Using the TA Interface
Overview of the Test Administration Sites for In-Person Testing
Sites for Test Administrators and Test Examiners
The sites for test administrators and test examiners, including the Test Administrator Interface and the Test Administrator Practice and Training Site, are accessed through the CAASPP website. To log on to either site, a test administrator or test examiner must have an authorized username and password. If a test administrator or test examiner has not yet received an email with account information, the test administrator or test examiner should contact the LEA CAASPP coordinator or CAASPP test site coordinator (as applicable).
This section describes the test administration sites for test administrators and test examiners. Throughout the rest of this user guide, “Test Administrator Site” refers to both the Test Administrator Interface and Test Administrator Training Site.
Test Delivery Application
The test delivery application delivers California’s online CAASPP assessments. The following sections describe highlights of online testing in general and the test delivery application in particular.
The test delivery application consists of practice sites and summative testing sites. The features of the questions in the practice sites function identically to the summative testing sites, although the practice and training tests themselves are not adaptive, and students have the option of selecting their own designated supports and accommodations.
- Practice Sites
- The Test Administrator Training Site allows test administrators and test examiners to practice administering tests.
- The Student Training Site allows students to practice taking tests online and using test tools.
- Operational Testing Sites
- The Test Administrator Interface allows test administrators and test examiners to administer summative assessments.
- The Student Testing Application allows students to take CAASPP online assessments.
Understanding User Roles
Types of Access
Access to the practice and summative testing sites depends on the user role and web browser.
- Test administrators and test examiners can use any supported web browser to access either the Test Administrator Training Site or the Test Administrator Interface.
- Students, test administrators, test examiners, and parents/guardians can use a supported web browser or secure browser to access the Student Training Site as guests. Students can also sign in to a practice test session created by a test administrator or test examiner.
- Students use a secure browser to access the student testing application.
For information about supported operating systems and browsers, refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for Online Testing.
Using the Single Sign-on System
Switching Between Systems
The SSO system allows a test administrator or test examiner to log on to multiple systems provided by ETS and CAI, including TOMS, the Test Administrator Interface, the Test Administrator Practice and Training Site, and the Completion Status reports. After logging on, the test administrator or test examiner can switch between systems without having to log on to and off each system.
SSO is designed to ease the logon process and simplify navigation between systems. SSO integrates the following systems:
- Test Administrator Interface
- Test Administrator Practice and Training Site
- Interim Assessment Hand Scoring System
- Completion Status System
- Lexile & Quantile Hub
Logging On to the SSO System
About Usernames and Passwords
The username is the email address associated with an account in TOMS. When a test administrator or test examiner is added to TOMS, the system sends an email containing a temporary password and a logon link for the CAASPP SSO. To activate the account, the test administrator or test examiner must log on within 30 minutes of receiving the email. Do this by entering the code received via email after entering the username and temporary password and then updating the password.
Refer to the Single Sign On section, Resetting a Password topic, in the CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide for instructions on what to do if the temporary password has expired or if the password was forgotten.
Test Administrator Site Layout
Figure 1 displays the layout of the Test Administrator site during an active test session when assessments are administered in person.
