Minnesota Assessments Portal Home Portal Resources Portal

Resources

The resources section of the Minnesota Assessments portal has been redesigned. To access resources, hover over each tab at the top of the page. Select an option from the drop-down menu to view the available resources. Click on a subsection to view the available resources.

General Resources

Resource Description

This document provides information about responsible test administration practices, policies, and procedures for the Minnesota Assessments.

The Minnesota Interpretive Guide is intended to help educators understand the results of the Minnesota Assessments. The guide provides basic information about each assessment, describes each available report, and suggests ways to use the results.

This table shows the systems, tasks and features that each user role in AIR’s online systems is able to access. Note: User roles have not changed for 2013–2014.

User Guides

Resource Description

This user guide provides detailed information on how to use the Data Entry Interface to enter student responses. Last Updated: February 27, 2014

This user guide provides information on how to use the Online Reporting System to view student performance and participation data and plan online testing. Last Updated: March, 19 2014.

This document contains the file format layouts for the downloadable files available in the Online Reporting System. Last updated: March 19, 2014.

This user guide is designed to familiarize teachers with the Learning Point Navigator system. Teachers can use this application to create assignments for students in a subject and/or specific content area. Last Updated: December 17, 2013.

This user guide provides information on how to use the Test Monitor Interface and Test Monitor Training Site, as well as the Student Testing Site and Online Item Samplers for the Minnesota Assessments.

This user guide for AIR’s Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) system provides information on managing users and student test data, and ordering accommodated materials. Last Updated: December 16, 2013.

This document provides solutions to common problems encountered during online testing.

Student Resources

Calculators

Resource Description

This manual provides information on using the calculators available with Minnesota Assessments.

Available in the online grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 Mathematics MCA and Mathematics OLPA; grades 5 and 6 MCA-Modified; and the grades 5, 8, and high school Science MCA.

Note: For desktops and laptops, calculators are supported in Firefox only; they may be accessible in other browsers but may not function optimally. For Android tablets, Google Chrome is the supported browser; for tablets running Apple iOS, use the native Safari browser.

Available in the online grades 7, 8 and 11 Mathematics MCA and MCA-Modified, grades 7 and 8 Mathematics OLPA and Mathematics GRAD retests.

Note: For desktops and laptops, calculators are supported in Firefox only; they may be accessible in other browsers but may not function optimally. For Android tablets, Google Chrome is the supported browser; for tablets running Apple iOS, use the native Safari browser.

Available in the online Mathematics GRAD retests, grades 8 and 11 Mathematics MCA and MCA-Modified and grade 8 Mathematics OLPA.

Note: For desktops and laptops, calculators are supported in Firefox only; they may be accessible in other browsers but may not function optimally. For Android tablets, Google Chrome is the supported browser; for tablets running Apple iOS, use the native Safari browser.

Available in the online grade 11 Mathematics MCA and MCA-Modified

Note: For desktops and laptops, calculators are supported in Firefox only; they may be accessible in other browsers but may not function optimally. For Android tablets, Google Chrome is the supported browser; for tablets running Apple iOS, use the native Safari browser.

Student Tutorials

Resource Description

The GRAD Student Tutorial is designed to provide students with an overview of the Reading and Mathematics GRAD tests. The tutorial shows students how to navigate through the tests, how to use both generic and subject-specific student tools, and how to answer questions. A transcript of this tutorial is available as an additional resource.

The Online Student Tutorial for Mathematics, Reading, and Science assessments is designed to provide students with an overview of the online Mathematics MCA, Mathematics MCA-Modified, Reading MCA, Reading MCA-Modified and Science MCA. The tutorial shows students how to navigate through the tests, how to use both universal and subject-specific tools, and how to answer different types of test questions. A transcript of this tutorial is available as an additional resource.

Gridded Response Tutorials

Resource Description

This tutorial shows Grades 5–6 students how to use the gridded response format used for some items on the paper Mathematics MCA.

This tutorial shows Grades 7–8 students how to use the gridded response format used for some items on the paper Mathematics MCA.

This tutorial shows Grade 11 students how to use the gridded response format used for some items on the paper Mathematics MCA.

Mathematic Formula Sheets

Resource Description

Formula sheet for the Grade 5 Mathematics Assessment.

