Users can create a structure for assessments and upload student scores to those assessments. This is called a "user-defined assessment".
A key factor in creating a user-defined assessment is scope, or the level at which the assessment can be accessed and scores uploaded. A user will be able to choose the assessments if:
- it was created by the user
- it was created by anyone else and has a scope of District or State
- it has a scope of School
- was created by a user who is associated to the same school as the user
- *UNLESS* the assessment has an explicit association to a school(s), that the user is *not* associated to
Please Note: Any person who has the permission to view a student's record will be able to view the results of a user-defined assessment, no matter the scope.
In the example below, a first grade teacher, Nelida Neri, is creating a class assessment. Student scores will range from 0 to 100 and the teacher has determined a score of 80 meets standard. She wants to see the scores broken into four performance levels so she can track student progress over time.
Define the Assessment
Ms. Neri logs in to Homeroom. She navigates to the Assessments widget, clicks the upload data tool from the toolbar and chooses Define/Edit Test to begin defining her assessment structure.
She enters an Assessment Test Name and an Assessment Test Label. (The Assessment Test Label is displayed in Homeroom and we recommend it be an abbreviated form of the Assessment Test Name. Also, we suggest you create and use a district defined naming convention to avoid confusion. See the attached PDF for an example of a district naming convention.)
Note in this example, Ms. Neri put her name at the beginning of the test name; since only the label will be displayed, Ms. Neri's name will not appear, but it will help to identify the test structure later on and differentiate assessments if educators happen to use similar naming conventions. The full assessment test name she used is "Neri: Reading Gr 1 – Decoding: Fall”. (Please note: if no Chronological Ordinal is listed, the assessments will be displayed alphabetically in the assessments widget. Therefore, another method of organizing tests is to include a number or date at the beginning of the name.)
Next, Ms. Neri entered the minimum (Min) and maximum (Max) scores, which in this case are "0" and "100". She optionally entered a threshold, or the cut score for meeting standard, which in our example is 80. (Please Note: decimals are allowed, for example 2.5 to 5.5.)
Next, she entered a required Subject Area. She did not chose a Family which is optional. These lists are pre-populated by your district. (If you need additional items added to the lists, please contact your district Data Administrator.) Choosing an item from these lists will aide users looking for specific assessment groups in the assessments widget. Ms. Neri then selected a scope from the drop down box. The scope in this example is “Class” since this is an assessment for a specific classroom and created by a teacher.
Ms. Neri plans to repeat this assessment in the winter and spring, therefore, she is choosing a Chronological Ordinal. This number will force the assessments to be displayed sequentially by number, or chronological order, and overrides any alphabetizing. (Refer to the icon for details on choosing the number.)
Since this is a first grade assessment, given in September, she chose 1001.
Since the assessment is to be displayed in four levels, Ms. Neri selects the Add Level button three times for a total of four possible Performance Levels. Ms. Neri uses the chart below to create her levels:
|Performance Level Name||Min Score||Max Score||Color|
|Level 3||80||90||Light Green|
|Level 4||90||100||Dark Green|
User's may enter any performance level names they chose, but we recommend names which are meaningful to the school or district, as these labels will be displayed as entered the assessment widget.
Please note: each succeeding level uses the maximum score from the previous level. This will ensure any score with a decimal is included in the proper level. In other words, any score less than (<) an 80 will be orange, but a score which equals (=) 80 will be light green.
If Ms. Neri had wanted to create an assessment which simply showed whether or not a student passed, she could have set the Is Met/Not Met toggle to "Yes". The Performance Levels and all score values would have been removed and the student's scores would be entered as met, yes, y, on, true, t, 1, not met, no, n, off, false, f, or 0 (zero).
If Ms. Neri wanted to also make the test progress monitoring or not, she would select this button to toggle yes or no.For instance, this will allow the test to show it's progress monitoring results in the assessments widget.
At this point, the user-defined assessment structure is complete. Make sure you save the assessment by selecting the Save Test button.
Cloning (Copying) an Assessment
Since Ms. Neri plans to use this same assessment structure, with the same performance levels, in the winter and spring, she can clone, or copy, what she created.
To clone a test, she accesses the upload tool and selects Define/Edit Test.
Then, Ms. Neri selects the Clone Existing Test button, and from the list, chooses the assessment she wants to copy.
The assessment structure she previously created is displayed, however, the Assessment Test Name and Label are blank.
Ms. Neri enters a new, unique Name and Label. Then she changes the chronological ordinal to match her winter testing window, and selects Save Test.
Ms. Neri performs the same process for her spring test. Please Note: you cannot clone an assessment defined by another user.
Attaching Strands to Parent Assessments
After creating these benchmark tests, Ms. Neri decided she would like to be able to add an overall score for each student toward the end of the of year, she would also like to group the assessments together in order to identify individual student growth. To do this, she can create a "parent" test and attached each assessment to the parent as a "child". These "child" tests, or strands, are seen on many other assessments, for example the MSP, MAP, or DIBELS.
First, Ms. Neri copied, or cloned, one of her existing assessments, and gave it a unique name. She also set the toggle to Is Met/Not Met. She did not give the parent assessment an ordinal number. Finally, she saved the test.