Figure 1. Test Administrator Site layout
The following are essential features in the Test Administrator Site that are indicated in figure 1:
- Session ID
- [Select Tests] button
- [Approvals] button
- Tests with potential issues and Tests without issue tables
Figure 2. Top of the Test Administrator Interface screen
|Feature||Description or More Information|
|[Student Lookup] button||This button starts the process to search for student information; refer to the subsection How to Look Up Students.|
|[Approved Requests] button||This button displays a list of print requests approved by the test administrator or test examiner during the current session. Refer to the subsection How to Approve Print Requests.|
|[Print Session] button||This button starts the process to print the screen. Refer to the subsection How to Print Session Information.|
|[Help Guide] button||This button displays an online help guide.|
|[Alerts] button||This button displays alert messages from the CDE. Refer to the subsection Alert Messages.|
|[Log Out] button||This button logs the test administrator or test examiner off the Test Administrator Interface. Refer to the subsection Stopping a Test Session and Logging Off.|
|[Stop Session] button||This button ends the existing test session. Refer to the subsection Stopping a Test Session and Logging Off.|
|Session ID||This section displays the unique ID generated for the test session. This feature appears after the test session has begun.|
|[Enable Screen Saver] button||This button, in the upper-right corner of the Session ID section, enables the screen saver feature. Refer to the subsection How to Enable Screen Saver Mode.|
|[Select Tests] button||This button opens the Test Selection window. Refer to the subsection How to Start a Test Session.|
|[Approvals] button||This button opens the Approvals and Student Test Settings window after starting a test session. Refer to the subsection How to Approve Students for Testing. This feature appears after starting a test session.|
|[Refresh] button||This button updates the on-screen information during a test session.|
|Tests without issue and Test with issues tables||These tables display the testing progress for approved students in the test session. Entries in each table are based on whether or not the student requires assistance with the test session (for example, if a student had submitted a print request). This feature appears after approving students for testing.|
The CDE can send statewide alerts that appear as pop-up messages on the Test Administrator Site. To view a record of active alert messages, such as the sample in figure 3 , select [Alerts] in the Test Administrator Site banner.
Figure 3. Record of alerts
Creating a Test Session
Provide Student Logon Information
Each student will log on to the TDS using a first name, SSID, and test session ID. It is suggested that the SSID and the student’s first name be printed on a card or piece of paper and distributed to each student just prior to testing to help the student type it in the device accurately. It is also permissible to include a photo of the student or include the student’s last name with the logon information as additional safeguards to ensure that the students receive the correct logon information. This information must be provided to each student to complete the logon process.
For students taking the CAAs for ELA, mathematics, and science, the test examiner must log the student on to the TDS to begin.
Student information is confidential; therefore, the cards or papers with this information must be kept secure until used during a test session and must be securely shredded (destroyed) when testing has been completed.
About Test Settings (Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations)
In the test delivery application, “test settings” include embedded universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations, as well as non-embedded designated supports and accommodations. Thus, “test settings” is used throughout this user guide to refer to all embedded and non-embedded universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations, unless otherwise indicated.
Test administrators and test examiners may view student test settings in the Test Administrator Interface. Test settings are grouped into categories. The resources displayed differ by content area.
- Literacy Assistance Resources
- Integration with Assistive Technology
- Visual Assistance Resources
- Auditory Assistance Resources
- Concentration Assistance Resources
- General Testing Resources
Students’ test settings must be reviewed prior to starting a test session.
Student test settings must be assigned by the LEA CAASPP coordinator or the CAASPP test site coordinator in TOMS.
How to Start a Test Session
After a test administrator or test examiner has logged on to the Test Administrator Interface, the Operational Test Selection window appears. (If it is not open, select the [Select Tests] button in the upper-right corner of the Test Administrator Interface.) Select a test to create a session.
The Test Selection window, shown in figure 4, color-codes tests and groups them into various categories. For example, the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are likely found in the second category and are colored in red. A test group, such as “Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments,” may include one or more subgroups. All test groups and subgroups appear collapsed by default.
Figure 4. Operational Test Selection screen
- To select a test or tests for the session, first select the test name and then use one of the following on-screen icons:
- To expand a collapsed test group, select the [Plus] plus-sign  icon
- To collapse a test group, select the [Minus] minus-sign  icon.
- To expand the list of all tests, select the [Expand All] outward arrows  icon
- To select individual tests, mark the checkbox for each test to be included.
- Either use the filtering feature to open specific grade level, grade span, or content-area assessments; or, to start the test, select the [Start Operational Session] button. The features are indicated in figure 5. Take the following steps to use the filtering feature:
- Select the [Add Filter] button  (indicated in figure 5) to access the filter panel.
Expand the available filter categories by selecting a [Plus] plus-sign  icon (indicated in figure 5).
Figure 5. Expanded tests in the Operational Test Selection screen
- Check the criteria to filter.
- Select the [Apply Filter(s)] button  (indicated in figure 6).
- Remove the filter by selecting the [Remove Filter] “X” icon  (indicated in figure 6).
Select the [Start Operational Session] button to start the test.
