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Student Accessibility Assessment System. New Hampshire Department of Education.
The Student Accessibility Assessment System (SAAS) Project is a collaborative effort to develop and validate a comprehensive set of technology based resources that meet four critical needs that must be addressed in order to improve the assignment of test accessibility options and to improve the validity of test-based inferences about student achievement, particularly for students with disabilities, special needs, and/or who are English language learners. These needs include: a) improving educator understanding of accessibility options that are available in computer-based test delivery environments; b) providing tools that allow educators to work individually with students to explore test accessibility features that may help improve access for each individual student during testing; c) creating better opportunities for students to develop familiarity and comfort using computer-based test accessibility tools prior to testing; and d) providing educators with empirical evidence that a selected tool or set of tools benefits the student while performing test items.
To meet these needs, the SAAS project has developed technology based resources that provide: a) users with rich information about accessibility options available for computer-based tests; b) tools to help users make informed decisions about the use of specific accessibility options and combinations of these options; and c) measures to assess the effectiveness of selected options for improving student access to test content.
Members of this collaborative project include 11 states (NH, VT, ME, RI, CT, MT, UT, SC, MD, FL, and MN), and experts from the University of Oregon, Boston College, the National Center for Educational Outcomes, CAST, Measured Progress, Nimble Innovation Lab, ETS, American Printing House for the Blind, and Gallaudet. This is a Grant for Enhanced Assessment Instruments funded by the U.S. Department of Education. January 2011 – August 2012.
Spring 2012 NECAP Use of NimbleTools
Who is participating?
In the Spring of 2012, selected students from schools in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island will participate in the project by using NimbleTools to take the 4th, 8th, and 11th Grade NECAP Science Assessments. Based on the decision of teachers and test coordinators, students will have access to the following tools:
- Read Aloud Text Only
- Read Aloud Text & Graphics (11th Grade Only)
- Background Music
- Color Overlay
- Reverse Contrast
- Choice of Font and Background Colors
– Detailed Descriptions of the tools
– NimbleTools Orientation movies
What is required to have students in my school participate?
All schools must have a representative attend a 15 minute NECAP/NimbleTools WebEx training session. Please register at http://iregister.measuredprogress.org to attend one of the training sessions on March 27th at 9am or March 28th at 2pm. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not able to attend a webex session but would like to have students in your school use NimbleTools to take the NECAP Science Test.
If your school has not participated successfully using NimbleTools in recent years or if your school is increasing the number of participating students by 10–15%, you must complete a full Network Load Test. At a minimum, schools must conduct a single computer login test run on a computer that will be used on the day of testing to ensure network connection is working properly. We will send you information to complete this test of your technology after confirming your attendance at the training Webex session.
How do I know if my school meets the minimum technology requirements?
In order to participate, your school must have Internet connected computers that meet the minimum technology requirements listed below:
- Windows: Intel Pentium 1.0 GHz or faster, 256 MB RAM, Windows 2000 SP4, XP SP2, Vista
a) PowerPC G3 1.0 GHz or faster, 256 MB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.10 or 10.5.x
b) Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz or faster, 256 MB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.10 or 10.5.
All participating schools will be required to complete a network load test to ensure your school network has appropriate capacity. Information about conducting the network load test will be distributed via email after confirming Webex training attendance, you can also find Network Load Test Instructions on the Schools page of this website.
Please visit the Technical Requirements page for further information.
Which students can participate in this project?
Only those students who would be better able to access the test content by using one or more of the above accessibility tools are allowed to participate.
How will students know how to use NimbleTools and the accessibility tools?
There is a general NimbleTools orientation and specific accessibility tool orientations posted at on the orientations page. Please have students view these orientations before taking the practice test.
Practice tests will be available beginning March 1, 2012.
How do I select accessibility tools for students to practice with?
After linking to the practice test, you will see a screen where you can select accessibility tools. Click on the tools you would like the student to have access to for the practice test. If you would like to change the accessibility tool settings, just exit NimbleTools and restart.
Will the practice test be scored?
No, the purpose of the practice test is to have students become familiar with the accessibility features in NimbleTools. There will be a summary screen at the end of the testing session showing all students answers, you will have the ability to print this screen.
Do computers need Internet connectivity for the practice test?
You will need to have Internet connectivity to practice NimbleTools and to take the Operational test in May. Due to reliability issues, wireless connections are not recommended. Technical Details
How many times should a student practice with NimbleTools?
The student should practice as many times as is appropriate for him or her to understand how to use the accessibility tools. We suggest that each student practices at least two times.
Students will have fromMarch 15 until scheduled testing begins in May to become familiar with the accessibility features included in this project. Teachers or test coordinators must register students to participate in the operational test use of NimbleTools using the School Administrator Tool online application.
Please note that assigning tools for the operational test is a different process must be completed prior to student testing. Please think carefully about matching your student's needs with suggested access tools. Providing students more tools than they need can actually make the test more confusing and more difficult.
How do I register students to use NimbleTools?
- your school meets the technology requirements,
- your Principal or designated Test Coordinator attended a WebEx training session,
- you have completed the network load test,
- you have students who would both benefit from using NimbleTools and want to use NimbleTools
...you must register them to participate using the Administrator Tool application. There are specific instructions on how to use the School Administrator Tool at the Nimble Administrator Instructions page. There is no cost to register students!
Who may register participating students and assign accommodations?
Access to the School Administrator Tool, which permits student registration and assignment of accommodations to specific students, is controlled by access to the school’s assigned password. Username and Password sheets will be mailed to school principals immediately following the training sessions.
Which students are listed in the rosters available in the Administrator Tool?
All 4th, 8th, and 11th grade students in NH, VT, and RI that are currently in Measured Progress’s student database are listed in the Administrator tool. Each school will only have access to their student names. If students are not listed, schools will be able to add students to the test roster.
How Can I Get Help or Ask Questions?
If you have questions about NimbleTools or the specific accessibility tools, please go to the Detailed Description of Tools page. If you have further questions, please email us at email@example.com or call the Nimble Innovation Lab toll free at (877) 636-0371.
Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org