FAQ: Remote and PDIP Test Administration

NEW 3/3/2021: Are there resources available for programs to access regarding setting up the DRC Insight Portal and administering the TABE CLAS-E remotely?

Yes.  The CEA has created a document with links to all currently available resources.  You can access that document here.

DRC also has many videos and documents available within the Insight Portal.  After logging into the Insight Portal, click on the MY APPLICATIONS drop-down menu and select General Information.  You should see four tabs: Announcements, Documents, Downloads, On-Demand Tutorials.  Click on any of the tabs to see the resources DRC has provided.  NOTE: If you click on Documents, then you have to select TABE from the Administration drop-down menu and click on the button Show Documents.

NEW 3/3/2021: If a student exits the browser without ending the TABE CLAS-E test, does the student have to take the entire test again?

No.  The test will be submitted automatically at midnight.  You won’t get a score or be able to score the responses (depending on the subject area) until after that, but the student’s responses will be recorded.

NEW 3/3/2021: How are the breakout rooms used in the administration of TABE CLAS-E?

It depends.  Some programs have reported putting each individual student in a breakout room to test and if they have a problem or question, then they can return to the main room.  Some programs keep the students quietly testing in the main room and when a student has a problem or question, they move them into a breakout room.  In either of these scenarios, having two proctors (i.e., two test administrators or one test administrator and one tech helper) has been recommended, but not required.

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), can students learning remotely in other countries (i.e., Morocco, China, Columbia) while visiting family still take a TABE CLAS-E or TABE 11/12 sub-test?  

  • If your students are having issues with accessing their test administration while traveling internationally, check to see if the student can access other US based websites. DRC does not do anything to block international users and have had several users from South Korea, UAE, and all over the EU access the website without any issues.
    • If the student can access other US websites and their device complies with the minimum requirements for running the program, then please call the DRC helpdesk [1 (866) 282-2250] and they can help troubleshoot the issue. 
    • If the student cannot access other US websites, then the access issue is likely beyond our control. 
  • Alternatively, if the students are using Zoom while testing, then you could have the test administrator access the test session and give remote control of the testing webpage to the student.  This should allow the student to maneuver through the test as they would in a typical administration.  Use this link to access a document describing the process of giving remote control of your screen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1myvjUlUZiseuJ-AMzTR8etMxMA_wk9Rh/view?usp=sharing

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), can one program transfer TABE CLAS-E or TABE 11/12 test administrations to another program?

  • DRC explains that a reallocation of test administrations would require at least the minimum order be transferred (500 test administrations).  For example, if program A received a transfer of 500 test administrations from program B, then to “pay back” program B, program A would have to order 1000 test administrations and reallocate the 500 test administrations back to program B. 

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), can staff access the self-paced trainings for CLAS-E Reading and Writing Administration before the INSIGHT Portal is activated? 

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), can staff access the DRC materials before the INSIGHT Portal is activated for the program?

  • Any videos/materials from DRC are located in the Portal (e.g., videos and tutorials regarding setting up the portal for your site).

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), do you know if the Portal allows Proctors to look at the test to be familiar with the administration and the test set-up/format similar to the B+? (i.e., on the BEST +, you can go through an entire assessment administration to the very end and as long as you don’t click on “Score Test,” it doesn’t count as a used administration.) Is there a special practice link for administrators/proctors?

  • “Sample items of each type can be found in the Online Tools Training (OTT) for each subtest.  If DRC INSIGHT is installed, open the DRC INSIGHT Online Assessments software and select Online Tools Training. If DRC INSIGHT is not installed, OTTs can be accessed using Google Chrome at https://wbte.drcedirect.com/TABE/portals/tabe. Google Chrome is required to best emulate the functionality of the DRC INSIGHT secure browser.” (p. 7, TABE CLAS-E TAM)
  • There are very few items in the sample tests, so other programs have decided to use a few test administrations to ensure familiarity with the test administration process from all perspectives.

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), if test administrations are purchased and unused at the end of this fiscal year, will they ever expire?  In other words, if a program purchases the minimum 500 administrations, do they have to use them by a certain (expiration) date, or do they stay valid to carry over from one fiscal year to the next?

  • Response from DRC’s TABE Help Desk: “TABE and TABE CLAS-E sub-test administrations do not currently have an expiration date. We do suggest an annual purchase to ensure the account is kept active. Note that the policy is subject to change.”

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), is the locator test online, too?

  • The locator is online and does not use sub-test administrations.  The Locator Interview (Part B) is NOT online.

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), if a student needs to re-test, does the re-test count as an additional sub-test administration? 

  • A re-test does use another sub-test administration. 

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), if someone needs to re-test, does that have to be in a different testing session?

