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OAKS, or Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, assesses students’ mastery of Oregon content standards. OAKS Online now includes the new Smarter Balanced assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics.
AIR recently discovered an issue in which the 2016-2017 versions of the Secure Browser may not properly launch when using a proxy server with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. This issue has not been reported by any users in Oregon.
The “Proxy Settings for Desktop Secure Browsers” section of the Secure Browser Installation Manual has been updated to include ‘hash64’ encoded URLs to the command line codes for setting the proxy on all operating systems. Schools and districts with proxy servers should use these updated commands to pass proxy settings to the Secure Browser so that it will launch successfully. If you need assistance installing the 2016-17 secure browser, please contact the AIR helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-509-OAKS (6257).
On October 21, the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) of the OAKS system will be taken offline in preparation for the launch of the 2016-17 version on October 27. Each year it is ODE policy to delete all students from TIDE and re-import basic student information (SSID, school and district, demographics, etc.) from the SSID System after TIDE reopens. Test settings will not be re-uploaded. As such, it is recommended that users do not modify any student settings for the 2016-17 school year in TIDE prior to October 27, as these changes will not be saved for the upcoming testing window. Schools and districts can update student test settings following the launch of the new version of TIDE.
Additionally, as in the past, user accounts will be deleted when TIDE is taken offline. When TIDE reopens, ODE will add District Test Coordinator (DTC) users to TIDE after DTCs have completed their 2016-17 training requirements. As in past years, DTCs may then request a list of the users in their districts from the previous year from their ESD partner to facilitate the creation of user accounts for 2016-17.
The OAKS Online Systems Scheduled Downtime for the 2016-2017 school year is now available at oaksportal.org. This schedule lists the dates that OAKS Online Systems (operational tests, practice tests, TIDE, online reporting) will be offline for maintenance and deployments. Districts should refer to this schedule when planning assessment administration for the 2016-2017 school year.
Districts receiving Kindergarten Assessment materials will receive a packing slip inside each shrink wrapped package that states, “Secure Materials” at the top of the page. This wording on the packing slip was used by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in reference to the type of packaging used, and was not meant to characterize the security of the Kindergarten Assessment materials. As a reminder, the 2016-17 Kindergarten Assessment materials are not secure materials. AIR regrets causing any confusion.
If you have any questions regarding the security of the 2016-17 Kindergarten Assessment materials please contact your ESD partner.
The Linux secure browser for the 2016-2017 school year (version 9.1) is now available on the OAKS Portal for download. Installation information can be found in the 2016-2017 version of the Secure Browser Installation Manual.
The Windows and Mac OS X secure browsers for the 2016-2017 school year are now all available for download. As previously announced, the Linux secure browser will be released on Friday, July 22.
In coordination with the release of the Windows and Mac OS X secure browsers, the Secure Browser Installation Manual, Technical Specifications Manual for Online Testing, and Operating System Support Plan documents have been updated to reflect 2016-2017 information.
As stated in the Oregon Accessibility Manual, the Smarter Balanced Math tests support full Spanish translation of each Math stimulus and item that appears stacked above the original English. In the past weeks, ODE has received a number of questions regarding stacked Spanish/English math items that have drag-and-drop answer areas that are only presented in Spanish (not stacked Spanish/English). This specific item type was designed to only allow for one answer area, requiring the Smarter Balanced Consortium to choose between presenting the answer area in either Spanish or English, not both. Given this design limitation, the Smarter Balanced Consortium prioritized displaying the answer area in Spanish instead of English to best align with the accessibility guideline of providing translation for students whose primary language is not English and who use dual language supports in the classroom.
In response to the concerns which ODE has shared about this item type on behalf of Oregon school districts, the Smarter Balanced Consortium has indicated that they are working with their technical team to identify ways to provide more flexibility for items of this type, and that they are working with their mathematics content team to limit the continued development of this item type until the technology can be updated to provide greater flexibility. For students who are assigned the Spanish translation support for the Math test, please use the practice test and explain to the student before testing begins about this item type to evaluate whether the student’s language needs will be best met by taking the test in English or in Spanish, recognizing that if the student tests in Spanish, for this particular item type, the answer area will be presented in Spanish only.
AIR has identified an issue on all Mac operating systems in which students that have American Sign Language (ASL) videos enabled are unable to view the ASL video content. AIR recommends that students with American Sign Language accommodation test on a computer with a different operating system for 2015-16 test administration.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
For ELA Performance Tasks, the word pronunciation feature of the embedded dictionary is only available on non-iOS devices. Please ensure that another supported platform is available for students who need access to this feature.
Users that update their Windows computers to Windows 10 after installing the OAKS Secure Browser have reported that the Secure Browser often does not open correctly following the update. When this happens, resetting the Secure Browser profile as described in Appendix B of the Secure Browser Installation Manual resolves the issue. Your regional ESD partner is available to answer questions.
As previously announced, the OAKS Diagnostic Tool includes a page that is designed for testing headsets for use with ELPA21. To access this tool, open the secure browser, click on the link to go to the Practice Test site, and then click on the link to “Run Diagnostics.” When the diagnostic tool opens, click on “Recording and Playback Check.” You will be taken through a series of checks to evaluate how the headset performs with listening and speaking items. The diagnostic check was previously only available for desktop and laptop computers running supported versions of Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. AIR has now expanded the diagnostic check so that it can be used to evaluate headsets with iPads and Chromebooks.