USATestprep Blog

Archive for the 'How to' Category

New Benchmark Features

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

For the new year, USATestprep has several new features within our Benchmark System.

 

In Step 1 of the Benchmark creation, you can now choose to have questions displayed in Spanish.

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Also, when creating a Custom Benchmark, you can choose to view questions by the passage with which they are associated, and you can select any or all questions with that passage for your benchmark test.

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Finally, on the Preview section of the process, you can rearrange the order of the questions by clicking the up or down arrow next to the question number. Clicking it once will move it one space in the direction of the arrow.

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We know these changes will add to your use of the Benchmark features on USATestprep. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Sharing Assignments!

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

You can now create Shared Assignments on USATestprep.

To do this, simply create an assignment- Single or Group- as you normally would. When you get to the third step- “Choose Settings”- you will see this option at the bottom of the page:

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Clicking “Yes” to Shared Assignment will allow any other teacher in your school who has a class created for that subject the ability to give his/her students that assignment. The other teacher(s) will simply click their Assignments tab and the “Browse Shared Assignments” link.

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This view will show you all assignments that have been shared and that you can choose to assign to your students. When you see one you want to share, just click “Assign to My Students” and proceed like any other Assignment you create.

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For more information on this, be sure to check out our video- “Sharing Assignments”- on this topic in our “Help” section.

Merging Students?

Monday, May 12th, 2014

STOP

This message is for all you Admins out there: Merging Accounts may not mean what you think it means. When you merge two accounts you are combining all of the data from the multiple sources and putting them into just one. This is meant to help you streamline a situation in which you may have 1 user with 2 or more accounts.

Sometimes Admins try to help out by merging accounts of people who teach the same subject, but do NOT do this! We do NOT advise merging two different users into one account because the merge process is irreversible. If you merge two different users into one account, the data will not be able to be separated back out.

Before merging teacher accounts, it’s advisable to double check before you click that merge button. So- to paraphrase a popular carpentry adage-  check twice, merge once.

Finding Assignments and Benchmarks

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Maybe this has happened to you. You’ve created an Assignment or a Benchmark Test a while back and you want to take a look at it… but it just isn’t there. You don’t see it anywhere on either the Assignments tab or the Benchmarks tab.

No need to worry. You can look a little further back in time by changing the display option on both pages. In the image below, “A” represents the pages of results you have based on the number of pages being displayed at the time (“B”). You can always change “B” as well to show 20, 50, or 100 items at a time.

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So don’t panic: it’s still there, even if you don’t see it right away!

Spring Break Is Upon Us!

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Well, some schools may be powering through thanks to “Old Man Winter” and his tricks this year. If you ARE fortunate enough to still have time off, this hint is for you.

Many teachers ask their students to use USATestprep over the holiday breaks. However, some students- not yours, of course- don’t know their password when they head out the door on Friday afternoon. You can always print off your students’ password information for them so they’ll be sure to have it handy. Just click the Manage Class button for your class.

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Then, click on the blue Password Cards button to print out a password card for each individual student.

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If your students do not yet have accounts, you can give them the Account ID and the Student Activation Code. This information can always be found by clicking on your school name from your teacher Home page.

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Addressing Weak Areas

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

If you need to have students work on their weakest areas, just look for dots.

Well, dots on USATestprep, anyway.

Whenever you see a green, yellow, or red dot next to student results, theres a good chance that clicking that dot will create an assignment for the students in your classes based on that specific standard.

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Be sure you have classes created, of course, in order to get the full effect of this effective and time-saving feature. More information can be found in our Manual and Help Videos, or you can give us a call.

New Benchmarking!

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Have you seen our new Benchmark features?

You can now add Skill Work Activities and Free Response questions to the Benchmark tests you create on USATestprep.

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You can also pick the specific questions you want to include on your Custom Benchmark.

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Be sure to watch our videos on creating your own Benchmark test with our new, improved system!

New: Flashcards

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Teachers can now easily print out Flashcards for all of our vocabulary terms.

When you log in, just go to your subject-specific page and look for “Flashcards” under the Print Resources heading.

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Then, choose the domain within your subject and the terms you wish to include. You can click one box to select them all, or you can choose them individually. When you’re finished, click the green “Load Flashcards” button…

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And they’re generated. Each sheet of flashcards will contain six terms, allowing the cards to be read comfortably by students.

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Please let us know if you have any question about this helpful new feature.

