Updates to Field Test #1
February 28, 2014
The window for the Dynamic Learning Maps Field Test #1 closes at 7 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST) tonight. We appreciate your participation. If you expect to participate in Field Test #2, which is March 17 – April 11, please visit Field Test #2 Information for States and Districts to learn more about how to prepare for that test.
We realize that in Field Test #1 there were several problems with test assignment and delivery for some students. If you were unable to test your students in both subjects as intended, please know that there is no penalty to you or your students. DLM is working with Data Stewards in participating districts to resolve these problems before Field Test #2 opens. We also anticipate that help desk response times will be significantly improved in Field Test #2.
February 20, 2014
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 8,000 students have been successfully assigned tests in English language arts and math. Some students have already completed the field test in both subjects.
Wednesday morning, SEAs were given data files to help identify and resolve problems causing the lack of tests for many students: missing grade information, missing First Contact survey, and/or missing roster. The process in KITE that assigns students to tests is running each evening to deliver tests to students whose missing information was completed that day. When students have completely correct data one day, they should receive tests the next day. Teachers will know tests have been assigned because their students will have login tickets in Educator Portal. We are still experiencing a high volume of calls at the Help Desk, so we recommend you do not call the Help Desk unless you are absolutely sure that your student's data has been completely corrected and you have waited overnight for the test assignment script to run.
February 18, 2014
Troubleshooting Test Assignments
As of the second day of Field Test #1, some students have been successfully assigned tests. However, many have not. The problems with test assignments are due to a variety of issues. At this point, we strongly recommend that teachers pause field testing and that you review and correct issues per the suggestions below. Beginning the afternoon of Wednesday, February 19 you may check back in Educator Portal to see if issues have been resolved and login tickets issued. This break will provide an opportunity for DLM and users in the field to resolve as many issues as possible. As always, check the Field Test 1 Updates page for more information and news about when specific problems are identified and resolved.
To ensure successful assignment of tests, please check that the following is TRUE for each student:
- The student is assigned to the correct grade. Check this by using the View Students option in Educator Portal. The grade level should be a number, with no text. In all states except KS, the correct value corresponds with the student’s grade of record. For example, the value is “3” for a 3rd grade student. To correct inaccurate information, upload a new Enrollment File with the Current_Grade_Level for the student(s).
- The student is on a roster for English Language Arts and for Mathematics. Other values will result in lack of test assignment. In those cases, Data Stewards need to upload an updated Roster with the correct subject area. The following fields MUST contain exactly “English Language Arts” or “Mathematics” (minus the quotes):
- The student’s First Contact survey has been completed AND submitted. Tests are only assigned, and login tickets generated, once First Contact has been completed and submitted. Sometimes people reach the conclusion screen and close it without clicking the Submit Survey button. Log in to Educator Portal, return to the First Contact area, and submit the survey. The student’s tests will be available the next day after First Contact is submitted.
Please note that you CANNOT assign a DLM field test manually using the “add a new test” feature. The only way to make sure a test is assigned is to complete and submit First Contact. Also, rosters cannot be created manually for DLM. If rosters are the problem, the solution is to have the Data Steward upload a corrected roster.
There are some students who have correct grades, rosters, and First Contact submitted and yet who do not have tests. DLM is aware of who those students are and is taking action to correct the situation. We recommend teachers wait until the afternoon of Wednesday 2/19 and check the Field Test #1 Updates page on the DLM website to confirm those problems have been resolved. If we can resolve the problem sooner than Wednesday afternoon, we will post a message to that page immediately.
Please note that there is no step between a test being assigned and a login ticket for that test being provided in Educator Portal. If you do not see a ticket for a student for a subject, there is no need to contact the Help Desk to find out if the student has a test. As soon as a student has a test, the ticket appears.
Finally, emailing the help desk will likely yield a more timely response than a phone call will, although for complex issues a phone call may be necessary.
February 17, 2014
DLM Field Test #1 Launch Notes:
Please bookmark this page! With the high call volume to the Help Desk, we recommend that users who encounter problems check this page for common issues and solutions before calling the Help Desk.
Rosters and Student Login Information
If you have a student who appears on your roster but does not have any English language arts or math tests, here are some likely causes and their solutions:
PROBLEM: The student’s roster record does not have the correct subject area listed. ONLY English Language Arts or Mathematics are acceptable Content Areas.
LIKELY SOLUTION: Your Data Steward needs to upload an updated roster with the correct subject area. The following fields MUST contain exactly “English Language Arts” or “Mathematics” (minus the quotes):
A copy of the Roster Template is located here.
Although Educator Portal has an option to create a roster manually, that option is not available for DLM field tests. The solution is to have the Data Steward upload a corrected roster.
PROBLEM: Students are correctly assigned to subjects on your roster but you do not have any login tickets for your student.
LIKELY SOLUTION: Tests are only assigned, and login tickets generated, once First Contact has been completed and submitted. Sometimes people reach the conclusion screen and close it without clicking the “submit survey” button. Log back in, return to the First Contact area, and submit the survey. The student’s tests will be available the next day after First Contact is submitted.
The Test Experience
In general, we recommend administering tests on desktop or laptop machines (Windows or Mac systems) for Field Test #1. Tests can be delivered on iPads, but iPads will not be the optimal choice for students who require magnification. There may be other intermittent display issues when using iPads.