  • If a student does require a re-test, the re-test will need to occur in a different test session as certain test session’s parameters (test subject, level and form) cannot be altered once saved.

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), is there an automated indicator if a student needs to be retested on a higher/lower level of the test? or should we follow the usual UMA-CEA guidelines?

  • No, if a student needs to be retested you should use the CEA retesting guidelines as you would with the paper test administration.

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E Writing, does the portal automatically score the responses (i.e., give a score of number correct), and if not how do the tests get scored?

  • Multiple choice items are scored automatically by the system (Reading and Writing sub-tests). 
  • Writing folio scoring occurs in the INSIGHT portal by certified CLAS-E Writing scorers.  Some programs have generously shared the following process for scoring the Writing Folio responses:
    • After administering the online test, click on the print icon and either print to PDF or save as PDF via your printer settings.  You can print the responses as well and distribute them to scorers.
    • One certified scorer should reconcile the scores to determine the point value for each item (cannot enter half point values).
    • Enter the single digit score for each item into INSIGHT.
      • See the Selecting Responses to Score section of the TABE CLAS-E Test Administration Manual (TAM; p. 41-43)
      • See the Scoring Writing for TABE CLAS-E Online section of the TABE CLAS-E TAM (p. 46-48)
    • If you need to edit the scores after submitting, you can use the reset option – see the Re-Scoring Speaking/Writing for TABE CLAS-E Online section of the TABE CLAS-E TAM (p. 49-50)
  • IMPORTANT: When entering in the scores for the CLAS-E Writing Folio items keep in mind that INSIGHT displays the responses by item, rather than by student (i.e., item 1 responses for all students, item 2 responses for all students, item 3 …).  

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), I noticed that the examinees cannot use a phone to take the assessment. Do you know if they can use tablets, such as Chromebooks, iPads, etc? Or must they be on a PC or Mac?

  • IPads, Surface Tablets, and Chromebooks are sufficient to run the online assessment system. The DRC system does an operating system check and won’t proceed on a phone of any kind.  DRC specifically references the use of Google Chrome “to best emulate the functionality of the DRC INSIGHT secure browser.” (p. 7, TABE CLAS-E TAM Online)
  • Technical questions (and other questions regarding any aspect of TABE CLAS-E Online) can also be directed to DRC at the following telephone number and email address:
    • TABE Help Desk Hours: 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday–Friday.
    • TABE Help Desk Toll‑free telephone: (866) 282‑2250
    • TABE Help Desk Email: TABEHelpdesk@Datarecognitioncorp.com

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), do staff need to take specific training/additional training to administer the test remotely?

  • Programs should NOT pay for DRC training.  However, having test administrators walk through test session set up and administration to get a handle on what it looks like and how things work can be helpful.  It can also be helpful to have test administrators use a few test administrations as a demo to fully understand what students are looking at and working with.  We have provided links to all the resources DRC has available, including videos on how to do set-up and the online test administrator manual.  Staff should take a look at our materials but also refer to the materials provided by DRC.
  • A remote testing module has been added to the TABE CLAS-E Reading Administration and Scoring and the TABE CLAS-E Writing Administration self-paced modules provided by the CEA. 

New 1/13/2021: For TABE CLAS-E (Reading AND Writing), do we need special software to download the portal, or is it internet-based?

  • No special software is needed.
  • p. 9 of the TABE CLAS-E Test Administrator Manual
    • For computer‑based test centers, the training sessions noted above, along with information in this manual, are accompanied by the DRC INSIGHT Portal User Guide for TABE. This guide provides step‑by‑step instructions and other information regarding hardware and software requirements, which operating systems are supported, test navigation and tools, and troubleshooting.
    • Also included are detailed instructions for installation and deployment of the secure browser.

New 9/25/2020: Could I administer a test remotely via screen sharing and giving remote control of the test to a student?

  • Yes. In a one on one testing setting, where a student is struggling with logging in to either DRC INSIGHT (for CLAS-E Reading, CLAS-E Writing, or TABE 11/12) or OWL (for the MAPT-CCR), you could log in for the student and then through the remote control option within Zoom (and possible other videoconferencing platforms, pass control of the Internet browser window on your machine to the student to control and navigate through the test.
  • We do view this as a option that should be used sparingly, but may work for cases where the student is having trouble accessing one of the online test portals (INSIGHT or OWL) on their own device.
  • We have drafted a handout explaining the process of passing over remote control here.

NEW 9/19/2020: What are some strategies that programs are using for testing under remote and PDIP conditions?

