required as part of the student login process.
What tools may students use during the assessments?
Students may use scratch paper or printed copies of keyboard shortcuts during the assessments. Again, all paper copies must be collected at the end of the each test session. Any paper copy with student writing on it must be shredded immediately. Further information can be found in the Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations section of the Hawaii State Science Assessments and End-of-Course Exams Test Administration Manual.
Can a poster of the keyboard shortcuts be displayed during an assessment?
Yes, posters of keyboard shortcuts may be displayed.
What if students are absent during an assessment administration?
Students can take an assessment any time during the testing window. Because of the adaptive nature of the online assessment system, different students may see different questions in a different order, making test security less of a concern, and therefore making it easier to test students at different times.
What Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations are available for ELL, IDEA-eligible, and Section 504 students?
The full list of available Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations for the Hawai‘i State Science Assessments can be found in the Hawaii State Science Assessments and End-of-Course Exams Test Administration Manual.
What if students cannot use a mouse?
Students can navigate the assessments using a mouse or the keyboard. A list of keyboard shortcuts is provided for students within the online assessment system.
Can Test Administrators help students with the constructed-response items? For example, if students have difficulty placing items on a grid or typing their response, can the Test Administrator assist them?
Test Administrators need to have students pause their tests if they cannot use the online tools independently to answer constructed-response items, so they can receive more practice using these tools while answering the Training Test or Practice Test questions. If a student still cannot use the online tools independently, even after additional practice, he or she must be tested in an individual setting. A Test Administrator must serve as a scribe in an individual setting where the student can answer each constructed-response item verbally so the Test Administrator can enter it online.
What if it takes students more than 30 minutes to answer one test item? Will they be timed out?
If it has been 30 minutes since a student last answered a test item, the following message window will appear on the student’s screen: “Are you still there? Click OK to continue or you will be logged out in 30 seconds.” In order to keep the student’s test session active and enable the student to review items answered earlier in the session, the student must click “OK” and answer the item on which he or she is currently working. If the student does not respond, the student will be logged out in order to protect test security and privacy. If the student is logged out, he or she will not be allowed to go back and review his or her answers. You can also instruct students to raise their hands and ask for help if they see a message on the screen that they are not sure how to handle.
Can a Test Administrator be logged out of a session after 30 minutes of inactivity? What must a Test Administrator do to prevent being logged out?
Yes, as a security measure, TAs are automatically logged out after 30 minutes of user inactivity and student inactivity in the session, which results in closing the test session. To prevent being logged out of the system the TA, or any student who is testing in the active Session ID, must click on their screen at least once every 30 minutes.
If a TA is automatically logged out, the status of the test session will change to “closed” and all in-progress tests in the session will be paused. The TA will need to log back into the TA Site, start a new session, and provide the new Session ID to students who need to resume testing.
What should a student do if an item or graphic fails to load properly during an assessment? For example, if the item’s graphics or multiple-choice response options do not entirely or correctly display on the student’s screen?
If an item or graphic does not load, the student will need to pause the assessment and log back in. If the item or graphic still fails to load, the Test Administrator will need to contact the HSAP Help Desk (email@example.com or 1-866-648-3712) and provide the agent with the following information: the student’s 10-digit SSID number and grade level, the opportunity number, and the corresponding item number in that student’s assessment. Additionally, it is important that the student NOT click on an answer option for this partially loaded item in order to complete the test and submit it for scoring before this item can be correctly displayed or replaced with another online item. It is recommended that additional computers be available for testing in case a student’s computer freezes or shuts down unexpectedly.
How does a Test Coordinator request a grace period extension (GPE) or a test reset for a student whose test session was affected by a testing incident?
