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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.
Over the past 12 months, a task force with the ELPA21 consortium has been working to prepare the ELPA21 Screener for use in the identification of English Learners in our schools. As part of the quality testing of this new online English proficiency screener, school district staff across the state are welcomed to participate in the pilot study for the ELPA21 screener. The recruitment information for participation in this pilot went to District Test Coordinators and Title III directors on Thursday, February 16, 2017. That information includes the link for registering as a Test Administrator of the screener pilot, and includes the requirements for participation.
If you are interested in learning more about the ELPA21 Screener Pilot and in registering to participate, please click here.
In an announcement on January 26, AIR noted that Chrome OS 56 would resolve an issue with the ELPA21 recorder based on a beta version of the operating system tested by AIR. However, the official release of Chrome OS 56 last week did not include the fix for this issue. AIR has contacted Google to request the recorder fix be released as a patch for Chrome OS 56. AIR will provide more information about the release of this patch as it becomes available.
In the meantime, HP, Samsung, ASUS, and Dell Chromebooks that were unable to be used for recording ELPA21 Speaking responses on Chrome OS 55 will have the same issue on Chrome OS 56. AIR continues to recommend that all schools and districts using Chromebooks take a practice test on their devices to confirm that the recorder works correctly before administering an operational test.
AIR and ODE are now supporting Mac OS X 10.12 for student testing. On November 3, 2016, AIR identified an issue in which students were able to use Dictation or Siri while using the Secure Browser. This issue has now been resolved by adding these two programs to the list of forbidden applications that cannot be open while the Secure Browser is running. Schools and districts should ensure that Dictation and Siri are disabled prior to student testing. For more information on disabling Dictation and Siri, please see the Technical Specifications Manual. For a full list of operating systems approved for testing, please see the Operating System Support Plan.
The statewide test window for ELPA21 and Smarter Balanced ELA and Mathematics tests is now open. Schools and districts may now administer these assessments to students using any of the supported operating systems listed in the Operating System Support Plan. The TA User Guide has been posted to assist with any questions regarding test administration.
ELPA21 is now available in the student restrictions feature in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) ahead of its announced release date of February 10. Users can now block eligible* students from taking ELPA21 by using the Blocked Subject dropdown for individual students or using the Upload Student Restrictions feature for one or more students (*Eligible students are those that have their LEP Flag set to Y.) Scenarios when a school or district may wish to use the student restriction feature to block access to ELPA21 include students who will take the paper-based Braille form, students whose IEP is undergoing revision, or students whose test has been paused pending investigation of a potential test impropriety.
New for the 2016-2017 school year as a universal tool, students may have custom mouse pointers applied for all OAKS, Smarter Balanced, and ELPA21 tests that adjust the mouse pointer color and size. At this time, the custom mouse pointers are visible in all parts of the student test except when hovering over scroll bars and grid item answer spaces. When hovered over these areas the custom mouse pointers revert back to the default (standard) mouse pointer. AIR is currently working on a fix for this issue, however, the fix will not likely be applied until the 2017-2018 school year. Appendix A, Table 9, of the TA User Guide has been updated with a note about the custom mouse pointer functionality.
On January 26th and 31st, ODE’s test vendor, AIR, provided live demos for the field on how to access information using the Online Reporting System in the OAKS Portal. The training also included a PowerPoint presentation of new features that will be deployed on March 21, 2017 when the Smarter Balanced reports become available. The video recording and PowerPoint presentation of new features for the 2016-17 Online Reporting system have now been posted on the Assessment Training Materials webpage under “Optional Trainings”.
If you have any further questions about how to use the Online Reporting System, please contact your Regional ESD Partner.
On January 12, AIR and ODE noted that ELPA21 was missing from the student restrictions feature in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE). AIR expects to add ELPA21 as a selectable option to this feature by 6 am PT on February 10. At that time, users will be able to block eligible* students from taking ELPA21 by using the Blocked Subject dropdown for individual students or using the Upload Student Restrictions feature for one or more students (*Eligible students are those that have their LEP Flag set to Y.) Scenarios when a school or district may wish to use the student restriction feature to block access to ELPA21 include students who will take the paper-based Braille form, students whose IEP is undergoing revision, or students whose test has been paused pending investigation of a potential test impropriety.