  • In talking with programs, we have learned of different and creative approaches that programs are using to help get testing done this fall. We share these strategies knowing for each program has local constraints and staffing considerations, but these ideas may be helpful to others.
    • If you have access to volunteers, have them completed the online self-paced test administration training and then administer tests like MAPT-CCR and TABE. This may free up teachers so that they can focus on other aspects of their work, such as instruction.
    • For BEST Plus and other tests, at least one program is using a hybrid remote and physically distant approach. The program has two floors in their building, and the BEST Plus test administrator is upstairs and the student is downstairs. A staff member is available downstairs to help the student with the videolink to the ‘upstairs’ test administrator. This may help students who are unsure/unclear with technology to be tested in a supported way.

NEW 9/18/2020: How can I access the TABE Practice Tests?

  • If the link for TABE online practice tests (student view, https://wbte.drcedirect.com/TABE/portals/tabe) is not working, then use “TABE Test Online Portal” as your search term in your web browser and click on TABE Online Testing.
  • When you reach the website, click on “Online Tools Training”.
  • Then, select the test you would like to practice and follow the prompts.

NEW (9/18/2020): How do I transfer purchased BEST Plus 2.0 test administrations from one device to another remotely?

  • Options include giving test administrators access to main account and using the share screen and remote control approach to add test administrations to other devices remotely.

NEW (9/18/2020): How do I screen share and/or give remote control of my device to a student for MAPT and TABE CLAS-E testing?

  • For some students who have trouble managing multiple apps (browser and videoconferencing) and logging in to take MAPT and CLAS-E tests, you may consider one-on-one testing where you – the test administrator – logs in to the test on your device and then hands over control of the browser to the student who is remote. We’ve prepared a handout about this.
  • This may not work for all programs and situations, but is offered as a option for test administrators and learners in specific circumstances. You can use this approach with students who aren’t comfortable navigating videoconferencing and the internet browser. The test administrator can set up the testing session (login, test selection, etc.) before giving control of the screen to the student. Once the student has control of the test administrator’s screen, the session should proceed as directed in the remote guidance.

NEW (9/18/2020): How can I use one device to administer BEST Plus 2.0?

  • For BEST Plus with one device, you would use videoconferencing software and the BEST Plus test administration software on the same device (laptop/desktop/etc.). When a picture task is presented, you would screen-share the image to the student, they would respond orally, then “unshare” and score the student, and proceed through the test.
  • More details on the steps to administer the BEST Plus via Zoom are included in this handout.
  • CAL has also created a BEST Plus remote test administration demonstration video:

NEW (9/14/2020): For CLAS-E, I’m concerned about students managing the screen sharing with Zoom and the DRC test site.

  • In general, students should not have to use the screen share option.  This might occur if a student has a question regarding a specific question, but ultimately screen sharing for the MAPT-CCR, TABE 11/12, and TABE CLAS-E assessments should be minimal.  Screen sharing for BEST Plus test administrators will only be occur for the purposes of showing a student an image prompt (see BEST Plus via Zoom handout), and it’s only the test administrator sharing the screen with the student being tested.

NEW (9/14//2020): Does anyone have any advice for remote testing?

  • Suggestions from a test administrator:
  • Always allow your ZOOM session to be 45 minutes longer than you think you will need for tech issues.
  • Be prepared for at least 1 user per session to be kicked out because of internet or tech. Make sure you know how to get them back in.
  • Make sure you know how to guide students to turn off pop ups (this might be impossible if students are working from a Chromebook administered to their children through the public schools).
  • Make sure the “participants can share screen” option is turned on in your settings and in the settings of your organization!
  • ZOOM may not work well on older Chromebooks.
  • Program staff/test administrators should practice a lot on each other to think of trouble shooting and problems and to come up with good instructions to send out but also be prepared to help remotely.
  • Keep students in breakout rooms and move in and out of them constantly. 
  • If possible, have a second administrator in the session, and let people know how to ask for help from break out rooms and to be patient if helping another student.

NEW (9/11/2020): For BEST Plus 2.0, I was asked if we need to use 2 devices in order to test remotely. Is that true?

  • You can use 1 or 2 devices, whatever works for you as a test administrator. If you use 1 device, you’ll use screen sharing to share the picture tasks with the student who is testing remotely. If you use 2 devices, you’ll run BEST Plus software on one and the videoconferencing software on the other, and have to “show” the picture tasks to the students in a more manual way (such as holding one screen up to the other) so that the picture task can be seen by the student. 

NEW (9/10/2020): I’m completing the requirements to become a BEST Plus 2.0 test administrator, and I need to administer the test to at least 10 people for practice, and some of those need to be remote/over videoconferencing. Who can I ask to help me out?