Formula sheet for the Grade 7 Mathematics Assessment.

Formula sheet for the Grade 6 Mathematics Assessment.

Formula sheet for the Grade 8 Mathematics Assessment.

Formula sheet for the Mathematics GRAD Assessment.

Formula sheet for the Grade 11 Mathematics Assessment.

Technical Resources

Resource Description

This “End of Support” Plan establishes clear guidance to provide consistency and allow districts to anticipate which operating systems (OS) AIR’s secure browsers will support. This document is to help schools and districts manage support requirements and allow for both product and information technology planning in organizations based on knowledge of the support timelines.

This document provides instructions on how to use the diagnostic tools to help you prepare for online testing, including understanding how well your network will perform when using AIR’s Online Testing System and checking text-to-speech settings.

This document describes the steps necessary to verify site readiness for online testing.

This document contains the technical specifications for online testing for Technology Coordinators, including information about internet and network requirements, hardware and software requirements, secure browser installation, and information about text-to-speech and voice packs. Updated January 24, 2014.

This document provides an overview of the system requirements needed in order to run online Minnesota Assessments. Updated January 24, 2014.

This document provides solutions to common problems encountered during online testing.

Title I Manuals

Resource Description

This manual contains information about Title I test materials as well as the administration of all Title I Assessments (MCA, MCA-Modified, and MTAS).

Title I Directions

Resource Description

These Test Monitor and Student Directions for the Mathematics MCA are intended for those who will be administering paper tests. These directions will also be included in the shipments of paper testing materials.

These Test Monitor and Student Directions for the Reading MCA are intended for those who will be administering paper tests. These directions will also be included in the shipments of paper testing materials.

The Test Monitor and Student Directions for Paper Accommodations for Online Title I Tests are used for administration of paper accommodated test materials for Title I online assessments. They include scripted directions and information on entering responses into the Data Entry Interface.

The Test Monitor and Student Directions for the online Mathematics MCA, Mathematics MCA-Modified, Reading MCA, Reading MCA-Modified, and Science MCA have two components: Test Monitor Directions for Online Title I Tests and the Student Directions for Online Title I Tests presentation.

The Test Monitor Directions for Online Title I Tests include information on preparing for online test administration as well as starting, monitoring, and stopping online test sessions.

The Student Directions for Online Title I Tests presentation must be projected before they can begin a test. A transcript of the presentation is also available as an additional resource.

 

MTAS Resources

Resource Description

Use this form to record Learner Characteristics Inventory (LCI) data for the MTAS before entering it into AIR’s Data Entry Interface.

Each year, MTAS test administrators need to participate in MTAS training. MDE provides training in a web-based format that can be viewed individually or as a group. The training covers MTAS test materials, test administration policies and procedures, and scoring practices.

Use this form to record student performance on the MTAS before entering the data into AIR’s Data Entry Interface.

The version of this manual posted to the Minnesota Assessments Portal contains only the portion of the Task Administration Manual on administration guidelines, policies and procedures. Grade-level Task Administration Manuals shipped to districts also contain secure items, such as task scripts, reading passages and object lists.

GRAD Resources

Resource Description

This manual provides a description of the Graduation-Required Assessment for Diploma (GRAD) retests and information regarding training personnel, online testing and security. In addition, the manual reviews receiving test materials from DRC; preparing the materials and the test sites for online testing; administering the assessments; and collecting, packaging and returning test materials to DRC.

The Test Monitor Directions contain all information necessary for administering the Mathematics and Reading GRAD retests.

This document describes the reciprocity guidelines for high school graduation in Minnesota.

 

American Institutes for Research

Resource Description

All Test Monitors should review this course prior to administering an online assessment. This course provides an overview of the roles and responsibilities of Test Monitors administering online assessments and shows how to start, monitor, and end test sessions using the Online Testing System. A transcript of the course is also available.

This PowerPoint contains the training slides and notes for the 2013 Technology Preparation for Online Testing webinar.

This recorded webinar provides an overview to help technology staff plan for online testing for the 2013–2014 school year.

The AIR systems training webinars include information on the different AIR systems used during test administration, including the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE), Online Testing System, and Online Reporting System.

