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Remote Assessment Administration K-12 Ability Assessments K-12 Achievement Assessments

Top 12 Considerations for Remote Testing during COVID-19

Riverside Insights
Written By Riverside Insights
On May 14, 2020
8 minute read

Given the interruption to spring classes and testing calendars, it may be especially useful to obtain up-to-date measures of student progress and growth to drive curriculum planning and student placement. The following points provide an overview of the issues your district will need to consider as you plan for remote/in-home administration of online tests.


1. First consider your purpose(s) for testing and whether your purpose(s) will be well served by remote administration.

  •   Achievement tests and progress-monitoring systems can be administered remotely and the results used to inform instructional practice and remediation plans. Ability measures may also be administered when the intent is to inform gaps between student ability and demonstrated achievement or to assess student strengths and weaknesses.
  •   Remote testing for high-stakes purposes such as for graduation requirements or identification for accelerated academics must be considered more carefully. You need to consider your ability to monitor students’ testing circumstances to ensure that they are tested in a secure, distraction-free environment so that you can certify their test results.

2. Limit assessment form exposure

  •   Once tests have been used for in-home/remote testing, Riverside Insights will be unable to ensure that test security has not been breached with your school system or district. In order to minimize test content exposure:
    • In-home/remote testing may only be conducted using the Iowa Assessments™ Form E or Form F, Logramos® TERCERA EDICIÓN, and the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT®) Form 7.
    • If possible, use the Survey battery of the Iowa Assessments and CogAT Screening Form 7 to expose less content.
    • In-home/remote testing may not be conducted using the Iowa Assessments Form G nor using the CogAT Form 8 and CogAT Screening Form 8. These forms are held in reserve to ensure test content security for in-school use.

3. Recommended Mode of Testing – Audio Administration

  •   At-home/remote test administration should always be done using audio. Using audio is one way to bring greater standardization to at-home/remote testing administrations.
    • If audio is enabled for the customer’s contract, then audio testing is selected by default when creating a new test event.
  •   Do not choose proctor-led test assignments. Proctor led scenarios where the teacher/proctor paces all students through the test item-by-item are best suited for school-based environments.
    • It’s recommended that test sessions be created in advance. This will help ensure that the correct settings are chosen, like audio administration.
  •   For audio administrations, students may choose to use headphones or may choose to play audio using speakers. If using speakers, be sure that any conference or other audio is muted.


4. Monitoring Student Testing

  •   We strongly recommend use of a video conferencing technology so that testing scenarios at each home can be monitored.
  •   You should have your students on camera in your conferencing software to ensure that they are the ones completing the assessment.
  •   Some options include:
    • WebEx
    • Zoom
    • GoTo Meeting
    • Join Me
    • EZ Talks Cloud Meeting
    • Skype
    • Google Duo
    • Google Meet

  • Consider video conferencing in smaller groups of students depending on their age, and on the size of your monitor. You want to be able to ‘see’ each of your students as they are working; hosting a large number of students in your conference at one time can make this challenging.
  • If your students do not have webcams, then careful monitoring of the DataManager proctoring page will provide some guidance. Watch for students that move through an assessment too rapidly, or that pause too long on each item. DataManager proctoring allows you to end an individual student session if you feel there are testing irregularities. Please note that this is not an ideal solution and should be used only in the absence of video-conferencing or other monitoring utilities.
  • Students should not have other browser tabs or windows open during testing. Students should not have access to other devices, including their mobile devices, during testing. Students should not have access to resources that can help them with responding to questions while they are testing. Other distractions such as running televisions, radios, games, and activity of other household members in the same room at the same time should also be avoided.

5. Have a Trial Run Prior to Testing

  • At least one day prior to the start of testing, conduct a trial run where teachers/proctors and students practice logging into DataManager and the video conferencing / monitoring application at the same time using the devices they will use for testing.
  • Teachers/proctors should be prepared to view DataManager on one screen, device, or machine and the video conferencing software / monitoring application simultaneously on a second screen, device, or machine.
    • Teachers/proctors should not use tablets to proctor student testing through DataManager; however, tablets may be used with video conferencing / monitoring applications, and students may use approved tablets when testing.
    • If students are using a tablet to take the test, a second device with a camera, such as a smartphone, may be needed for the monitoring application.
  • We recommend using the Getting Started Tutorial in DataManager for the initial trial run prior to the start of testing. The Getting Started Tutorial can be administered as many times as deemed necessary to orient students to the testing experience.

6. Technical Support

  • To best maintain the fidelity of a school district’s testing program and to best protect student privacy, parents and students will be directed to their local school district for technical assistance. School districts can then contact Riverside Insights Technical Support if further escalation is required.
  • If Riverside Insights Technical Support receives a call or email from a parent or student, we will direct them back to the appropriate contact at the local school district. Local school districts are strongly encouraged to have a local point of contact for testing issues encountered by parents and students.
  • See next section “Customer Support Contacts” for more guidance.