  • Five of the examinees need to be non-native speakers of English.
  • Consider your family, immediate and extended, and personal friends and their families – anyone you can reach via Zoom, especially those whose L1 is not English 
  • colleagues (teachers, advisors, support staff), former colleagues 
  • neighbors – anyone who is over 16 is fair game. If you know a high school junior or senior on the street, you could test them and a couple of their friends. Their remote or hybrid learning schedules might make them more available now.
  • your networks: book groups, community groups, faith-based groups, political and/or organizing groups you have in your life, etc.
  • current students of yours in classes where the TABE or other assessment besides BEST Plus 2.0 will be used to measure gain
  • former students who have become friends, and their family and friends

NEW 9/9/2020: What is the script that TABE CLAS-E test administrators should follow when administering the test remotely?

NEW 8/31/2020: Is there a new module for MAPT test administration training that covers remote testing?

  • Yes! All of the online trainings have been updated to reflect new guidance for remote and physically distant test administration. All new test administrators will see the new modules when they take the online trainings. Existing test administrators do not need to retake any training, but they are asked to review the new modules for the test they plan to administer. All test-specific guidance is available on this blog site, on the homepage under COVID-19 Assessment Resources and also on each test-specific page here as well.

NEW 8/17/2020: Can the MAPT-CCR be administered on a smartphone?

  • Yes. It is strongly recommended that students take the MAPT-CCR on a desktop or laptop computer or a tablet, but a) if there are no other options for devices for students to take the MAPT-CCR, and b) if students are receiving instruction and completing class work/homework on their smartphone, in those limited circumstances programs can have students take their test on the smartphone that students have access to. The smartphone must have an internet browser installed and be capable of maintaining a videoconferencing link with the test administrator (e.g., Zoom, FaceTime, Google Meet, etc.).  
  • While the test can be administered on the smartphone, at present neither the OWL delivery platform nor the content of the MAPT-CCR is optimized for the screen of a small mobile device. With screen size limitations of a smartphone, students may need to scroll both up and down and left and right to view components of items (such as images and tables), and pinch in or out to enlarge or minimize the content of each item. Students taking a Math test will still have the option to use the calculator and the formula page with the items for which those features are available, but they may open in separate browser windows, depending on the device and browser used.
  • All test security guidance remains in effect with smartphone test delivery, including videoconference monitoring and reminders to students to not obtain assistance from others who may be nearby.  

Note: The questions below were received during the 7/9/2020 webinars.

Student Identification 

What types of ID are acceptable when assessing students (new and returning)? 

  • Any form of identification is acceptable and only necessary when the test administrator is not familiar with the student.  Types of ID can include mail sent to the student’s home address (i.e., utility bill), birth certificate, photo ID, etc.   
  • If the student being tested does not have access to any of the above, then programs can ask students to send a photo to the test administrator when they are setting up the test session.  The photo is then used as identification when the student signs into the test session. 
  • Social Security Numbers (SSN) do not need to be collected.  

Why do test administrators need to verify student identification for remote test delivery? 

  • Student verification is one of the requirements for remote NRS test administration from the Office of Career and Technical Adult Education (OCTAE). 

Assessment Policies 

Are County Houses of Corrections and Prisons held to all the same ACLS requirements of CALCs? 

  • Yes, as far as NRS test administration is concerned. 

What is the age limit for assessing students in a remote context? 

  • Students 16 years and older are eligible for adult education services, therefore all students attending adult education services 16 years old and older can be tested. 

So how do we test students who need the TABE level L? Or TABE CLAS E? 

  • TABE Literacy can be administered only in person as per the test publisher’s guidelines. For specific physically distant in-person TABE Literacy administration, please refer to the NRS Remote and Physically Distant In Person (PDIP) Test Administration: Guidance for MA NRS Test Administrators documents released in July 2020.  You can also refer to https://blogs.umass.edu/aclstesthelp/ for PDIP and Remote test administration guidance for each NRS assessment. 

What is the policy related to administration of the MAPT for Reading and Mathematics 

  • Programs do not have to administer both MAPT-CCR for Reading and MAPT-CCR for Math, but they can if they so choose to.  
  • Please see page 8 of the ACLS Assessment Manual: “Pre- and Post-Testing of ABE Students at Levels 3, 4, and 5: ABE students at levels 3 (GLE 4-5.9), 4 (GLE 6-8.9), and 5 (GLE 9-10.9) are no longer required to be pre- and post-tested tested in both reading and math. These students must be pre- and post-tested with either the MAPT-CCR for Reading or MAPT-CCR for Math. For programs in correctional institutions and workplace education programs where students may not have access to internet-connected computers, the TABE 11/12-forms E, M, D, A, Reading or Math subtests may be used. However, programs are encouraged to pre- and post-test students at these levels in both reading and math to increase the likelihood of measurable skill gains (MSG) outcomes. Students enrolled in STAR classes must be preand post-tested in reading.” 

It is a bit of a concern about moving the test forward from last year as a pretest, many students will be out of ‘classes’ for close to 6 months and may have a loss of skills. We have considered pre-testing all students, even former students, but that seems daunting. Any thoughts on this? 