Figure 6. Sample Operational Test Selection screen with filtering
The test administrator or test examiner will receive a warning advising that the test administrator or test examiner is about to administer a summative assessment and warning that Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are not for public exposure, use, or distribution. If the test administrator or test examiner selects [OK] (indicated in figure 7), the test administrator or test examiner can either continue with the test administration or exit from the Test Administrator Interface if the test administrator or test examiner selected a summative assessment unintentionally.
Figure 7. Summative Assessment confirmation box
- Make a note of the test session ID and then inform students of it.
- The session ID is automatically generated upon selecting [OK] in the previous step; it is indicated in figure 1.
- Write the session ID on a place where all students taking a Smarter Balanced assessment, the CAST, or the CSA can clearly refer to it. If the test administrator or test examiner is administering the CAAs for ELA or mathematics, make a note of it to enter into the TDS on behalf of the student.
To add tests to an active test session:
- In the upper-right corner of the Test Administrator Site (to the right of the session ID indicated in figure 8), select [Select Tests].
- A confirmation message asks if the test administrator or test examiner is sure about modifying the tests in the session. To continue, select [Yes].
- In the Operational Test Selection screen, mark the checkbox for the required test and select [Add to Session] in the lower-left corner.
How to Approve Students for Testing
After students sign in and select tests, the test administrator or test examiner must verify that their settings, including any designated supports and accommodations, are correct before approving them for testing. When students are awaiting approval, the [Approvals] button next to the Session ID becomes active and appears to bounce until the test administrator or test examiner selects it. The number next to this button indicates how many students are awaiting approval (refer to figure 8).
Figure 8. Students awaiting approval
To approve students for testing:
Select the [Approvals (#)] button. The Approvals and Student Test Settings screen appears, displaying a list of students grouped by test (refer to figure 9).
Figure 9. Approvals and Student Test Settings screen
- To check a student’s test settings, select the [See Details] eye  icon for that student (indicated in figure 9). The student’s information appears in the Test Settings window (refer to figure 10). This window groups test settings by their area of need.
- Review the list to ensure that students are taking the correct test (summative or interim), the correct content area (mathematics, ELA, science, or Spanish) and the correct portion of a test (CAT or PT).
- Verify that students have access to and use of the additional required resources in the Establishing Appropriate Testing Conditions subsection specific to each assessment and content area (e.g., scratch paper for all tests, headphones for ELA, graph paper for mathematics grades six and above).
- If any settings are incorrect, report the incorrect test settings to the CAASPP test site coordinator, who will update them as required in TOMS and reschedule the student’s testing. Students should not begin testing until their settings are correct. Ensuring the test settings are correct before the student begins testing is critical to avoid the need for a test reset that may result in additional testing for the student later.
- Take one of the following steps; buttons are shown in figure 10.
- To confirm the settings, select [Set] at the top of the student’s Test Setting screen. The test administrator or test examiner must still approve the student for testing (refer to step 5).
- To confirm the settings and approve the student, select the [Set & Approve] button.
- To return to the Approvals and Student Test Settings window without confirming settings, select [Cancel].
Figure 10. Part of the Test Settings screen for a selected student
- Repeat step 2 for each student in the list.
- If the test administrator or test examiner needs to deny a student access to testing because, for example, test settings are not correct, do the following (otherwise skip to step 5):
- Select the [Deny] “X”  icon in the Actions column for that student.
- Optional: In the window that appears, enter a brief reason for denying the student.
- Select the [Deny] icon. The student receives a message explaining the reason for the denial and is logged off the student testing application.
- If the test administrator or test examiner wants to approve students directly from the Approvals and Student Test Settings window, take one of the following actions:
- To approve individual students, select the [Approve] check mark  icon in the Actions column for each student.
- To approve all students displayed in the list, select [Approve All Students].
How to Monitor Student Testing
A test administrator may also use the Test Administrator Interface to view the testing progress of any student. However, because the CAA is administered one on one, it is not necessary for a test examiner to monitor student progress in this way. This screen will not show test questions or scores but will let the test administrator know the percentage of questions that have been delivered to each student.
A test administrator may also use the Test Administrator Interface to view the testing progress of any student. This screen will not show test questions or scores but will let the test examiner know the percentage of questions that have been delivered to each student.