If a student’s test has been paused for more than 30 minutes due to a major disruption, such as a fire drill, a school-wide power or Internet outage, or a natural disaster, the student will not be allowed to review his or her answers to the items answered before the disruption. The Test Coordinator may submit a request in TIDE to allow a student to review previously answered items in a paused test (grace period extension [GPE]), which will allow the student to review his or her answers. However, the student’s test should be immediately paused, and he or she should NOT be allowed to continue answering any additional items. Also, the student must NOT be allowed to proceed to the next HSA Science Assessment opportunity. In the “Test Impropriety” tab of TIDE, the Test Coordinator will need to submit the student’s 10-digit SSID number, the result ID located in the Plan and Manage Testing section of TIDE, or the session ID, along with the reason for making the request. The Assessment Section will review and approve or disapprove the request in TIDE. Then the Test Coordinator will receive an email response regarding the decision. The student should not continue to be tested until the Test Coordinator has received a decision from the Assessment Section.
Requests to reset a test opportunity will be granted only in extreme circumstances. The Test Coordinator may submit a test reset request in TIDE. In the “Test Impropriety” tab in TIDE, the Test Coordinator should enter the student’s 10-digit SSID number, the result ID located in the Plan and Manage Testing section of TIDE, or the session ID, along with the reason for requesting that the opportunity be reset. The Assessment Section will review and approve or disapprove the request in TIDE. Then the Test Coordinator will receive an email response regarding the decision. The student should not continue to be tested until the Test Coordinator has received a decision from the Assessment Section.
What should I do if a student starts one of the assessment opportunities by mistake?
A student who has been approved by the Test Administrator to start the wrong opportunity cannot be the basis for resetting an assessment opportunity. The assessment should be treated as an incomplete assessment opportunity and the student will have 45 calendar days or until the end of the testing window, whichever comes first, to complete that assessment opportunity.
How can we ensure that students do not cheat when they are taking an assessment on a computer?
The Hawaii State Science Assessments and End-of-Course Exams Test Administration Manual describes the online assessment security procedures in detail.
- A Test Administrator will be responsible for administering a test session and ensuring that the students taking an assessment are who they say they are.
- Students will take an assessment using a special browser that prevents them from doing anything on the computer except taking the assessment. This browser will not allow students to copy items or look up answers online.
- While taking an assessment, students will see different items in different sequences, so copying from one another will not help them.
- If a student ends an assessment session before answering all the items, the student will not be able to review previously answered items when finishing this assessment during a subsequent session, if more than 30 minutes have elapsed.
What should I do if something goes wrong during the assessments?
Testing incidents should be reported to your Test Coordinator, who will then report the testing incidents to the Department’s Assessment Section at 808-733-4100. In addition, the Test Administrator or Test Coordinator must complete the Testing Incident Report Form, found as an Appendix in the Hawaii State Science Assessments and End-of-Course Exams Test Administration Manual. The form should be faxed to the Assessment Section at 808-733-4483.
How will students and teachers get the HSA Science Assessment results?
Student results are available in the Online Reporting System. Users with the appropriate roles will be able to view results for their schools, classes, and students. If Teachers are entered in TIDE with their employee ID number, their class rosters that have been entered in Infinite Campus by their school clerk or registrar will be available in the Online Reporting System. Results will be available immediately after each assessment has been submitted for electronic scoring. Teachers can log on to see how their students performed.
Students will also receive their three-digit scale score on the computer screen immediately after they complete and submit their assessments (the TA Live Site does not display students’ scores).
Parents will still receive a printed family score report that displays their child’s highest score across all HSA Science Assessment opportunities at the beginning of the next school year. If they wish, schools may print and send online student score reports to parents during the school year after each opportunity has been completed; sample parent cover letters that can accompany these interim score reports are available at alohahsap.org on the HSA Science Resources page.
What types of results will be available?
Scale scores and related performance levels, i.e., well below, approaches, meets, and exceeds proficiency, and trend data over time are available for students in the Online Reporting System.
Scores are also available for grade levels and classes within a school in the Online Reporting System.
Current students’ scores from 2015-2016 are also available for teachers in the Online Reporting System. For details, please refer to the HSAP Online Reporting System User Guide, available on the HSA Science Resources page at alohahsap.org.
What do schools need to do technology-wise to get ready for the online assessments?