  • Loss of learning is indeed a reality that programs should factor in when making a decision regarding moving tests forward. ACLS understands that each program is different and has therefore provided flexibility around the policy of moving tests forward to help programs start the new school year given the multifaceted logistical complexities of NRS test administration during an ongoing pandemic. This is an educational decision that programs should weigh carefully in collaboration with their teaching staff. 

Has ACLS heard about any flexibility around MSG targets from OCTAE in FY2021? 

  • To date, ACLS has not received any updates from OCTAE regarding flexibility around Measurable Skills Gains (MSG) targets. 

Could ESOL students at exit level on BEST Plus 2.0 be tested on the MAPT-CCR, if we think the level is possible for them? 

  • Those students would have to transition to an ABE class. The type of service and instruction students receive must match the type of NRS students take. In other words, students cannot be enrolled in ESOL services and be tested with an ABE NRS assessment. 

If an in person TABE CLAS-E test administration from FY20 is rolled over (pre-test FY21), can the same student be post-tested with remote TABE CLAS-E? 

  • Yes, the post-test can be a remote or physically distant in person test administration. 

If you start with an online test like the TABE CLAS-E, can you later in the year switch back to paper tests? Or must you continue with online? 

  • Yes, if the program switches instruction to an in-person or hybrid model, students can be post-tested in person with a paper-based test (where applicable) even though their pre-test was administered remotely. 

Our program had a class that started this week. It is a 20 hour per week class. Technically anyone in that class that attends all hours in the first week and a half would need the MAPT-CCR test by next week? 

  • Yes, as per the new pre-test policy. See page 3 of the NRS Remote and PDIP Test Administration: Guidance for MA NRS Test Administrators (July 2020)
  • Students must be pre-tested within the first 18 hours of contact/instruction is being relaxed for FY2021. In FY2021, students must be pre-tested within the first 30 hours of instruction. This policy is effective immediately.” 

Can you move both reading and math assessments forward? 

  • Yes, more than one assessment can be moved forward. 

Can we roll forward students’ test scores from the FY2020 waitlist? 

  • No, only tests administered to students actively receiving services can be moved forward. 

Does the modality of test delivery have to be the same for both the pre-test and post-test? 

  • No. Programs can use one modality of delivery for pre-test and a different delivery mode for post-test. However, the type of test administered for pre- and post-test must be the same (e.g., BEST Plus 2.0 for pre-test, BEST Plus 2.0 for post-test; MAPT-CCR Reading for pre-test, MAPT-CCR Reading for posttest). 

Will students without access to the appropriate technology be exempt from testing requirements until programs resume in person instruction/test administration? 

  • No, until further notice from ACLS, these students will not be exempt from NRS pre/post-testing. 

Is there any guidance on the remote administration of the DAR test for STAR students? 

  • Check the SABES calendar for updated offerings. 

Are substitute testers going to be available to programs from other sites? 

  • UMass Center for Educational Assessment (UMass CEA) has a list of substitute test administrators. Programs interested in hiring these substitutes can contact UMass CEA at aclstesthelp@educ.umass.edu. 

Technology and Videoconferencing 

What kinds of devices (i.e., tablet or Chromebook) will the students need to use?  

  • Yes, both tablets and Chromebooks that have a video camera are appropriate to administer NRS tests remotely. 

What are the acceptable video conferencing platforms for test administration? 

  • A detailed description of the appropriate video conferencing platforms for test administration can be found on page 7 of the NRS Remote and PDIP Test Administration: Guidance for MA NRS Test Administrators documents released in July 2020:  
  • “Remote test administration requires that test administrators and students connect via web meeting software such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, Skype, or the equivalent. In all cases, programs must ensure that their web meeting software accounts permit enough time for the test to take place. All NRS-approved assessments must be proctored, and the use of web conferencing programs allows test administrators to verify student identity, to follow test delivery procedures, and to monitor the test administration.” 

Can TABE CLAS E Reading be done on a phone? 

  • No, TABE CLAS E tests cannot be taken on the phone. 

How do test administrators monitor students if they are sent into a breakout room alone? 

  • Web conferencing programs allow test administrators to see students in breakout rooms. Please check out the SABES Calendar for training offerings on use of video conferencing platforms. 

When administering a test via PDIP, do both the student and the tester use their own device? 

  • This depends on the type of test being administered and the capacity of each program. Please read the test specific section of part B of the NRS Remote and PDIP Test Administration: Guidance for MA NRS Test Administrators documents released in July 2020

Should testing sessions be recorded? 

  • No, testing sessions should not be recorded. 

Is the state considering buying Zoom licenses to allow for assessment and/or instruction? 

  • There are currently no such plans for adult education at the state level. Should this change, ACLS will promptly inform programs. 