Quick Tips: Report Cards

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

If it’s the end of the year, then everyone must be clambering to get ready for the big tests. Our Report Cards can be really helpful in helping you and your students prepare for the final push. Here is how use them.

 

  • Class Report Cards

From your Classes tab, click the green Manage Class button for that period…

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… then, under the Report Cards tab, choose your test subject.

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At a glance you can see how your class is doing on specific elements within your state standards. By using a system of dots we show you how your students are achieving based on the number of questions from that element they have seen in tests or benchmark tests: (1) Green (>85%), Yellow (70-84%), and Red (<70%). At the top page you also have a number  of helpful options. (2) Under “Suggested Practice” you can see the three standards for which your students have the lowest success rate. Clicking on any of them will open up a new tab that will allow you to quickly create assignments for your class based on that specific standard. (Pretty sweet, huh?)  To the right of that you have a Filter (3), that will allow you to change the reporting dates for the Class Report Card. And to the right of that, you can (4) Print this Class Report Card, (5) View this in a scrollable Grid View (see below), or (6) view the instructions on using the Report Cards feature.

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  • Student Report Cards

You can also see how individual students are doing using this same system. There are a few ways to access this information. If you are in Grid View (above), click on the student’s name.  Or, if you look at your students in a class (in the Classes tab) and click on a student’s name…

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… then the Report Card you wish to view.

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You’ll see a view similar to that of the Class Report Card, though with some obvious differences. At the top you can see the results of the last three tests (1) that student has completed. But you can also see a “Suggested Practice” button (2). This is similar to the feature in the Class Report Card, but this will automatically create three assignments in THAT STUDENT’S weakest areas. (Again… sweet deal!) Below that are the standards, but these results show much more than just tests. The columns represent (3) Tests, Practice Questions, Vocabulary Activities, Skill Work Activities, and Videos. (Note: For Skill Work and Videos, the numbers represent how many of the activities have been completed successfully.) We use the same color-coding (4) as on the class page, but, again, the Instructions button can clarify this information.

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One last Report Card view to mention. Students can see their own Report Cards by clicking on the “Report Cards” tab on their Home page. They’ll then be able to see the exact same information with the exact same functionality as you would see on an individual’s Report Card.

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All of these can really help you and your students in this final push to the end of the year.

Quick Tips: Favorites

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

You’ve probably been cruising around the site and have seen a question that you wanted to put on a benchmark test.  Or maybe you have a question of your own that would be perfect for your next benchmark test. Good thing for you that we have a “Favorites” tab on your Home page. Here’s how to utilize it.

 

If you see a question that you’d like to remember for another day, look for the “Add to Favorites” link underneath the question. You could see this while creating a benchmark test, looking at a small/med/large test, practice questions, or maybe while looking at our Question of the Day.

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This will automatically add the question to your Favorites tab on your teacher home page. Here you can see both the USATestprep question you’ve tagged as favorites AND any questions of your own that you’ve input.

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Clicking on the My Questions link, will allow you to add your own questions on the site. Choose “Add Question” and you start a 3 part step to adding a question. First, chose the Test Subject (1)you want the question to be a part of. <i>Note: you must have already created a class that is associated with that test subject.>/i>

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Then choose the (2)standard with which the question will be associated. (Nomenclature in your state may vary from the example shown.) When finished, click the “Continue”  button.

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Next, input your question. You can assign an image to your question. Just click the box (3) and upload your jpg, png, or gif file. If the question needs a prompt or a passage, input it in the prompt box (4). The text of your question goes in the next box (5), and the choices can be input underneath (6). BE SURE to choose the correct answer (7), which is a rather important step. If you want to include an explanation like other questions on USATestprep, input it in the Explanation/Feedback box (8). You may also notice that you can use HTML tags by clicking on the yellow HTML button (9). The button is associated specifically with the field to which it is adjacent. If you don’t wish to do this, simple ignore them. Once you’ve completed this step, click “Review Question” (not shown, but below Explanation/Feedback).

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Then proof your work. If you need to revise it, click the “Edit Question” link (10). If it looks perfect to you,  click the Submit Question button (11) and you’re done!

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This question is now saved on your Favorites Tab.

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You can now use this question when making your own Benchmark test.

 

You should note that when you create a question only YOU will have access to it. Yes, we store it for you, but no other teachers- not in any other school or even within your school- will be able to add it into their own benchmark tests, nor will it show up in their practice questions. Your question is only for you.

 

If you ever have any questions about this process, don’t hesitate to lest us know.

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