If a test section repeats itself after the student has completed it once and ended that section, use the “exit does not save” feature. Try to begin the test again. If it repeats the section a second time, stop the test for that subject altogether.
Some students may not have a teacher survey in their collection of tests. For Field Test #1, if you do not see a survey, simply skip this step.
February 14, 2014
As we prepare for the launch of the Field Test #1 window on Monday, here are several updates:
- With weather problems in several DLM states and help desk delays, we realize that not all users have been able to meet the deadlines for Field Test #1. We recommend teachers try to complete First Contact and PNP as early as possible but no later than Friday, February 21. First Contact must be complete before testing begins.
- The help desk continues to work through phone and email queries as quickly as possible. In order to respond to as many users as possible in a timely manner, we ask that you contact the help desk only once about any problem you encounter. Multiple inquiries about the same issue contribute to slower response times.
- Remember that students’ KITE login information will not be available until the testing window opens. If you have a student on your roster who still does not have login tickets for ELA or math after the window opens, it is most likely because the First Contact survey has not been completed and submitted. For those students, the system will assign tests the next day after First Contact is submitted.
- There are several issues that software developers are aware of and are working to fix in Educator Portal. Known issues include:
- Some data in the system not displaying to users (for example, a district user has uploaded a teacher and has seen that teacher but then the teacher disappears from the list)
- Tests may be listed for a student in Educator Portal but not display in the list of available tests when the student logs in to KITE. Software patches are planned for this weekend to address many of the known problems. If you have encountered a problem in Educator Portal that is unrelated to your account information (user name and password), we recommend that beginning on Monday, February 17, you clear your browser history and log back in to Educator Portal to see if your problems have been resolved.
We appreciate your patience and persistence these last few weeks! Your participation in field test #1 will help make the DLM assessment effective for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
February 13, 2014
Additional time granted to complete First Contact & PNP Profile
With the dual challenges of a winter storm shutting down schools on the East Coast and delayed response times at the Help Desk, teachers may need some extra time to complete the First Contact Survey and Personal Needs and Preferences Profile for each student. Please aim to have these completed by February 19. Test assignment should occur within four hours after the First Contact Survey is completed.
February 3, 2014
Northeast Kansas prepares for significant winter storm
Lawrence, Kansas and surrounding areas are expecting a significant winter storm Tuesday and Wednesday which may impact travel. For the Dynamic Learning Maps team, including the help desk, this could mean limited access to office phones while we work remotely. Email may be the best way to reach our teams during this time.
- For field test, KITE, and Educator Portal support: DLMfirstname.lastname@example.org
- For Professional Development: DLMpd@unc.edu
January 29, 2014
Field Test #1 Postponement
As you are probably aware, the KITE system, which includes the KITE client used for testing and Educator Portal application, is scheduled to go through a new release shortly before the launch of the Field Test #1 testing window. Given that it is more important for all users to have a positive experience, we will postpone the release by several days to allow that process to finish. Leading into Field Test #1 the DLM Help Desk is also experiencing high call volume and longer wait times than usual. We realize that many districts are struggling to make the January 31 deadline for user uploads.
Although this is the first field test and not a fully operational system, we believe it is important to make this field test experience optimal for users in the field. Given these challenges and delays, DLM will delay the window for Field Test #1 by one week. The length of the testing window will remain the same, but the new window dates will be moved to Monday, February 17 through Friday, February 28. To meet the needs of participating districts, we will be extending the Help Desk hours beginning February 3 to 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Central Time. Those extended hours will continue through February 28.
Here are updated deadlines associated with this change:
- February 7: All users, enrollment files, and rosters uploaded in Educator Portal.
- February 10: The changes in user experience associated with the technology release are visible to users. This includes updates to Educator Portal, such as the addition of the security agreement and changes in the First Contact questions; there are no significant changes to the KITE interface. Aspects of Field Test #1 that will be impacted by this change are noted in the current user guides. Updated sections will be flagged in the User Guide for States and Districts and the User Guide for Teachers in materials that are posted February 9.
- February 14: First Contact and PNP records complete.
- February 14: Deadline to complete required training module.
Any additional updates about Field Test #1 will be posted to this webpage.
We sincerely regret any inconvenience this change may cause. If you have questions or concerns about this adjustment, please let us know.
January 22, 2014
Educator Portal Accounts Created by DLM through January 17
DLM assisted states by setting up Educator Portal accounts for contacts provided through January 17. As a reminder, after January 17 DLM transitions to a support role in the upload process. Each state has been sent a spreadsheet summarizing the status of Educator Portal user accounts created by DLM.
Most users were successfully set up with an Educator Portal account and should have already received an activation email message. If a user is missing their activation email message, ask them to check spam/junk mail folders. If no message can be found, or it has expired, ask your local Data Steward to resend the activation email message. (See the section titled Resend the KITE Activation Email Message in the System Start-Up Manual on Dynamic Learning Maps: Field Testing.)
Some users were missing information which prevented us from creating their account. DLM will assist states in resolving any issues with contacts in the spreadsheet. You or your Data Steward may reply to DLM@ku.edu with the requested information.
Data Stewards are responsible for uploading new users after January 17. Please see the instructions for uploading User Data which are included in the System Start-up Manual on Dynamic Learning Maps: Field Testing.
- Please note that new users must be assigned a user role in Educator Portal before the system will generate the activation email message. See the section titled "Assign a User Role" in the System Start-Up Manual.
As a reminder to districts participating in Field Test #1, users must be uploaded by January 31.