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ccss directions before the directions…

Today the staff took an hour after school to learn about the new standardized sbac tests in Connecticut the kids will be taking in the spring.  It was recommended that the teachers take the practice test, that the students practice taking the test, all while practicing, learning the skills, and taking other tests to see what the test data says we should be doing to improve our students results on the test.  After taking the practice test I can see why the kids need to practice taking the test before actually taking the test.  Part of the test will simply be navigating your way around the test.  There are the different ways to click on the right answers for the test, and there are sections where you have to re-write paragraphs on the test and when you scroll to the box where you write your answer on the test you can no longer see the paragraphs on the test that you were supposed to re-write to score high on the test.  But before you ever even get to the test questions on the test, the kids get introduced to the icons they will see on the test that they will have to be familiar with in order to take the test, do well on the test, and test test test.  Here are the test instructions that the kids will receive before actually getting to the directions that will actually be for the actual test questions.

More of my common core state standards posts

Keyboard Navigation for Students

Button

Function / Details

Keyboard Commands

Open the GLOBAL MENU

*+
*

Go to the NEXT test page

*+

(or use the Global Menu)

*

Go to the PREVIOUS test page

*+

(or use the Global Menu)

 

Move to the NEXT ELEMENT (e.g., move to the next item on the same page)

*

Move to the PREVIOUS ELEMENT (e.g., move to the previous item on the same page)

*+ *

Select OPTION A

To toggle between answer options for selected-response questions:

+

To select an answer option:

*

Select OPTION B

 *

Select OPTION C

 *

Select OPTION D

 *

PAUSE your test

*+ (via Global Menu)*

END TEST

*+ (via Global Menu)*

HELP GUIDE

*+ (via Global Menu)*

CALCULATOR

*+ (via Global Menu)*

ZOOM IN (increase the size of text and graphics on a page)

*+

or use the Global Menu

*

ZOOM OUT (decrease the size of text and graphics on a page)

*+

or use the Global Menu

 

SCROLL UP in an area of the test page

*

SCROLL DOWN in an area of the test page

*

SCROLL to the RIGHT in an area of the test page

*

SCROLL to the LEFT in an area of the test page

*

Open the CONTEXT MENU (for that passage, question, or answer choice)

*+*

MARK / UNMARK a question for review

*+ (via Context Menu)

STRIKETHROUGH an answer option

*+ (via Context Menu)

HIGHLIGHTER*

*+ (via Context Menu)

SPEAK*

(listen to a passage, question, answer option, or specific portion of text)

*+ (via Context Menu)

*See below for detailed instructions on using this tool with a keyboard.

Test Selection Screens and In-Test Pop-ups

Use these keyboard commands to select options on the pages prior to your test or on pop-up messages that appear during your test. For example, if you see a screen with [No] or [Yes] buttons, you will need to navigate to that button to select it.

Examples of Test Selection Screen and In-test Pop-Up Messages

Keyboard Command

Function

*

Move to the next button

* +

Move to the previous button

*

Select the outlined button

 

Global Menu

The Global Menu contains all the options displayed along the bottom of the student’s test screen.

  • Press the [Ctrl] + [G] keys to access the Global Menu. The menu will appear on the screen. (Make sure you do not have your cursor in a text box.)

  • Use the [Up] or [Down] arrow keys on your keyboard to move between options in the menu. Each option will be highlighted as you arrow up or down.

  • Press the [Enter] key to select the highlighted menu option.

  • Press the [ESC] key to close the Global Menu.

Note: The Global Menu may change based on the test that you are taking. For example, the Global Menu on a Math test may include a Calculator, which you will not see on Reading tests.

Sample Global Menu

Context Menus

The Context Menus contain the options available for each area of a test page. These areas of a test page are called “elements.”

The elements on a test may include include:

  • Reading passages

  • Test items

  • Answer options (A, B, C, and D)

Sample Test Page

Note: This image may not match what you see on your screen.

 

Each element has its own context menu. To view the context menu for an element, you need to navigate to that element.

  1. Press the [TAB] key to navigate between test items (and the reading passage, if there is one).

  2. Press [CTRL] + [TAB] to switch from a test item to each answer option.

  3. Press the [Ctrl] + [M] keys on the keyboard. The context menu for that element will appear.

  4. Use the [Up] or [Down] arrow keys on your keyboard to move between options in the menu. Each option will be highlighted as you arrow up or down.

  5. Press the [Enter] key to select the highlighted menu option.

  6. Press the [ESC] key to close the Context Menu.

Sample Context Menu for Test Item/Question

Note: This image may not match what you see on your screen.

The context menu for an answer option may show different options than for a test item or reading passage.

Context Menu for Answer Option

Selecting Text with Your Keyboard

These instructions are for selecting text to highlight or have the computer read aloud.

  1. Place the focus on the element containing the text you want to select. A reading passage, item, or answer choice are the different types of elements that can be on a test screen.

  2. Press [Ctrl] + [M] to open the context menu.

  3. Select Enable Text Selection from the list of available options. A flashing cursor will appear.

  4. Use the arrow keys to move the cursor to the beginning of the text you want to select.

  5. Press and hold the [Shift] key and use the arrow keys to select your text. The text you have selected will appear shaded.

  6. Press [Ctrl] + [M] to access the Context Menu.

  7. Select the feature you want to use for the selected text (e.g., Highlighter or Speak tools).

Keyboard Command

Function / Details

*

Press the [Tab] key to move between the Object Bank, the buttons at the top of the screen (Delete, Add Point, Connect Line, Add Arrow, Add Line), and the main Answer Space. The “active” space or button will show a border to make it look different.

*

Press the [Enter] key to move between the objects (images, dots, lines, and arrows) that are in the Answer Space. The “active” object will show a border to make it look different.

*

Select Object: Press the [Space bar] to select the “active” object or button (the one that shows a border). If you are selecting an object or adding a point, line, or arrow, it will move to the Answer Space, in the top left corner. It will also have a blue border to show that it is still “active.”


Delete Object: Use the [Space bar] to delete an object (after you have selected the [Delete Button] option and moved to the object you want to delete).

*

Move the object to the left.

*

Move the object to the right.

*

Move the object up.


For items with an object bank, use the ↑ arrow to navigate between the available objects. The selected object will have a blue background.

*

Move the object down.


For items with an object bank, use the ↓ arrow to navigate between the available objects. The selected object will have a blue background.

*

+ [arrow key]

Move the object a smaller distance (left, right, up, or down).

More of my common core state standards posts

3 comments

  1. I’m dizzy just looking at all that! I can’t wait until it’s our turn to start practicing. NOT!

    This is why I haven’t looked at the practice test yet.

  2. Man…that looks ROUGH. But as a former multimedia producer I know all UI/UX 1.0s to be rough. I’m not clear why they put the keyboard shortcuts in the “prelude” to the practice test. I’d put a link to it under a pop-down in the upper right.

    That said, I fully expect things to get better, and in the browser, this can happen VERY quickly.

    We’re not there yet, but we’re on the way to a better system for preparing students for what comes next!

  3. I took the practice test last week and I agree that it is overwhelming. Not only can most of my students not type, but the different ways to click on the correct answer was confusing to even me. Once I figured it out, I had to go explain it to several other teachers. We got to submit feedback so here’s to hoping they take some of it to heart. We already lose too much time with the kids to testing.

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