Please note that, as the student restrictions feature will not be available for ELPA21 when the test window opens on February 7, schools and districts will need to use other strategies to manage which students test during the first week of the test window.
To provide increased clarity on which operating systems are supported for online testing, the resources tabs on the OAKS portal have been reorganized as outlined below:
An announcement on January 19 indicated that AIR had identified an ELPA21 recorder issue with Chrome OS 55 on a few specific devices. After further investigation, AIR has found that this recorder issue is present when using Chrome OS 54 or 55 on any HP, Samsung, ASUS, or Dell device.
Schools and Districts using these devices should use supported OSes 48-53 for ELPA21 test administration. Please note that Chrome OS 54 or 55 may be used on these devices for OAKS Science and Social Sciences and Smarter Balanced assessments. This issue with the ELPA21 voice recorder will be resolved in Chrome OS 56, which AIR expects to support for testing by mid-February. ODE and AIR will provide updates once the timeline for supporting OS 56 is confirmed.
AIR continues to work on the TIDE roster issue and expect this to be fixed by Monday, January 30 at 8:00 am PT. While the View/Edit/Export Roster and Add Roster features will be available, the Upload Roster feature will not be available during this time. This feature will be available again Monday, January 30 at 8:00 am PT. AIR and ODE apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
AIR has discovered an issue in the roster module of the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) that is creating duplicate associations between personnel and institutions. AIR expects a fix for this issue to be deployed late in the day on January 25. To lessen the impact of the issue and prevent the creation of more duplicate associations, the TIDE roster module will be unavailable from 1:00 pm PT on January 25 to 6:00 am PT on January 26.
ODE and AIR apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
This is a reminder of the upcoming scheduled downtime prior to the deployment of Smarter Balanced and ELPA21 assessments.
AIR and ODE previously announced that the first batch of 2016-2017 ELPA21 scores would be available in the Online Reporting System (ORS) on Friday, April 7, 2017. However, ORS will need to be taken offline in preparation for the deployment of these scores. In order to minimize the amount of ORS downtime that will occur during regular business hours, the first batch of ELPA21 scores will now be available on Monday, April 10. ORS will be offline from 5 p.m. PT on April 7 through 6 a.m. PT on April 10. ODE has updated Section 9.8 of the Test Administration Manual to note this change to the ELPA21 data delivery schedule. For a full schedule of system downtime, please see the OAKS Online Systems Scheduled Downtime.
An announcement on January 12 indicated that Chrome OS 55 was supported on all systems except the ASUS C201P device, as there is a compatibility issue with the ELPA21 voice recorder on that device. However, in response to reports to the help desk, AIR has conducted further investigations and identified that this issue also affects the HP XE 11 and Samsung Xe 303 in addition to ASUS C201P device. Schools and Districts using these devices should use supported OSes 48-54 for ELPA21 test administration. Please note that Chrome OS 55 may be used on these devices for OAKS Science and Social Sciences and Smarter Balanced assessments. This issue with the ELPA21 voice recorder will be resolved in Chrome OS 56, which AIR expects to support for testing by mid-February. ODE and AIR will provide updates once the timeline for supporting OS 56 is confirmed.
The Plan and Manage Testing Feature is now available in the Test Distribution Engine (TIDE). Schools and districts can now view participation reports and test completion rates for their students. This feature was available in the Online Reporting System in 2015-2016, but has been moved to TIDE for 2016-2017. Please see the TIDE User Guide for information about using Plan and Manage Testing.
The Student Test Restrictions feature is now available in the Test Distribution Engine (TIDE). Schools and districts can now block students from tests by using the Blocked Subject dropdown for individual students or using the Upload Student Restrictions feature for one or more students. The TIDE User Guide has been updated with information for using the Upload Student Restrictions feature. Note that AIR has discovered an issue in which ELPA21 is not available as a student restriction. The issue is currently being investigated and is expected to be resolved by the end of January.
AIR and ODE are now supporting both Chrome OS 54 and Chrome OS 55 for student testing.
The Operating System Support Plan reflects support for both Chrome OS 54 and 55 and has been updated with information about the ASUS C201P issue.
The OAKS Online Systems Scheduled Downtime for the 2016-2017 school year has been updated to reflect the adjusted ELPA21 test window. 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.