At the start of the test, all the students in the session are listed in the Tests without issue table. If the Test Administrator Interface detects that a student requires assistance, such as that a student has a pending print request or a student’s test has been paused due to an environment security breach or due to the launch of a forbidden application, the Tests with potential issues table appears at the top listing the students who need intervention.
The Progress column is called out in figure 11. Student sessions can be sorted by selecting any of the column heads.
Figure 11. Monitoring student status in the Test Administrator Interface
Table 2 describes the columns in the Tests table. To sort the table by a given column, select that column header.
|Student Information||This column displays the first and last name of the student in the session as well as the SSID associated with the student (as they appear in CALPADS and TOMS).|
|Opp #||This column displays the opportunity number for the student’s selected test. Each student has only one opportunity for each summative test.|
|Test||This column displays the name of the test the student selected.|
|Progress||This column displays the student progression through the test that shows the percentage of items presented from the number of items available as well as the questions that were skipped (displays in a different color; not shown in figure 11).|
|Status||This column displays the current status for the student’s test in the session such as “Started” or “Paused.” Some statuses will include a more info drop-down list, indicated by the [more info]  icon, with additional information such as “The student paused their test by clicking the [Pause] button.”|
This column displays one of the following:
Default: Default test settings are applied for this test opportunity; there were no additional test settings assigned in TOMS for this student.
Custom: One or more of the student’s test settings or universal tools, designated supports, or accommodations differ from the default settings.
To view the student’s settings for the current test opportunity, select the [See Details]  icon.
The icons in this column allow the test administrator or test examiner to perform an available action for an individual student’s test.
Select the [Pause] double-line  icon to pause a student’s test. When a test pauses, this column displays an information button that opens a pop-up message explaining how the test became paused. For more information, refer to the Pause Rules subsection for information on pause time limits and students’ ability to review previously answered items.
When a student approved for and assigned the print-on-demand accommodation requests a printout of a reading passage or other test material, a [Print] icon will appear in this column. Select the [Print] icon to review and authorize or deny the student’s request. For more information, refer to the subsection How to Approve Print Requests.
Table 3 describes the codes in the Status column of the Tests table.
|Approved||The student has been approved but has not yet started the assessment.|
|Started||The student started the test and is actively testing.|
|Review||The student visited all questions and is currently reviewing answers before completing the test.|
|Completed||The student has submitted the test, so the student can take no additional action.|
|Reported||The test passed quality assurance and is undergoing further processing.|
|Paused*||The student’s test is paused. The time listed indicates how long the test has been paused.|
|Expired*||The test was not completed by the end of the testing window and the opportunity expired.|
|Pending*||The student is awaiting approval for a new test opportunity.|
|Suspended*||The student is awaiting approval to resume a test opportunity.|
* Statuses marked with an asterisk (*) appear when the student is not actively testing. The student’s row grays out in such cases.
How to Pause a Student’s Test
The test administrator or test examiner can pause a student’s test via the Actions column in the Students in Your Test Session table (refer to figure 1). For information about pause rules, refer to the subsection Pause Rules.
To pause an individual student’s test:
- Alert student(s) the test is being paused.
- In the Actions column, select the [Pause] double-line  icon for a student.
- Select [OK] to confirm. The test administrator or test examiner logs the student off, and an information button appears in the Actions column.
How to Look Up Students
The test administrator or test examiner can use the student lookup feature to perform a quick or advanced search for student information. This is useful if students signing in to the test session cannot remember their logon information. The student must enter his or her first name exactly as it appears with the student lookup tool. If the first name contains a space or a special character, it must be entered as it appears. (Refer to the guidelines in the Step 1: Signing Students In subsection for information about entering Unicode characters for special characters such as accented letters.)
To perform a quick search:
- In the banner at the top of the Test Administrator Interface (figure 11), select the [Student Lookup] button.
Enter a student’s full SSID in the SSID field and select [Submit SSID]. Search results appear below the search field (refer to figure 12).
Figure 12. Student Lookup: Quick Search
To perform an advanced search:
- Select [Student Lookup] > [Advanced Search].
- Select the appropriate LEA and school from the drop-down lists.
- Select the appropriate grade.