What if the majority of students only have access to a smartphone? 

  • As per test publishers’ guidelines, TABE 11/12, and TABE CLAS E tests cannot be taken on a smartphone.  
  • The MAPT-CCR can be taken on a smartphone; however, a smartphone is not the preferred modality of test delivery for the MAPT-CCR. 

Is there a plan to get all students Chromebooks since having a device is now as important as having a textbook? 

  • Adult education funds can be used for the purchase of Chromebooks for students and staff. Test administrators should work with their program directors to address such inquiries. Program directors should work with their assigned program specialist for any questions related to budgets and purchase of technology devices. 

Assessment Trainings 

How can I get staff certified to administer the MAPT-CCR? 

Do those of us who are already certified in MAPT-CCR and TABE CLAS E need to do another certification for online testing? 

  • No, currently certified Massachusetts test administrators do not need to recertify but must read the NRS Remote and PDIP Test Administration: Guidance for MA NRS Test Administrators documents released in July 2020 before administering tests in FY2021.  
  • Specific guidance for PDIP and remote test administration for each NRS assessment can be found at: https://blogs.umass.edu/aclstesthelp/ 

Do you have the link for the administrator training? 

  • All online, self-paced and live remote test administrator trainings are posted in the SABES calendar: https://sabes.org/calendar

Where/How can I become certified in BEST PLUS 2.0? 

  • BEST Plus 2.0 trainings were offered in August and will be offered again in the fall. Please watch the SABES Calendar and the ACLS monthly mailings for updates.  If you have any questions, please contact aclstesthelp@umass.edu. 

Is there training for how to administer TABE CLAS E remotely? 

  • The online self-paced trainings for the Administration and Scoring of CLAS E Reading, the Scoring of CLAS E Writing, and the administration and scoring of TABE 11/12 have been updated to reflect the new guidance.  
  • PDIP and remote administration guidance for all NRS assessments can be found here

When being certified to administer and score the BEST Plus 2.0, do practitioners still need to complete 10 practice test administrations before being certified? 

  • Yes.  The practice administrations can be administered via PDIP or remote delivery.  Suggestions for completing this step of the certification process are given during the training.   

Placement Testing 

Is there guidance about placement testing? Previous to COVID-19, our intake and referral team used paper-based TABE. The cost to purchase the online TABE is prohibitive. Should programs instead use home-grown online assessments or is ACLS planning to purchase online TABE tests? 

  • ACLS is currently exploring the possibility of one state-purchased TABE account. Until further notice, programs should buy TABE test administrations directly from the test publisher. 

Any guidance on placement for ESOL tests? We have our own, but obviously on paper. I’m assuming it would be just the same as the other tests, make it digital if possible. Correct? 

  • Programs can administer homegrown placement tests remotely when physically distant in person placement testing is not possible. The following NRS assessments can also be used as placement tests: 
  • TABE 11/12 for programs using the MAPT-CCR for Reading and/or the MAPT-CCR for Math for pre- and post-testing purposes 
  • BEST Plus 2.0 
  • CLAS-E Writing 
  • CLAS-E Reading 

Test Administration Conditions 

Should remote testing be done one-on-one or can group testing be administered? 

  • BEST Plus 2.0 must be administered one-on-one. Depending on the program’s capacity, MAPT-CCR, TABE 11/12 and TABE CLAS E tests can be administered either one-on-one or as a small group of five students. 

Test Experience 

What would happen if there’s a tech glitch while the student is taking the test (e.g., student’s computer freezes, internet stops, zoom freezes)? Would the student’s responses to that point have been saved? 

  • It depends on the test being administered. For MAPT-CCR and TABE online, any work students do prior to the glitch is saved. For BEST Plus 2.0, student work is not saved, and the test session would need to be restarted. 

Were you going to talk about the possibility of testing in groups bigger than five? And can they be all in the meeting room, or are break out rooms required? 

  • ACLS and UMass CEA strongly recommend that programs start remote testing with groups of five. Once test administrators become comfortable and are able to navigate all the technical requirements of remote testing, groups can be expanded to seven students. 

Is the group of seven students for testing only for remote testing? Can we test more students face to face? 

  • More students can be tested at a time during a physically distant in person assessment session if all the health safety requirements are in place. See part B of the NRS Remote and PDIP Test Administration: Guidance for MA NRS Test Administrators documents released in July 2020

MAPT-CCR Specific 

Would you please provide the correct link to the MAPT-CCR testing platform? 

  • MAPT-CCR OWL link for Community Adult Learning Centers (CALC) can be found here and the MAPT-CCR OWL link for Correctional Institutions here

For remote MAPT-CCR, is it ok for students to use scrap paper? For math they usually do in person. 