The recorded versions of the webinars contain the presentation slides and audio from the trainings.

The Power Point versions of the webinars contain the presentation slides and notes from the trainings.

This recorded live demonstration of Learning Point Navigator provides an overview from the teacher and student perspectives.

This PowerPoint contains the training slides and notes for the April 2014 Returning Test Materials to DRC webinar.

This recorded webinar provides information on Returning Test Materials to DRC.

This PowerPoint contains the training slides and notes for the March 2014 Placing Additional Orders, Verifying Student Eligibility in TIDE, and Receiving Test Materials webinar.

This recorded webinar provides information on Placing Additional Orders, Verifying Student Eligibility in TIDE, and Receiving Test Materials.

 

This PowerPoint contains the training slides and notes for the February 2014 Item Samplers and Operational Testing webinar.

This recorded webinar provides information on Item Samplers and Operational Testing.

Minnesota Department of Education

Training Resources

Resource Description

Title I Assessments provides district staff with an overview of the required Title I assessments administered annually, and includes information about the assessments, subjects covered and grades tested, modes of administration, testing windows, and available accommodations. A transcript of the training module and PowerPoint version presentation with slide notes version are also available as additional resources.

Training Module II: Administering the Graduation-Required Assessments for Diploma (GRAD) to Fulfill the Graduation Assessment Requirements provides district staff with an overview of the required GRAD assessments, and includes information about the assessments, modes of administration, testing windows, and available accommodations. A transcript of the training module and PowerPoint version with slide notes are also available as additional resources.

The Minnesota Assessments Test Security Training for Districts and Schools presentation provides District Assessment Coordinators a test security training that can be tailored to district and schools for annual staff training.

Additional resources include a link to the training videos referenced in the PowerPoint and a link to the recorded version of the train-the-trainer webinar that contains the presentation slides and audio from the live train-the-trainer session.

Please note: when using the training materials within your district, Internet access must be available to access the video clips.

Alternate Assessment Trainings

Resource Description

The Alternate Assessment Eligibility Requirements training provides information needed to determine how a student with a disability will participate in statewide testing and to understand eligibility requirements for the alternate assessments.

Each year, MTAS test administrators need to participate in MTAS training. MDE provides training in a web-based format that can be viewed individually or as a group. The training covers MTAS test materials, test administration policies and procedures and scoring practices.

MDE DAC Trainings

Resource Description

This training for new DACs provides an overview of policies and procedures related to administration of spring assessments, including MCA, MCA-Modified, MTAS, ACCESS for ELLs, Alternate ACCESS for ELLs, and the April Written Composition GRAD retest. General DAC roles and responsibilities are also covered. This training is intended for DACs who have been in the position for less than 3 years.

This Pretest Workshops for experienced DACs provides an overview of test administration policy and procedure changes for spring 2014 test administration, as well as provides preliminary information about changes for next year. This training is intended for experienced DACs who have been in the position for three or more years.

This training for new District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) provides detailed information about tasks that need to be completed during Pretest Editing in Test WES. It also includes test administration policy information needed to complete Pretest Editing (e.g., accommodation and alternate assessment decision-making). This training is intended for DACs who have been in the position for less than 3 years.

Training for new District Assessment Coordinators that provides information about general DAC roles and responsibilities, test security, policies and procedures related to administrations of GRAD and OLPA, and MDE training modules and resources. This training is intended for new Districts Assessment Coordinators who have been in the position for two or fewer years. Note: please email mde.testing@state.mn.us for the current version on the Important Dates handout if you did not attend the webinar.

The information presented in this webinar is a summary of the topics presented at the District Assessment Coordinator meeting on Wednesday, July 31. The discussion focuses on how the Minnesota Assessment System continues to fulfill state and federal obligations and includes an overview of current legislation, statewide testing policy and changes in format and design for individual tests.

MDE Assessment Conference

Resource Description

This video is a recording of the 2013 MDE Assessment Conference keynote address.

The video is available in two formats and can be viewed using Windows Media Player (.wmv) or QuickTime Media Player (.mov).

If you are a brand-new District Assessment Coordinator and are new to coordinating statewide testing for your district, this session will provide you with a basic understanding of where to find and how to use resources for developing successful test administration procedures.

