1 DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8

The Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment System is a new assessment designed to more validly measure what students with significant cognitive disabilities know and can do. This training, The DLM Science Alternate Assessment is a supplemental module for educators who are responsible for delivering the Dynamic Learning Maps Science alternate assessment. This module supplements the series of required training modules for all educators who are responsible for delivering any of the Dynamic Learning Maps alternate assessments. DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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In this module, you will learn about the goals of the Science pilot test and the science content framework used to develop the pilot test. You will also see how the Science alternate assessment system is different from that of the ELA and Math systems in terms of testlet delivery and design. DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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The science pilot test has several broad purposes. Each student will take either 9 or 10 science testlets which will allow DLM to evaluate not only the content of the testlets themselves but also the hypothesized relationships between the linkage levels created for science. Student performance on the testlets in conjunction with a science survey that will be administered to a randomly selected group of teachers will help DLM evaluate a plan for how to route students through the assessment system in future administrations of the test.
Finally, this pilot test provides an opportunity to gather teacher feedback regarding students’ opportunity to learn the assessed content in the classroom as well as the perceived difficulty of the assessed content. We are also collecting feedback on the general testlet structure of the science testlets including the instructional relevance and structure of the engagement activities. This information will help us make improvements in future development work.
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The current science content framework is different from that of ELA and Math for two main reasons. First, the science framework draws parallel to the Next Generation Science Standards rather than the Common Core State Standards. Second, the science framework for 2015 thru 2016 is not based on a learning map.
DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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Understanding the DLM science framework involves understanding the relationship among all of the elements within the system. These elements include Domains, Core Ideas, Topics, Essential Elements and Linkage Levels. This framework was adapted from the National Research Council’s Framework for K‐12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. It embeds science and engineering practices and cross‐cutting concepts within the science standards.
• The Domains are the major content areas in science. • The Core Ideas focus on the most important aspects of science. There are eleven core ideas in the framework: four each under the physical and life sciences, and three under earth and space science.
• The Topics are the sub‐ideas under each core idea that further organize the science content. There are forty topics in the framework spread across the core ideas. The DLM states decided to focus on fifteen of these topics for 2014 thru 2016.
• The Essential Elements are the science standards, or the learning targets, that describe the grade span performance expectations by the end of the elementary, middle school, and high school grades for students with significant cognitive disabilities. They are derived from the performance expectations in the general education science standards. DLM states identified one standard under each of the 15 topics for development this year. Additional Life Science essential elements are being developed for high school Biology. • The Linkage Levels are less complex iterations of the Target Essential Element. There are two levels that are less complex than the Target – the Precursor and Initial levels, so that DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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all students can participate in learning and assessment linked to grade level content.
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These are the topics that were frequently assessed in DLM states, showing a breadth of content coverage across the core ideas. Within the framework, there are four topics in Physical Science, five topics in Life Science and five topics in Earth/Space Science.
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As mentioned, one of the main differences between the ELA and Math assessment system and Science is that the current Science assessment system is not based on a learning map. This development work is planned for the future. There are other differences between the DLM projects in addition to the status of learning maps. The DLM science project is began with a specifically selected set of science standards that are frequently assessed in the partner states. Additional Essential Elements will be developed in the future. Furthermore, the science project identified three linkage levels for 2014 thru 2016, while ELA and mathematics use five levels. These linkage levels are outline on the next slide.
Finally, the science partner states are supporting this project with state funds.
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As mentioned, while there are five linkage levels in ELA and Math, there are only three linkage levels in Science. In Science, the initial level is akin to a combination of the initial and distal precursor levels in ELA and Math. The precursor and target levels in Science are similar to the proximal precursor and target levels in ELA and Math. Currently, the science assessment does not include a linkage level that is above the target level. DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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Here is an example of a Middle School Physical Science Essential Element with the corresponding Linkage Levels. Notice the reduced breadth, depth and complexity of the expectation from level to level as well as the embedded practice focusing on carrying out investigations.
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There are several important features of the Science pilot that are different from the other DLM assessments.