AIR has recently discovered an issue affecting use of the text-to-speech (TTS) designated support on the practice tests. TTS will read text incorrectly when used in the Chrome browser. AIR is currently investigating a fix for this issue. In the meantime, students wishing to familiarize themselves with the TTS tool should take the practice tests using the latest version of the Secure Browser for their operating system.
OAKS Science and Social Sciences scores can now be viewed in the Online Reporting System (ORS). Scores will appear once a student submits their test. The 2016-2017 Online Reporting System User Guide has been uploaded to assist with any questions regarding ORS.
The statewide test window for OAKS Science and Social Sciences tests is now open. Schools and districts may now administer these assessments to students using any of the supported operating systems listed in the Operating System Support Plan. The TA User Guide has been posted to assist with any questions regarding test administration.
To support users in the transition to the 2016-2017 Online Reporting System (ORS), ODE and AIR have scheduled two optional webinars focusing on how to use the newly-redesigned ORS:
The same material will be covered in both trainings. While these webinars are open to any ORS user role, you must register in advance if you want to attend a webinar. To register, go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/7053862252250046977. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about how to log into the webinar. Please contact your Regional ESD Partner with questions.
AIR and ODE are now supporting iOS 10.2 for student testing. This version of the operating system fixes issues identified in iOS 10.0 and 10.1. AIR has posted an updated Operating System Support Plan that reflects support for iOS 10.2. Please note that due to continuing issues with iOS 10.0 and 10.1, these earlier two operating systems will not be supported for student testing.
District Test Coordinators and District Level Users can now set school-level test windows for 2016-17 in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE). This feature can be found under the Test Windows dropdown in the Preparing for Testing section in TIDE. For more information on adding or modifying test windows, please see the TIDE User Guide.
Scores for ELPA21 from the 2015-2016 school year are now available in the Online Reporting System (ORS) for all institutions and districts. For more information on using ORS, please see the Online Reporting System User Guide.
Apple recently released Mac OS X 10.12 for desktop systems. AIR’s preliminary testing identified security issues with this operating system. As such, Mac OS X 10.12 is not supported for any assessments at this time.
Additionally, Google recently released Chrome OS 54. AIR’s preliminary testing identified an issue with the text-to-speech tool for ELPA21 assessments only. As such, users with the Chrome 54 operating system installed on a Chromebook will be blocked from taking the ELPA21 assessments at this time. ELPA21 assessments can be taken on other operating systems or earlier versions of Chrome OS. ELPA21 practice tests can be taken in the secure browser on other operating systems and earlier versions of Chrome OS, and in the Chrome browser on any operating system other than Chrome OS 54.
AIR continues to investigate resolutions for the identified issues, and an announcement will be posted on the OAKS Portal if and when these operating systems are approved for testing.
Schools that use LightSpeed may encounter a problem with the Secure Browser due to the program running in the background. Students may be presented with a “Test Environment Not Secure” error message, preventing students from testing. The problem resides in the capture element of LightSpeed, which needs to be disabled in order to allow testing on the Secure Browser. This can be done in the ‘application policies’ setting. Schools and districts should contact their vendor with questions about updating this setting.
Updated Smarter Balanced Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA), ELPA 21, and OAKS Science and Social Sciences practice tests and an updated TA Training Site are now available. Practice tests can be accessed using supported web browsers or the Oregon Secure Browser. The 2016-2017 TA User Guide has also been posted in the Resources section of the OAKS Portal and on the ODE website.
These practice tests provide an opportunity for Oregon teachers and students to familiarize themselves with the navigation and functionality of the online tests, as well as with the embedded accessibility supports described in the Oregon Accessibility Manual. The TA Interface has been updated this year to make it easier for test administrators to identify and select the tests they want to administer. All test administrators, including test administrators who have used the TA Interface in previous years, should practice setting up a test session using the updated TA Training Site prior to administering an operational test.
Smarter Balanced Mathematics and OAKS Science and Social Sciences tests include a different calculator than the one used in previous years. It is recommended that students use the practice tests to familiarize themselves with this new calculator. A Calculator Manual has been posted to the Resources section of the OAKS portal for further information.
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 email@example.com or 1-866-509-OAKS (6257).
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.