 

This session will present an overview of the shifts that are occurring in classroom instruction to address the 2010 English Language Arts standards and how to connect those understandings to the Reading MCA-III. Participants will explore understandings of text complexity, informational text, reading in the content areas, and applications of the Achievement Level Descriptors.

This handout is an additional resource for the Developing and Using Common Assessments presentation.

 

This session is an introduction to AIR’s systems for new District Assessment Coordinators, including information on how to order additional test materials, how to view student eligibility for tests, how to administer online tests, and how to view student results.

This session is for new District Assessment Coordinators and will provide an overview of Test WES and MDE Secured Reports, as well as how DACs can use these systems and the resources within the systems before, during and after test administration.

This session provides administrators and classroom teachers using the Online Reporting System and Learning Point Navigator with information about how to navigate through the system and create student assignments.

This session will discuss the state of the Minnesota Assessment System in fulfilling state and federal obligations. The discussion will include an overview of current legislation, statewide testing policy and changes in format and design for individual testing programs. The information presented is a summary of the topics presented at the District Assessment Coordinators meeting on Wednesday, July 31.

After a brief review of the what and why of the Minnesota Common Course Catalogue K-12 course classification and data collection system, this session will be devoted to responding to questions from session participants. If you have questions about the work you are doing with the MCCC in your district, this session is for you.

This session will provide information to districts about ASSETS, the consortium developing ACCESS 2.0, the next generation of ACCESS for ELLs. In addition, we’ll discuss proposed revisions to the Alternate Model Performance Indicators and other potential changes impacting the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.

This session is Part 3 of the School Improvement Planning Process. Participants will walk through root cause analysis (RCA), a critical part of the action planning process within the continuous improvement cycle. There will be activities in discovering the root causes of achievement gaps and lower performance (while avoiding common obstacles), and this process concludes with methods for validating identified causes and pinpointing actions to counteract them.

This session is Part 1 of the School Improvement Planning Process. Are the dots being connected in schools’ efforts to increase student achievement? Are school plans gathering dust on a shelf? Learn about a systemic framework that connects the dots among school action plans and work occurring in leadership and learning teams, classroom instruction and student learning. Data-informed, organizational processes can guide the development, implementation and evaluation of instructional strategies and practices.

This session is Part 2 of the School Improvement Planning Process. It will provide participants with a variety of resources to support an emerging instructional leadership team. Participants will discuss the core components or essential functions of instructional leadership teams including the importance of essential constituent representation, communication loops and implementation monitoring.

This session is part 4 of the School Improvement Planning Process. Explore the essential structures and components for high-functioning learning teams that yield improved results for teaching and learning. Time will be dedicated to understanding how to develop a clear focus for learning teams, establishing data-driven processes, developing long-range plans for learning teams, and reflecting on the work of the leadership team with alignment to the School Improvement action plan.

This presentation will review commonly accepted tenets of modern validity theory; it will then focus on a controversial aspect of modern validity theory that has hampered practical validation efforts. An important modification to validity theory will be described and implications for future validation efforts will be provided.

 

Communications Director Keith Hovis will provide information on communicating assessment results in a meaningful way to parents, community and the media. You will learn tactics and tools to communicate your results, including the use of social media.

This presentation will discuss several approaches for measuring growth in achievement over time, including the growth z-score and vertical scale score used in Minnesota. Focusing on comparing and contrasting the different approaches and highlighting some of the key similarities and differences, participants should leave this session with a better understanding of growth z-scores and their limitations.

Changes? Proposed changes? What is REALLY happening to the mathematics assessments? The presenters will share the latest information for all levels of experience and allow time to answer your questions.

Participants will see how Depth of Knowledge levels can be used to create classroom items that allow students to develop deeper understanding and also provide teachers with more information about student thinking.

The Classroom Items that Help Teachers Prepare Students for Math MCA Items presentation also has several handouts that are available as additional resources.

Participants will examine how math concepts are represented across testing programs (MTAS, MCA-Modified, and MCA). We will then look at how instruction can be adapted to make concepts more engaging and accessible for all learners with disabilities.

An overview of the Reading MCA-III in the coming years. Topics include the administration process, standards alignment, and the computer adaptive engine. This session is intended for reading classroom teachers and has information for all grade levels.