Then Ms. Neri edited her fall test. She navigated to the upload data tool, selected Define/Edit Test, then Edit Existing Test and chose her fall assessment from the list. She selected the Parent Assessment drop down, then selected the parent test she created.
Now identified as a child or strand, the fall test inherits the Subject Area, Family, and Scope from its parent, however the Performance Levels remain unchanged.
Ms. Neri saves the changes, and attaches the winter and spring assessments to the same parent. Now, whenever she wants to view her assessment group in any widget in Homeroom, she can select the parent, and by expanding the parent, can also see the children, or strands.
Please Note: you cannot attach strands to a parent assessment defined by another user.
Download the Scores Template
Every time a user-defined assessment has been saved, a dialogue box will appear prompting you to download the score template. Unless you are about to assess students, you can select Cancel. However, if you are about to, or have assessed, students and need to add their scores into Homeroom, you should generate a template for upload. The template is very convenient in that it contains the student names, student identifiers (SSID, Other ID), the name of the assessment, an administration date, and a column or columns for the student scores. Plus, critical fields are locked and cannot be edited, which prevents errors. Therefore, the only thing you have to do is enter your students' scores.
Ms. Neri had just administered and scored the fall decoding assessment. She would like to add the scores to Homeroom, so she needs to generate a template. She navigates to the Assessments widget, selects the upload data tool, and then selects Upload Scores.
From the drop down boxes, she selects the fall assessment and the group of students who took the test (this will include withdrawn students for that year.) (Read Student Groups Widget for more information.)
Then Ms. Neri clicks the Download Template button.
A spreadsheet is downloaded to her computer with a default name which includes the date, for example "AssessmentScoreUploadTemplate-12-12-13". Ms. Neri practices good naming conventions and changes the name by adding the assessment name and date of administration, which is meaningful to her.
Had Ms. Neri wanted to download a template for several tests at once, for instance, a parent and its strands, she would simply select all the assessments from the Assessment Tests drop down list and then Download Template.
The template would still contain the student names and ID numbers, however, it would have additional columns to enter scores...one for each strand.
Enter Student Scores
Once she downloaded the assessment template, Ms. Neri opened the file. She does not have to enter the students' names or their ID numbers because they are already populated. She can see that columns in red are the required scores. She adds a test Administration date for reference, then manually enters the students' scores. She can clearly see the performance levels the students achieved on the test, because as she enters their scores the performance level colors she defined in her assessment are displayed. When done entering the required student scores, Ms. Neri saves the file.
This is an example of a template containing multiple assessments. The parent assessment in this example has a Met/Not Met value, and the template contains a drop down list containing the valid values. Also in this example there are strands scores, required in red, which are attached to the parent. The student name and ID columns are locked and cannot be edited.
If Ms. Neri tried to enter an invalid score, she would receive an error message and information on the required values.
If scores are copied and pasted into the column, 'out of range scores' can be copied in. These can be visually see as they have no color coding. They will need to be correct as the upload process will see them as invalid and the data will not be loaded.
Upload Student Scores
Once Ms. Neri has completed entering scores and saving her template, she navigates back to Homeroom and the Assessments widget. She selects the Upload Scores option from the upload data tool and selects the fall assessment. Then she selects the Upload Scores button.
A dialogue box prompts her to browse for the file containing the scores. She selects the Choose File button and navigates to the spreadsheet she saved. Ms. Neri clicks the file to select it, then clicks Upload.
Once Ms. Neri receives a success message she knows the student scores have been uploaded. Within a few minutes Ms. Neri will also receive an email from Homeroom with the results of the upload. It will tell her how many student records were added and if there were any errors. (Please Note: School Data Solutions suggests you retain these email messages.)
If Ms. Neri happens to accidentally load the student scores twice, the second load will override the first, that is the second set of scores will effectively delete the first set.
If there are errors, please contact your district Homeroom support person to help trouble shoot.
View Assessment Results
In Homeroom, Ms. Neri refreshes her browser window to reload all data. Then she navigates to the Assessments widget, selects her student group, and locates the classroom assessment she created.
Here is an example of her "Reading Gr 1 Decoding: Fall" assessment.
Edit a User-Defined Assessment
If at any point, you want to change the assessment structure you created, navigate to the Assessments widget, click the upload data tool and select Define/Edit Test. Please Note: you cannot edit an assessment defined by another user.
Select the Edit Existing Test button and a list of all the assessments you have created will be displayed in bold. Select the assessment you want to edit; all fields are populated with your previous choices. Modify the fields as needed and select Save Test.
Delete Student Scores
To delete just student scores, but keep the assessment structure you defined, go to your email and locate the upload processing message from SDS Support. Select the link to "remove the successfully uploaded scores...". You may be prompted to log in to Homeroom. A browser windows will open requesting that you confirm the deletion.
Delete a User-Defined Assessment
Only the person who created the assessment can delete it. Navigate to the Assessments widget, click the upload data tool and select Define/Edit Test. Select the Edit Existing Test button and a list of all the assessments you have created will be displayed in bold. Select the assessment you want to delete, then select the Delete button. You will receive a warning, select Yes to confirm. Please Note: when you delete an assessment, all student scores attach to the assessment are also deleted.
[Updated: 7/13/17, tlc]