7. Customer Support Contacts

  • Riverside Insights refrains from communicating directly with parents and students because of data privacy concerns but there will be times when some troubleshooting needs to happen that might be beyond what a school or teacher could handle. To support you with this, we have some suggestions.
    • Review the included list of most common issues and how to solve them.
    • Designate school/district contact(s) who are familiar with administering online tests to be available during testing hours to provide support for parents and students. Share contact info out with parents/in-home proctors before starting the tests.
    • If an issue arises that isn’t on the list, and Riverside Insights’ support is needed, then either the teacher or the designated school support contact should reach out to DataManager Technical Support.
    • If a parent or student calls Riverside Insights directly, they will be asked to contact their school for support.
  • Instant messaging tools:
    • Parents’ job during at-home/remote testing is to serve as the at-home proctor and to create a distraction-free environment for students. However, it is important for the at-home proctor to be able to contact the teacher/school in the event of testing disruption or other issues.
    • Consider offering parents instant messaging technologies to chat with designated school employees during testing to help with any technical questions that come up during test administration.

8. Extending Time

  • The primary levels (Levels 5 or 5/6-8 – typically used at Grades K-2) of Iowa Assessments, Logramos, and CogAT are not timed, so no adjustment is necessary.
  • For timed subtests and levels, extended time limits can be applied liberally as a universal accommodation for all students.
  • While time limits are easy to support for standard test administrations, at- home/remote administrations are non-standard and may require more flexibility than the typical school setting.
  • Proctors may add more testing time once testing has started, using the Extend Time All button in their Test Session.

9. Validity of Scores from Remote/In-home Administrations

  • Testing students remotely does not necessarily affect the validity of student test scores. However, remote/in-home administrations of the Iowa Assessments, Logramos, and CogAT are non-standard test administrations. That is, the conditions for administering these tests in-home/remotely cannot be certified to match the procedures used for the collection of standardized data.
    • Normative scores will be provided, but the fidelity of score interpretation is challenged by non-standard administration protocols.
    • In light of these unusual circumstances, use of local norms is recommended for score interpretation as local norms provide the most equitable comparisons for student scores within a class, building, and/or system.
    • Local Norms may be requested when setting up a Test Event. Local norms do not populate in scoring until your Test Event is closed.
  • Additionally, you must consider the effect of possible violations of testing procedure and/or cheating on the validity of student scores. Please see the recommended guidance below.

10. Testing Agreement for Parents/In-home Proctors

  • Programs must require a statement to be signed by parents, in-home proctors and students in which they agree to protect test content security, disavow cheating, and recognize and accept penalties for suspected cheating.
  • At a minimum, this statement should outline:
    • The test being administered;
    • Date(s) of testing;
    • The purpose for which the test is being administered;
    • Importance of maintaining test security including no viewing test content by anyone other than the student and no copying/reproduction of test screens, instructions or items;
    • Outline penalties for suspected cheating in line with district protocols; and
    • Outline process for parent/student appeals in line with district protocols.

11. Guidance for Parents/In-home Proctors

  • Riverside has created a set of templates and checklists which you may provide to parents / in-home testing proctors to help them understand and comply with the requirements of your planned testing protocol.
  • Checklists contain practical suggestions such as charging devices and checking audio prior to testing, verifying internet connectivity, creating a distraction-free environment for the student while testing, and clarification of the role of parent/in- home proctor including how they may and may not assist the student:
    • Parents/in-home proctors can help students with logging in.
    • Parents/in-home proctors can help with audio considerations (volume, speaker adjustments, etc.)
    • Parents/in-home proctors must not help students choose answers.
    • Parents/in-home proctors can contact the school or district for help with technical issues and questions about the testing processes.
  • Additionally, the district will need to provide details to parents about the specifics of your planned testing protocol
    • Process for contacting the district or school resource for technical support and questions
    • Contact details for district technical support and questions
    • Recommended testing device(s)
    • In-home monitoring protocols including any software that must be installed (such as Zoom, Google Meet, etc.)

12.  Data Privacy and Security

  • Riverside Insights recognizes the sensitive nature of students’ personally identifiable information (PII) and we will continue to stand with you in a commitment to the protection of student privacy.
  • Our privacy practices comply with both COPPA and FERPA.
  • We do not use personal information collected through DataManager for targeted advertising to students.
  • Riverside Insights is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of third-party websites, services, and advertisements, and you visit them at your own risk.
  • Parents looking for information on student data in DataManager will be directed to their school district.
  • Under no circumstances should teachers share their DataManager log-in credentials with parents/guardians as this would be a FERPA violation. It is important that access to student data is limited to those people who have a legitimate right to see those data.
  • Refer to DataManager Privacy Policy for more information.


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