  • Yes, this is allowed. 

Is there a MAPT-CCR ‘test’ site that programs could use to test out their meeting platform and try out the features? We recommend that staff try new tools out among staff before trying them with students. Not sure if that’s possible with practicing to administer the MAPT. 

  • Program staff who are certified to administer the MAPT-CCR can use their test administrator login to access the Sample Questions and Practice Tests in order to test out the meeting platform and try out the experience of remote testing. 

Would you consider sending username/password and link to test site via WhatsApp “secure”? 

  • Programs should use their best judgment when selecting a method to send username/password information. 

For the administration of the MAPT, what are the device/technology requirements for test administrators and students? 

  • Camera-enabled computer/Chromebook/tablet with internet browser 
  • It is strongly recommended that students take the MAPT-CCR on a desktop or laptop computer or a tablet, but a) if there are no other options for devices for students to take the MAPT-CCR, and b) if students are receiving instruction and completing class work/homework on their smartphone, in those limited circumstances programs can have students take their test on the smartphone that students have access to. The smartphone must have an internet browser installed and be capable of maintaining a videoconferencing link with the test administrator (e.g., Zoom, FaceTime, Google Meet, etc.).   
  • Stable internet connection 
  • Access to and familiarity with videoconferencing platform 

Are there limitations to allowing students to take the MAPT on a smartphone? 

  • While the test can be administered on the smartphone, at present neither the OWL delivery platform nor the content of the MAPT-CCR is optimized for the screen of a small mobile device. With screen size limitations of a smartphone, students may need to scroll both up and down and left and right to view components of items (such as images and tables), and pinch in or out to enlarge or minimize the content of each item. Students taking a Math test will still have the option to use the calculator and the formula page with the items for which those features are available, but they may open in separate browser windows, depending on the device and browser used. 
  • All test security guidance remains in effect with smartphone test delivery, including videoconference monitoring and reminders to students to not obtain assistance from others who may be nearby.   

Is it possible for a student to take screen shots of questions that can be inappropriately passed on or kept? 

  • This is a possibility. Test administrators have a responsibility to maintain the security of test forms when tests are administered remotely. They should use the web conferencing video feeds to monitor students for cheating behaviors (e.g., movement in physical space, use of cellphone, reflection of another screen in glasses or other reflective surface). At any time, students can be asked to share their screen with the test administrator; if they fail to comply, the test session will be invalidated. Test administrators should remind students that while taking a test remotely they may not receive help on test content from anyone; if they fail to comply, the test session may be invalidated. 

Can you eliminate the possibility that students can log in outside of scheduled test sessions? 

  • No, but UMass CEA can flag unusual times of day/night when test sessions are taken and can invalidate those sessions. 

Where can I find more information about PDIP and remote MAPT-CCR administration? 

BEST Plus 2.0 Specific 

Is it OK to use two computers (One has the test and the other has the student on video, then show the pictures by facing the two computers to one another) for BEST Plus 2.0?  

  • Yes. The guidance from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) regarding remote administration of BEST Plus 2.0 reads: “For the computer-based version of BEST Plus 2.0, we recommend that test administrators use two devices: one to display the video-based connection (e.g., call or conference) with the student, and a second device to run the BEST Plus 2.0 software. If two devices aren’t available to the test administrator, then a single device can be used. Students must also use a video-enabled device.” 

What is the process for running Zoom and the BEST Plus 2.0 software during test administration? 

  • You can find a step-by-step description of the how to open Zoom and BEST Plus, as well as how/when to share your screen with the student here.   

Can the pictures be copied and handed out? 

  • No. In order to preserve test security, test administrators may not make copies of picture test items of the BEST Plus 2.0. 

How would you know which pictures will come up? 

  • BEST Plus 2.0 is a self-adaptive test, which means that computer software selects test items appropriate to the examinee’s ability; therefore, test administrators and examinees will not know which pictures will come up. 

Are both tester and students wearing masks for physically distant in person administration of the BEST Plus 2.0 even though oral comprehension is critical? 

  • Yes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks are necessary to maintain the health and safety of both the examinee and the test administrator. If face masks cannot be worn for any reason, a plexiglass divider can be installed between the examinee and the test administrator. 

Is the BEST Plus 2.0 software and materials for administration and scoring available online? 

  • BEST Plus 2.0 test items are not available on an online platform. If you are looking for access to the BEST Plus software or other materials, please contact the CEA at aclstesthelp@educ.umass.edu. 

Will training be provided to administer BEST Plus 2.0 remotely? 

  • The BEST Plus 2.0 test administration and scoring training is for first time practitioners.  The practice of remote administration is touched upon during the training, but the focus of the training is NOT remote administration.  Please review the BEST Plus 2.0 PDIP and Remote Administration Guidance posted on the ACLS Test Help website. If you have any questions that are not answered by the guidance, please contact the CEA at aclstesthelp@educ.umass.edu. 