Each year, schools MUST install the correct, updated secure browser on each computer that students will use to access the online HSA based on the operating system. These browsers prevent students from accessing other computer applications while they are taking an assessment. Secure browsers from previous HSAP administrations (e.g., 2015–2016) will not work. Click here for information about installing the updated secure browsers and how to remove the previous browser(s).
Please refer to the HSAP Technical Specifications Manual for specific information about hardware, software, and operating system requirements and secure browser installation.
How many computers will we need to conduct the assessments?
The Department of Education recommends that each school has approximately one computer for every five to ten students; however, even fewer will work since not all students will have to access the online testing sites at the same time.
Appendix C of the HSAP Technical Specifications Manual includes a worksheet that can be used to determine the number of days needed for completing online assessments in your school. We strongly encourage you to use this worksheet to help develop your assessment schedules.
Note: When counting computers, you should only count computers in settings where groups of students can be assessed together. At least one computer in this setting should be reserved for the Test Administrator. Classroom settings where some students will be taking the online assessments and other students will be participating in learning activities are not appropriate for online HSA testing.
What is the maximum number of students in a school that can connect to the online HSA at one time?
In general, the performance of the online testing system will depend on a number of factors, including bandwidth, total number of students simultaneously testing, size of test content, secure browser installation, proxy server (if used), and wireless networking solution (if used). As the number of students testing increases, competition for network bandwidth increases. Network bandwidth resembles highway traffic; as the number of cars traveling on a given road increases, the speed of traffic flow decreases.
The optimal number of student workstations supported by a single wireless connection will depend on the type of networking standard being used for the connection. The two most common networking standards are 802.11g (54M bits per second) and the newer and faster standard, 802.11n (300M bits per second). Both the access point, which emits the wireless signal, and the computer’s wireless card, which receives the signal, will use one of these two standards. The recommendations below are based on the standard in use:
- Wireless connections using an 802.11g access point can reliably support a maximum of 20 PC and/or Mac workstations that use wireless cards with either the 802.11g or the 802.11n standard.
- Wireless connections using an 802.11n access point can reliably support a greater number of workstations; however, the make and model of the 802.11n access point will affect the number of additional workstations that the access point can support. Thus, the manufacturer’s documentation should be consulted for verification.
Typically, when all workstations are using an 802.11n wireless card, the 802.11n access point can support approximately 40 computers. In cases where the workstation wireless cards are a mix of both 802.11n and 802.11g, supported connections should not exceed 50 workstations.
How do I download and install the secure browser?
The updated secure browsers, along with installation instructions, are available on the Secure Browsers page. This page also includes information on how to uninstall/remove the previous secure browsers.
Additional information, including guidelines for installing the secure browsers over a school network, is available in the HSAP Technical Specifications Manual.
How do I disable pop-up blockers?
Pop-up blockers must be disabled to access TIDE, the Test Administrator Training Site, the TA Live Site, and the Online Reporting System. To allow pop-up windows, go to the menu option shown here for each browser:
- Firefox: Tools > Options > Content > uncheck “Block pop-up windows”
- Google Chrome: Menu > Settings > Show advanced settings > Privacy > Content settings > Pop-ups > select “Allow all sites to show pop-ups”
- Internet Explorer: Tools > Pop-up Blocker > Turn off pop-up blocker
- Safari: Application Menu (Safari) > Block Pop-up Windows (make sure this is unchecked)
What should I do if Internet access to the HSA testing site is slow and student computers are stalling or timing-out from testing?
If a student’s computer is slow or non-responsive, the student may be moved to another computer that was previously set up as a backup. If all student computers are slow or non-responsive for an extended period of time (more than several minutes), the Test Administrator may pause testing and work with the school’s Technology Coordinator to troubleshoot the school’s network. If the school’s network is stable, the Test Coordinator should reschedule the testing session and contact the HSAP Help Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-648-3712) to report the issue.
