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SD Department of Education April 2015  

Q&A: Basics of accessing, interpreting Smarter Balanced results

In general, once a student completes a Smarter Balanced test, his or her results will be available in approximately 10 business days. This month we offer some guidance on navigating this information.

Where will student scores be located?
Student results will be available in the South Dakota Smarter Balanced portal’s Online Reporting System. Districts should have some familiarity with the ORS already, as it’s also where test completion results are located.

What qualifies as a completed test?
A test cannot be submitted for scoring until a student has completed both the content and performance task components.

Who can access results?
Each district test coordinator has access to the ORS. District-level users get access to the ORS from the South Dakota Department of Education. Districts are then responsible for managing access at the school level. The district test coordinator can grant access to school-level personnel. If additional district-level users are still in need of access, contact Jan Martin, the department’s assessment coordinator.

Is there training available for navigating the ORS?
Districts can start exploring the ORS via a pre-recorded webinar and with the help of the ORS User Guide.

That’s a lot of information to digest. Will DOE also be offering live trainings?
Yes. South Dakota Department of Education staff stand ready to support districts, and we understand educators might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. The department will be hosting a live webinar on the ORS in mid- to late April. This webinar will walk districts through the ORS, including how to access various score reports, individual results, etc. Jan Martin will send district test coordinators a Lync meeting invitation to this webinar in an upcoming weekly test update email.

What will overall Smarter Balanced results look like?
It’s important to remember Smarter Balanced results cannot be compared to Dakota STEP results. The Smarter Balanced assessment measures student mastery of new, more rigorous standards, and there will be a period of adjustment as students become more familiar with the concepts being assessed. If you must compare results of the two tests, expect to see a drop in the number of students demonstrating proficiency (Levels 3 and 4).

What will individual student reports look like?
Scores will range from 2000-3000. In addition to a specific score, a student score report will include an error band indicating a range within which the student would likely score if he or she were to take the assessment multiple times. Student scores will fall within one of four levels: minimal understanding (Level 1), partial understanding (Level 2), adequate understanding (Level 3) and thorough understanding (Level 4).

Student reports will also indicate how a student scored on claims, which are groups of test questions that measure similar or related knowledge or skills. Students’ performance on claims will be rated Below Standard, At/Near Standard or Above Standard.

On the math assessment, students will receive scores on three claims:
• Concepts & Procedures
• Problem Solving and Modeling & Data Analysis
• Communicating Reasoning

On the English language arts assessment, students will receive scores on four claims:
• Reading
• Writing
• Listening
• Research & Inquiry

Are student results in the ORS considered finalized?
No. It is important to remember that the data included in the ORS is considered preliminary. The department will provide official accountability data later (tentatively mid-September) through SD-STARS.

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