Will BEST Plus 2.0 recertification training be online? 

  • BEST Plus 2.0 recertification will continue to be online as it has been for the last several years. 

How will this effect BEST Plus 2.0 test administrator recertification?  

  • Recertification procedures will be announced in December 2020/January 2021. 

Has CAL released digital versions of BEST Plus 2.0 materials? 

  • For access to BEST Plus 2.0 digital materials, please contact the CEA at aclstesthelp@educ.umass.edu. 

Can the BEST Plus 2.0 software be installed on a PC at home for remote? 

  • The BEST Plus 2.0 software can be installed on a home PC running Windows XP (or higher) operating system. 

Can questions be repeated without decreasing the examinee’s comprehension score? 

  • In cases where there may be a technical glitch, the test administrator may repeat only once

Can BEST Plus 2.0 be administered to students using smartphones? 

TABE Administrations/DRC INSIGHT Platform 

What is the cost of TABE test administrations?  

Are TABE CLASE administrations only available for purchase in groups of 500?   

  • A minimum purchase of 500 test administration is correct for TABE CLAS E tests. For more information, please refer to the DRC website: https://tabetest.com/orderforms/. However, programs have the option to participate in the TABE CLAS E online pilot.  The pilot allows access to unlimited subtest administrations until the end of the pilot period (October 31, 2020). 

Might there be a way for either DESE or programs to pool orders to access smaller test amounts? 

  • Until further notice, programs should purchase test administrations (except for the MAPT-CCR which is free of cost) directly from test publishers. 

Can programs share the TABE CLAS-E test administrations 

  • It is up to each individual program to decide how to manage test administrations. 

How do programs gain access to the DRC Portal? 

  • Programs must purchase test administrations first before opening an account to access the DRC INSIGHT System. For more information on the DRC INSIGHT System, please follow this link: https://tabetest.com/insight/

If you purchase administrations for the DRC Online Portal, are you choosing upfront the Reading or Writing? Or are they generic administrations that we can later decide which subtest to us? 

  • When purchasing administrations, programs are buying generic administrations that can be used for either Reading or Writing TABE CLAS-E subtest as needed. 

Will we have access to the DRC Portal once we purchase administrations? 

Will there be a training for navigating the DRC Insight portal? 

  • Guidance for navigating the DRC Insight portal for each of the specific tests (TABE 11/12, CLAS-E Reading, and CLAS-E Writing) can be found in the PDIP and Remote Testing Guidance documents.  The links to these documents are posted at https://blogs.umass.edu/aclstesthelp/.   

Will more time be given for the folios? 

  • No. The time limits for the test items in the CLAS E Writing expository folios remain the same regardless of paper-based or DRC INSIGHT Portal delivery. 

Do students get more time in each TABE section to accommodate the change to typing answers? 

  • No, as per DRC guidelines, students will not be granted more time. 

Are programs required to purchase the CLAS-E remote tests? 

  • Programs that choose to administer CLAS-E tests remotely must purchase CLAS-E online test administrations. CLAS-E paper tests may NOT be administered remotely. 

Are the reading test booklets online for students? 

  • Yes, the CLAS-E Reading test is now in an online version as well. 

How do the DRC INSIGHT Portal prices compare with the paper test? 

The TABE CLASE will now be like the BEST Plus 2.0 wherein each administered test has a cost? 

  • Yes. 

The purchase of the additional tests is cost prohibitive for smaller programs. Our current budget for paperbased testing is $600.  Do you have any advice on cost savings? 

  • Program directors should consult with their assigned ACLS program specialist regarding budget-related decisions. 

Do you have any information about whether DCR will score the folios? 

  • DRC will not score the CLAS E Writing Expository Folio test items. These must still be scored by certified test scorers who have completed the training in CLAS-E Writing Scoring. 

Personal protective Equipment (PPE) 

Does DESE have access to PPE for us?  

It would be great to receive guidance about where we can get PPE, including funding for this and where it can be accessed. 

  • ACLS-funded programs can use adult education funds to purchase PPE. Program directors should contact their ACLS assigned program specialist to discuss such expenses. 

Do face shields qualify as PPE?  

  • Yes. Face shields are PPE and can be purchased with adult education funds. 

Additional Questions 

If a student becomes sick or shows symptoms of illness while on-site, will we have to submit these to DESE? 

  • Programs should develop procedures and protocols to manage the appearance of COVID-19 cases on site. Please also see the DESE COVID-19 FAQ document in particular answers to questions 6, 7, 8, 9 of the Health and Safety section. 

Slides and Communication

Where can I find all of the guidance that ACLS/CEA has provided for the field?