Note: The Department of Education recommends that the Assessment System Status (found at alohahsap.org) be checked prior to administering a test session. If the status for all systems is “fully operable,” then testing may commence. The Department of Education also recommends that a school’s bandwidth be checked prior to testing and that access to all bandwidth-intensive websites (e.g., Achieve 3000’s KidBiz and TeenBiz) be limited on the school’s network during online HSA testing.
What happens if the power goes out, a student accidentally switches off the computer, or we have another technology or power problem?
The online HSA system will not lose data if a student’s Internet connection is interrupted or the computer crashes or experiences a power loss. After the Internet connection and/or power source is re-established, a student may resume testing where he or she left off. The student may access previously answered questions during the current test session, as long as the connection was re-established within 30 minutes. Similarly, if classroom-wide access to the Internet goes down or the power goes out, students will have to resume their assessments when the Internet connection and/or power source is fully restored and consistent.
Note: Students will not be able to review previously answered questions, including marked (flagged) questions, if they resume the assessment more than 30 minutes after the last question was answered. The only exception to this occurs when a student was last on a reading passage that contained multiple questions and not all of the questions displayed on the screen had been answered. The student will be presented with that reading passage and all associated items and will be able to review the previously answered questions on that page.
If a student’s assessment or exam has been paused for more than 30 minutes due to a major disruption, such as a fire drill, a school-wide power or Internet outage, or a natural disaster, the Test Coordinator may submit a Grace Period Extension (GPE) request in TIDE that will allow the student to go back and review his or her answers to previously answered questions. However, the Test Administrator must immediately pause the student’s assessment and NOT allow the student to continue answering any further questions. If a student is taking an online HSA assessment, he or she must NOT be allowed to proceed to the next online HSA assessment opportunity within that particular content area. The Student Assessment Section will review the GPE request will be reviewed by the Student Assessment Section, and the Test Coordinator will be notified via email of the Student Assessment Section’s decision. The student should not resume testing in the particular content area until the Test Coordinator has received the Student Assessment Section’s decision.
Why are online assessments paused when automatic updates start running?
The secure browser and Test Delivery System ensure the security of the testing environment at all times. When the secure browser detects applications that are triggered, such as Internet Explorer, the Test Delivery System will pause the student’s assessment. A number of software programs, including antivirus software, have automatic updates enabled, and these often trigger the Internet Explorer process (or other application processes).
To prevent students’ tests from being paused, check software settings and determine whether auto-updates are enabled. If they are enabled, you are encouraged to either disable them or schedule them to run outside of school hours.
May iPads and/or other mobile devices be used for testing?
Yes. Mobile secure browsers are now available for iPads and certain Android tablets. Further information is available in the HSAP Technical Specifications Manual and on the Secure Browsers page on the HSA portal website.
Additionally, AIR has worked with Google to develop a secure testing environment using Chromebooks. As a result, no secure browser is required on Chromebooks. Instead, students must log into a Chromebook using a specific computer login profile. Further information is available in the HSAP Technical Specifications Manual and on the Secure Browsers page on the HSA portal website.
What will happen if Test Administrators and students use netbooks that have screens smaller than 10 inches? (Note: The minimum recommended screen size is 10 inches and the minimum supported resolution is 1024 x 600.)
Individuals using netbooks with smaller screen sizes will still be able to access the online HSA system but may need to scroll down or across to see the complete screen. Students can also use the zoom tool in the Student Training Test and in the HSAP Secure Browser during assessments to enlarge the content on the screen.
Do we need audio devices for the assessments?
Schools need to provide headphones for students who use the text-to-speech (TTS) embedded designated support feature. No microphones are needed. Only students who are approved to use the TTS designated support may use the text-to-speech feature for the HSA Science Assessments.
Prior to student testing, the headphones and audio should be checked to ensure that the sound quality and volume settings are appropriate. To check that test audio can be heard, plug in the headphones and then launch the secure browser. On the login screen, click the link to navigate to the Practice and Training Tests. The audio settings can be made by clicking the [Run Diagnostics] link on the Practice and Training Tests login page, then navigating to [Text-to-Speech Check]. Follow the prompts to complete the TTS check. If your audio settings need to be adjusted, make the appropriate changes in the computer’s user interface, and then run the TTS check again.