Strategies for reading and thinking about informational text that address the new standards assessed by the MCA III Reading test will be demonstrated. The ART strategy guides students to activate background knowledge, develop pre-reading questions, and highlight key text. Close reading strategies teach students to think critically about text.

This handout is an additional resource for the Strategic Approach to Reading Informational Text for MCA Reading Success presentation.

This session will present an overview of the shifts that are occurring in classroom instruction to address the 2010 English Language Arts standards and how to connect those understandings to the Reading MCA-III. Participants will explore understandings of text complexity, informational text, reading in the content areas, and applications of the Achievement Level Descriptors.

A systematic, critical thinking approach will be presented that guides students to understand MCA-III Reading test questions and determine the best possible answers. Six types of questions, the thinking process required by each type, and the process of answer selection will be demonstrated.

This handout is an additional resource for the Reading the Test: Critical Thinking for MCA Reading Success presentation.

This session provides administrators and teachers with updates on the Science MCA-III. Current information will be provided on various aspects of this assessment, including the different types of data available and the use of achievement level descriptors and test specifications.

This handout is an additional resource for the Science MCA-III Updates presentation.

Participants will examine the data that is available from MCA as well as classroom assessment data, including common assessments and formative assessments, which add additional information. Using the data, presenters will explore resources, including the MN Mathematics and Science Frameworks website and the NSDL Science Literacy Maps, which provide suggestions for adjusting curriculum and instruction.

The first part of this session will cover online and paper/pencil testing logistics/procedures for building test contacts. Then presenters will cover effective procedures for training school staff. Materials that help with both processes will be available.

NAEP Tools[pdf]

NAEP has several tools for analyzing assessment data, contextual variables & released questions. A look at each will be presented.

Although between-group differences in performance can be reported using a variety of indices, difference in percent proficient is most often used. In this session, some alternative approaches will be reviewed, and results from the approaches contrasted.

This session will provide an overview of the Multiple Measurements Rating (MMR) and Focus Rating (FR) for all levels of experience. Participants will leave with an understanding of the proficiency, growth, achievement gap reduction and graduation rate data that are used in the MMR.This session will be hands-on in a computer lab. Participants must have a login identification and password to enter the MDE Secured Reports during the session.

This session will provide an overview of the statutory requirements for principal and teacher evaluation particular to student data, how the state example models utilize data, and how districts or states meet this requirement. Target audience is district personnel working on the design of their growth and evaluation models.

What impact does increasing the availability of AP, IB and other advanced courses have on college readiness? We addressed this by examining high school course taking patterns and college placement outcomes of over 3000 students while taking into account factors such as SES, attendance, prior-achievement and other key variables. This session will detail our results and help to inform districts’ strategies and decisions around increasing college readiness.

Research has empirically determined MAP scores that equate to a variety of achievement targets, including MCA proficiency and college readiness. Tools have been built to graph a student’s test history on MAP. NWEA norms can give us the likelihood of different growth rates. This session will explore one district’s use of technology to combine these elements into a single method of operationalizing “pathways” to college and career readiness.

This handout is an additional resource for the Pathways to College and Career Readiness presentation.

This session will examine a research study designed and implemented in the South Washington County Schools to identify effective instructional practices, using the Measures of Effective Teaching model to guide study design. This session is for anyone who wants to understand and discuss the technical and philosophical merits and challenges of identifying effective instructional practices.

This session provides introductory information to DACs and early learning staff on current activities related to kindergarten entry and includes opportunities to discuss (1) what constitutes best practice in early childhood assessment, (2) current instruments under review and (3) plans for kindergarten entry assessment implementation in coming years. Participants will examine tools and assessment strategies to take back to their district.

This session provides more experienced users with information about additional functionality and enhancements to the AIR systems, including the new student interface.

For the last three years, Mounds View Schools has had all high school Juniors participate in an on-site, school day administration of the ACT. This is part of an ACT program called District Choice State Testing. In this session, Assistant Director of Assessment and the High School ACT Test Coordinator will share experiences in regards to the district’s administration of the ACT to all Juniors.

This handout is an additional resource for the What It’s Like to Administer a College Entrance Exam to All Juniors presentation.