- Optional: Enter all or part of a student’s first or last name. If there are special characters in the student’s first or last name, refer to the guidelines in the Step 1: Signing Students In subsection for information about entering Unicode characters.
Select [Search]. Search results appear below the search fields (refer to figure 13).
Figure 13. Student Lookup: Advanced Search
- To view a student’s information, select the [See Details]  icon in the Details column.
How to Enable Screen Saver Mode
Because the student test progress tables in the Test Administrator Interface may contain sensitive student information, such as SSIDs, there is a screen saver built in to the Test Administrator Interface that will be active in the web browser application window either when the test administrator or test examiner activates it or will activate automatically, if the test administrator or test examiner is not active in the Test Administrator Interface for five minutes. It turns off when the test administrator returns the device’s focus to the web browser window by, for example, moving a mouse’s cursor over it. It will also turn off automatically if the test session times out due to test administrator or student inactivity.
The screen saver masking hides data from view and shows the session ID, as presented in figure 14. When students are awaiting approval when the screen saver is active, this information is included under the session ID.
Figure 14. Sample session ID in the Test Administrator Interface screen saver
The test administrator can turn the screen saver on manually by selecting the [Toggle Screen Saver] section of the “Session ID” box at the top of the Test Administrator Interface. The [Toggle Screen Saver] section is at the top-right corner of this box, as indicated in figure 15.
Figure 15. [Toggle Screen Saver] section of the “Session ID” box
How to Approve Print Requests
A student using the print-on-demand tool can request printouts of test passages and questions. When the student sends print requests, the request notification appears in the Students in Your Test Session table (refer to figure 1). The print-on-demand accommodation is available by preapproval only after the LEA CAASPP coordinator contacts CalTAC.
To approve print requests:
Select the [Print] printer  icon in the Actions column of the Tests table. The Student Print Request window appears (figure 16).
Figure 16. Student Print Requests window
- Review the print request and take one of the following actions in the Student Print Request window (figure 16):
- To approve the request, select the [Approve] check mark  icon in the Action column. A cover sheet appears in a new browser window.
- To deny the request, select the [Deny] “X”  icon in the Action column. In the window that appears, enter a brief reason for denying the request and select the [Deny] button. Do not proceed to step 3.
- A printer dialog box opens with a cover page and the items that were selected to print.
- Select [Print] to print the requested test elements.
Viewing Approved Requests
The test administrator or test examiner can view a list of every print request approved during the current session.
To view approved requests:
Select [Approved Requests] from the banner at the top of the Test Administrator Interface (figure 17).
Figure 17. [Approved Requests] button on Test Administrator Interface
If the test administrator or test examiner wants to print the list of approved requests, select the [Print] button (indicated in figure 18).
Figure 18. Approved Requests window
How to Print Test Session Information
The test administrator or test examiner can print a snapshot of the Test Administrator Site as it currently appears if a hard-copy record of the session ID or list of approved students is wanted.
To print a snapshot of the page (i.e., screen):
- In the banner at the top of the Test Administrator Interface, select [Print Session]. The device’s print dialog window appears.
- Select the required print settings and then select the approval button ([Print] or [OK], depending on the web browser).
Stopping a Test Session and Logging Off
This subsection explains how to stop a test session and log off the Test Administrator Site.
How to Stop a Test Session
When students finish testing or the current testing period is over, the test administrator or test examiner should stop the test session. Stopping a session automatically logs off all the students in the session and pauses their tests. Once the test administrator or test examiner stops a test session, the test administrator or test examiner cannot resume it. To resume testing students, the test administrator or test examiner must start a new session.
To stop a test session:
- In the upper-right corner of the Operational Test Session screen, select the [Stop] stop sign  icon (refer to figure 8). A confirmation message appears.
- Select [OK]. The test session stops.
How to Log Off the Test Administrator Site
The test administrator or test examiner should log off the Test Administrator Site only after stopping a test session.
To log off the Test Administrator Site:
In the banner, select the [Logout as Name] button in the top-right corner of the screen on the Test Administrator Interface system banner (figure 19).
Figure 19. Test Administrator Interface system banner
- When the warning message appears, select [OK]. The front page of the CAASPP website appears.