Students who have TTS enabled for a test can adjust audio settings during the sound check. Students encounter the TTS sound check after they have been approved by the Test Administrator. Only those students who have TTS enabled for their test will see the TTS sound check. The sound check contains a sample audio clip that the student can play. An audio wizard on this page allows the student to adjust both the volume and the speed of the TTS sample. After adjusting the audio settings to his or her needs, the student is able to start the test.
The Text-to-Speech designated support for HSA Science Assessments can be enabled or disabled in the TA Live Site prior to approving a student’s test session. The TTS designated support setting can also be enabled or disabled prior to testing via TIDE. Students who need to practice taking online assessments using TTS must use the secure browser to access the Student Training Site. TTS is not supported when using web browsers.
Can Principals, Test Coordinators, Test Administrators and Teachers use the same passwords for 2016-2017 that they used for 2015-2016?
No. In order to preserve assessment security and student privacy, all passwords for the online Hawai‘i Statewide Assessment Program (HSAP) systems must be reset each year. Previous users remain active in the system, but they will need to obtain new passwords. To obtain a new password, users should go to the TIDE homepage and click the “Forgot Password” link below the username and password login boxes. The user will need to enter his or her email address on the subsequent screen. The user will then receive an email with a secure link that will direct the user to TIDE. Here he or she will be prompted to change his or her password (a password must contain a minimum of six characters, including one number) and select and answer a security question. The secure link that is emailed to a user is unique and expires after 72 hours. The user will need to change his or her password and create a security question and answer in TIDE before he or she can log into other online HSAP systems.
Note: All users will need to activate their account in TIDE for the 2016-2017 test administration by creating a new password and security question and answer before they can log into other online HSAP systems. All users must understand that using another person’s username and password is prohibited, unless the user is given explicit permission to do so to resolve a reported problem. The user is responsible for keeping his or her username and password for all electronic applications confidential. Other users are not allowed to enter a user’s active test sessions other than to resolve specific problems. Sharing or transferring this information to any other person is not allowed.
What is my username?
Your username is the email address associated with your TIDE account. For most public school staff members, the username is their Lotus Notes email address: FirstName_LastName@notes.k12.hi.us. Public charter school staff members who do not use the Department of Education’s Lotus Notes email system will need to enter their unique email addresses as their usernames in TIDE.
What should I do if I have forgotten my password?
If a user forgets his or her password, the user must go to the TIDE homepage, click the “Forgot Password” link, and enter his or her email address on the subsequent screen. The user will then need to answer his or her security question. He or she will then receive an email with a secure web link that the user must click in order to change his or her password. A password must be at least eight (8) characters in length and must contain three (3) of the following:
- One (1) lowercase alphabet character
- One (1) uppercase alphabet character
- One (1) number
- One (1) special character
- The new password cannot be the same as your current or previous password.
If a user cannot recall the answer to the security question that he or she initially set, the user must contact the HSAP Help Desk at 1-866-648-3712 or email@example.com for further assistance.
Can a Principal enter more than one Test Coordinator for his or her school in TIDE?
Yes, a Principal may enter more than one Test Coordinator (TC) for his or her school in TIDE. However, a Principal will need to verify or update only one TC who will receive printed materials for the school for the Smarter Balanced, HSA Science, HSA-Alt, or EOC Exam administrations on the “Verify Contact Information” page. This TC will need to distribute any printed materials that are needed for each assessment or exam to the appropriate TC. A Principal must also enter that TC, and any additional TCs for the school, using the “Add Users” feature in the “Manage Users” tab. All TCs who are entered using the “Add Users” feature in the “Manage Users” tab will receive email communications about the online systems from AIR. The Department of Education’s Assessment Section will use its school contact file to send email communications to all TCs about HSAP testing information.
What is the role of a Teacher versus the role of a Test Administrator? How does a Test Coordinator give a staff member dual roles?