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One of these differences is how the First Contact Survey information will be used for the Science pilot. The first contact survey information which includes background information about each student will be used to determine the linkage level at which the student will be assessed. Since the science pilot test is what we call a “fixed” form test, only one linkage level will be assessed for each student. This linkage level will be determined through the information collected about the student’s expressive communication skills. If the student is assigned to the Target or Precursor linkage levels, the testlets that he or she will receive will be delivered via the computer. If the student is assigned to the Initial linkage level, the testlets that he or she will receive will be teacher‐administered. DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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The Test Administrator will be provided with a Testlet Information Page (TIP) for each testlet. TIPs are described fully in the TEST ADMINISTRATION MANUAL. DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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Tests delivered directly to students via computer are designed with the assumption that students can interact independently with the computer, using special devices, such as alternate keyboards, touch screens or switches as necessary. Computer‐
delivered testlets for Science are used at the Target and Precursor linkage levels, where the content being assessed is appropriate for delivery through the computer. Results of First Contact surveys administered to nearly 50,000 students indicate that 80% to 90% of students eligible for DLM assessments are able to interact with computers independently, with or without devices. Some students may need practice to learn how to interact with the system. Others will need to experiment with PNP settings to find the right supports so they can interact with the system. DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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Teacher‐administered testlets are designed for administration to the student outside the DLM system. The KITE system still delivers the test, but the test administrator is responsible for setting up the assessment, delivering it to the student, and recording the student’s responses in the DLM system.
In Science, the teacher‐administered testlets are for the initial linkage level testlets only. Science teacher‐administered testlets frequently involve showing students printed images that correspond to item response options. These printed images are found in the Testlet Information Pages (also known as TIPS) and need to be printed prior to test administration. DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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Items in science testlets are designed to assess student knowledge and skills. In order to do so, Test Administrators may need to use their best judgment and be flexible while administering the assessment. This means that Test Administrators may provide additional supports beyond PNP options. Supports described in the Allowable Practices section of the TEST ADMINISTRATION MANUAL
are allowed in the science testlets unless exceptions are noted in the Testlet Information Page (TIP).
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Most of the accessibility supports that are available for ELA and Math are also available for Science; however, braille forms are not available for the pilot.
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While the general purposes of the engagement activity are the same as ELA and Math, the delivery of Science testlets incorporates features of testlets from both ELA and Math. Testlets in Science may be designed around a science activity that is presented twice with test questions embedded within and/or placed at the conclusion of the second presentation. Science testlets may also involve a shorter science activity or simply provide a context for the test questions. Such testlets place all of the questions at the end conclusion of the engagement activity. DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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In Science, each testlet includes items from only one Essential Element in the blueprint. Testlets contain an engagement activity and 3 or 4 items. Students will be assigned 9 testlets for all grade spans with the exception of High School end‐of‐course Biology which includes 10 testlets.
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Assignment of testlets for Science is similar to that of ELA and Math. Remember that each student will receive several testlets to make up the whole test – nine or ten in Science, depending on the grade and subject. The system has testlets ready at each linkage level. There are two main difference between ELA and Math assignments and the Science assignments for the 2015 pilot test. First, Science has three linkage levels rather than five; and second, Science does not currently use a learning map. As mentioned previously, for the 2015 Science pilot test, a student is assigned a testlet at only one linkage level across each part of the test. In this simplified example there are four parts. The student receives only one testlet for each part of the test. The student will never receive two testlets for the same part of the test.
The first testlet is chosen based on the student’s First Contact information. For the 2015 Science pilot only students’ communication abilities will contribute to the assignment of the first testlet. That is, prior academic performance will not be used to determine the initial assignment. DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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The 2015 Science pilot will be a fixed test meaning that the same linkage level will be assessed for the whole test. In other words, every part of the test will be assigned the same linkage level as the first part. In this example, the student was assigned a precursor testlet for Part 1 and will therefore be assigned precursor level testlets for the other parts of the test.
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In an effort to make future improvements and identify additional research focus for the DLM Science assessment system, it is essential that teachers complete the teacher survey for every student that has completed the assessment and has a survey attached to his or her account.
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Please see the Science supplement to the test administration manual and the About Science Pilot Test documents for additional information regarding the science pilot test and rostering procedures.
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This concludes the supplemental training module for the science pilot test. DLM Test Administration Training Science Module 8
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