Accidentally Closing the Browser Window
If the test administrator or test examiner accidentally closes the browser while students are testing, the session remains open until it times out in 30 minutes. To return to the test session in the Test Administrator Site, the test administrator or test examiner must enter the active session ID.
If the test administrator or test examiner does not return to the active session within 30 minutes, the test delivery application logs the test administrator or test examiner off and pauses the students’ tests.
Testing Over Multiple Sessions or Days
Refer to the Duration and Timing Information subsection for estimated testing times and estimated test durations.
Smarter Balanced Assessments, CAST, and CSA
For some tests, particularly the Smarter Balanced PTs, students may be best served by sequential, uninterrupted time that may exceed the time in a student’s schedule. Smarter Balanced recommends that the ELA PT be administered in two sessions, corresponding with Part 1 and Part 2. Students can be provided breaks within each part; however, once a student moves on to Part 2, the student will not be able to review or revise items in Part 1. For this reason, it is recommended that students complete Part 1 in one test session; Part 2 would ideally be delivered the next school day. For the mathematics PT, Smarter Balanced recommends that it be administered in one test session of 40–120 minutes.
If the test administrator intends to administer the test over the course of multiple days for a student or group of students, the test administrator may ask students to pause at a designated point. For most tests, there is nothing built into the system to prevent students from progressing from one section of the test to another. In those cases, the test administrator should give the students clear directions on when to pause. For example, test administrators may designate a certain amount of time for testing. Likewise, the end of Part 1 of the ELA PT might be a logical stopping point. This guidance may be written on a dry-erase board, chalkboard, or another place to which students can easily refer.
Students will receive a notification when they reach the end of the segment or the assessment, similar to the notification shown in figure 20.
Figure 20. Sample End Segment screen
When testing is resumed on a subsequent day, the test administrator will need to start a new test session and provide a new session ID. When instructing the students to log on, test administrators should read the unitalicized sections of the general script (SAY boxes) to the students from the beginning.
Students typically take approximately 60 to 100 cumulative minutes or less to successfully complete a single content area—ELA, mathematics, or science—of a CAA. If at any time the test examiner administering the test feels the student is no longer engaged in the test, is not actively participating, or is showing signs of behavioral or functional concerns related to the test, the test examiner can make the decision to pause or end the test. If the choice is made to pause the test, the student can reenter and complete testing once settled, or when the test examiner feels it is appropriate. If the decision is made to end the test based on the best interests of the student, the test examiner will need to advance through the remaining test items until the test examiner reaches the [Stop] button and then submits the test.
Transferring a Test Session
The test administrator or test examiner can transfer an active test session from one device or web browser to another without stopping the session or interrupting in-progress tests. This is useful in scenarios when a device malfunctions while a session is in progress.
The test delivery application ensures that the test administrator or test examiner can only administer a test session from one web browser at a time. If the test administrator or test examiner moves a test session to a new device, the test administrator or test examiner cannot simultaneously administer the session from the original web browser or device.
These instructions apply to both the Test Administrator Interface and Test Administrator Training Site. Additionally, the test administrator or test examiner cannot transfer a session from the Test Administrator Interface to the Test Administrator Training Site or vice versa.
To transfer a test session to a new device or web browser:
While the session is still active on the original device or web browser, log on to the Test Administrator Site on the new device or web browser. The Active Sessions screen appears, listing the active session.
[insert screen capture here; to be added in November]
- Select [Join]. The test session screen appears, allowing the test administrator or test examiner to continue monitoring students’ progress. The test session on the previous device or web browser automatically closes.
Smarter Balanced CAT Items, CAST, and CSA
A student’s Smarter Balanced CAT, CAST, or CSA remains active until the student completes and submits the test or 45 calendar days after the student has begun the test, whichever occurs first. However, it is recommended that students complete the CAT items portion of the test, CAST, or CSA within five days of starting the designated content area.
Smarter Balanced PT
The Smarter Balanced PT is a separate test that remains active for no more than 15 calendar days after the student has begun the PT. However, Smarter Balanced recommends that students complete the PT in each content area within three days of starting. A summary of recommendations for the number of sessions and session durations is provided in subsection Duration and Timing Information.