The Test Administrator (TA) role allows users access to the TA Live Site for administering assessments. In the TIDE system, TAs will have access to “Plan and Manage Testing” under “Administering Tests,” which allows users to generate customized reports in order to monitor their students’ activity and progress in the online assessment system. However, TAs do not have access to score reports. Teachers (TEs), on the other hand, cannot administer assessments but have access to their students’ score reports in the Online Reporting System (ORS).
To assign a staff member both the TA and the TE roles, Test Coordinators (TCs) will need to enter that person in the TIDE system twice; first with one role, then with the second role. The “Upload Users” task, which allows TCs to upload a spreadsheet, may be helpful for uploading multiple users who need multiple role associations. Please refer to the Upload Users section in the HSAP TIDE User Guide for more detailed information on how to upload the spreadsheet to TIDE.
Can a long-term substitute teacher be added in TIDE as a Test Administrator?
Table 4 (Personnel Who May Serve as Test Administrators) in the Hawaii State Science Assessments and End-of-Course Exams Test Administration Manual identifies the school-level personnel who may administer the online HSA Science Assessments. If a long-term substitute Teacher (TE) meets the specified requirements for serving as a Test Administrator (TA), then the Test Coordinator (TC) may add him or her to TIDE with the TA designation, using the “Add User” or “Upload Users” feature in the “Manage Users” tab in TIDE. Long term substitute teachers who do not use the Department of Education’s Lotus Notes system will need to have their unique email addresses entered as their usernames in TIDE by the Test Coordinator.
What is the eight-digit employee ID number that is needed when entering Teacher users in TIDE? Why is this needed?
This number can be found on an employee’s HIDOE ID badge or in the employee’s detailed Lotus Notes information. This number is needed to associate the class roster(s) assigned to each teacher in Infinite Campus by his/her office clerk or registrar that is included in the nightly upload to TIDE with these same teachers whose roles as TEs have been created by the Test Coordinator in TIDE. These TEs will then have access to the student score reports for their associated class rosters in the Online Reporting System.
What should a Test Coordinator do if he or she enters incorrect information (name, phone number, email address, employee ID) for a Test Administrator or Teacher in TIDE?
If a Test Coordinator (TC) enters an incorrect email address for a Test Administrator (TA) or Teacher (TE) in TIDE, the TC should delete the TA or TE’s record from TIDE and add the record again with the correct email address.
However, the TC may edit a TA or TE’s name, phone number, employee ID, or role if it has changed since it was initially entered correctly by selecting the “View/Edit User” function and editing the information in the appropriate field(s); the TC does not have to delete and then add the TA or TE to TIDE again to edit this information.
How does student information get into the online HSAP system? Does a Test Coordinator need to enter it?
Student information is uploaded nightly from the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s electronic Infinite Campus and Comprehensive Student Support System (eCSSS) into the online HSAP system. Test Coordinators (TCs) and Test Administrators (TAs) do not need to enter any student information. Student information will appear in TIDE about 48–72 hours after it has been entered by the identified school staff members in Infinite Campus and eCSSS.
If, during an assessment, a TA or TC notices that student information is incorrect, he or she will need to ask the office clerk (for elementary schools) or registrar (for secondary schools) to make the change in Infinite Campus; the updated information will then be uploaded in the TIDE system within 48–72 hours after it has been entered in Infinite Campus.
A student who transfers from one Hawai‘i public or public charter school to another Hawai‘i public or public charter school will appear in TIDE about 48–72 hours after his or her information is updated in Infinite Campus, if the student has been removed from the previous school’s Infinite Campus file. The student must be removed from the previous school’s Infinite Campus file and his or her information must be associated with the new school’s Infinite Campus file before the student will appear in TIDE and can be tested at his or her new school.
A home-schooled student’s enrolled grade level appears in TIDE as “00,” and the student is unable to be courtesy tested. How can the Test Coordinator change the student’s grade level in TIDE?
By default, courtesy-tested students are assigned an enrolled grade of “00.” These students cannot take the grade 4 or 8 online HSA Science Assessment or the grades 3-8 or 11 Smarter Balanced ELA/Literacy and Mathematics Assessments until they are assigned a valid tested grade. The tested grade for each courtesy-tested student must be set in TIDE by HIDOE’s Assessment Section. Test Coordinators (TCs) must submit the courtesy testing request form found in TIDE’s “Download Forms” tab, the Hawaii State Science and End-of-Course Exams Test Administration Manual, or the Smarter Balanced Test Administration Manual to the Assessment Section to request that a student’s grade level be entered in TIDE. A home-schooled student should not report to the school to be tested until an Assessment Section staff member informs the TC that the student can access the appropriate statewide assessments that the parents have requested.
Can a Test Coordinator set a designated support or accommodation for a student after the student has begun a test opportunity?
Yes, a designated support or accommodation may be set for a student after he or she has already begun a test opportunity. The Test Administrator (TA) should have the student pause his or her test. If the designated support or accommodation can be set in the TA Live Site, the TA may set the accommodation in the TA Live Site and have the student log back in to his or her test session. The designated support or accommodation will be in effect once the student logs back into the test session. If the designated support or accommodation cannot be set in the TA Live Site, then the Test Coordinator (TC) must set the designated support or accommodation in TIDE, and the revised designated support or accommodation setting will be in effect the next time the student logs back in to the test session.
Note: The Language selection, i.e., English or Braille, may not be changed after a student has begun a test opportunity. Once a student has started a test in English, the setting cannot be changed. If a student has started a test opportunity with the incorrect Language feature, the student’s test should be immediately paused, and the Test Coordinator should call (1-866-648-3712) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) the HSAP Help Desk staff for further assistance. The HSAP Help Desk hours are 7:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time, Mondays through Fridays (except on holidays).
How can a student’s score be suppressed in TIDE?
By default, a student sees his or her test score when the student completes and submits his or her HSA Science Assessment or EOC Exam for scoring. Test Coordinators (TCs) have the ability to suppress a student’s score from being displayed on his or her screen when a test is completed, if the staff members who provide services for the student think that displaying the score will be upsetting.
Only TCs may suppress a student’s score by changing the “Suppress Score” attribute in a student’s record using the “View/Edit Students” task in TIDE. Test Administrators (TAs) cannot change this setting during testing. A TC should inform a TA in advance if a student’s score will be suppressed for any of his or her test opportunities.
This feature is configurable by subject and must be edited for each individual student record.
Note: Students will not see their Smarter Balanced ELA/Literacy or Mathematics Assessment score because their typed answers must be hand scored before their scores can be posted in the Online Reporting System.
How do I submit a test impropriety request for a student?
The Test Coordinator (TC) is the only user able to submit a test impropriety request in TIDE. The HSAP TIDE User Guide lists the various types of requests that may be submitted via the “Test Impropriety” task tab in TIDE.
Using the “Create Test Impropriety” task in TIDE, a TC can submit a test impropriety request for one student at a time. You can submit each request based on the student’s SSID, result ID, or test session ID. You must enter a reason for the test impropriety request for each student in the “Reason” field.
A TC can use the “Upload Test Impropriety” task to submit test impropriety requests for more than one student at a time. Please refer to the HSAP TIDE User Guide for instructions on how to upload a test impropriety file in TIDE. As with the “Create Test Impropriety” task, you will need to provide the student’s SSID, result ID, or test session ID, along with a reason for the request, in the file to be uploaded.
The Assessment Section will decide the action that will be taken for each test impropriety request submitted. Every effort will be made to review each request in a timely manner. Once the Assessment Section has taken action on a request, a TIDE notification email is sent to the TC who submitted the request. The TC can then view the Assessment Section’s action on the request using the “View Test Impropriety” tab in TIDE.
Students for whom test impropriety requests have been submitted should NOT resume testing until the TC has received the Assessment Section’s decision regarding each request.
Please contact the HSAP Help Desk at 1-866-648-3712 or email@example.com for further assistance with submitting or viewing test impropriety requests.