Its almost that time again: time for basketball tournaments to monopolizeÂ sports- and news- headlines around the country. You can take advantage of the excitement by having your own tournament with our original two player game, SGKS: Super Graduation Kombat Smackdown. You can find it under the Games tab on either the Teacher or Student site in each test subject.
But you can also print out tournament-style brackets to make the game even more interesting. You can find this on your teacher Home page. Just look for “Tournament Brackets” on the right in yellow box.
A pdf file will open up with tournament brackets for 4, 8, 16, and 32 players.
Bring out the competitive side of your students by using SGKS- or any of our games- and these brackets, not just in March but all year long!
At some point you may need to change something very basic in your account. You might decide to change your password during the year. Or maybe your school has changed your email address or you might want to change it to something else. Theses are very easy tasks that you can handle quickly.
Just look for the Edit Account link under your avatar on your Home page.
You can alter your salutation, make any name changes, and insert a new email address. If you see a message like the one shown in the graphic (1), it means that emails sent to you have been rejected by your server.Â You will definitely want to update your email and click the â€œRe-enable Emailsâ€ box.â€
In addition to changing your other login information (Username, Password, etc) and changing your avatar (on the right), you can now change the email preferences (2) that allow communication to your email address. Here you can choose to have a nightly email summary of student activity sent to your inbox, receive announcements from USATestprep, get reports about your schoolâ€™s monthly usage, and get expiration notices.
BE SURE to click the green â€œSave Changesâ€ button to apply any alterations you have made.
[Disclaimer: This would probably NEVER happen to YOUR students.]
Occasionally a student may forget his or her password. Any teacher with a USATestprep account can help a student if this happens.
From your Home page, click the “Student Password Search” link on the right side of the page.
Next, simply type in the student’s name. It could be the student’s first name or last name.
When you find the name, click the studentâ€™s name, then Â the Search button. You will then see the Username and Password for the student you selected. You can even print a password card for them.
So if you know anyone who ever experiences this trauma, you may want to let them know about this handy feature.
At the start of a new semester you might find that you have to add or remove students to or from an existing class. Fortunately, student management is a pretty easy task.
From your Classes tab, find the class you need to add students to, then click “Manage Class” on the right
On the new window, click the green â€œEdit Classâ€ button on the right.
If need be, you can edit the name of the class or the test subjects associated with that class. Whether or not you make changes, click the green â€œContinueâ€ button when ready.
On the next screen you will see â€œStudents in This Classâ€ on the left. To remove Â (1) a student from your class, click the red X. Â You have a few choices to add students. You can (2) click the â€œSuggestâ€ button. This will create a list of students that have reported scores to you in the past 12 months. You can also (3) click on any letter of the alphabet to see student accounts sorted by last name. Or you can (4) click the â€œ+ Searchâ€ link to search for students by their first or last name. Regardless of the option you choose, to add as student to your class, click the blue â€œ+ Addâ€ link (5). When finished, click the green â€œSave and Closeâ€ button.
After thatâ€¦ you’re done! If a student has never used USATestprep before, he/she will need to have an account created before he/she can be added. Please refer to our earlier Blog entry about doing this, or check out our How To Videos from your Home page.
If you are the primary teacher of a class, you can now share access to that class with another teacher who uses USATestprep. This feature was created to help team teaching environments.
To share a class with another teacher, go to your Classes tab, find the class (in this case â€œ1stÂ Periodâ€ and click the green â€œManage Classâ€ button on the right.
You can either click the â€œSecondary Teacher: Select Teacherâ€ link or click the green â€œEdit Classâ€ button.Â In either case, you will be asked if you want to share your class with another teacher. Here is the view from seeing it by choosing the â€œSecondary Teacher: Select Teacherâ€ linkâ€¦
â€¦ and the â€œEdit Classâ€ link.
Once you choose who you want to share your class with, be sure to confirm and save your changes. When finished, you can go back to the Classes tab on your Home page. There you will see a pink S Â next to the class you have shared with another teacher. In this example, you can also see a grayed-out class with an S next to it. That is a class that has been shared WITH you. Any â€œsharedâ€ teacher will be able to view class gradebook, report card, and other class functionality. All student data is reported to the primary teacher and the shared teacher will not be able to create assignments for the class.
We heard your voice when asking for this new feature and have worked to make it a reality. If you have any feedback on this, please do not hesitate to let us know.
When your students do work for you on USATestprep, you can always find their results under the “Student Results” tab on your Home page.
Or can you?
What if you get a notification that there are no results?
The system automatically loads the first 10 results over the last week, so if it has been more than seven days since students have completed work for you on the site you will not see anything. Just click, “See More Results” (1) for searching options.
You can search for results in a myriad of ways: by student (2), class (3), activity (4), test (5), current or archived (6), and- perhaps most importantly- by date (7). You can choose a predetermined time frame- last month, 3 months, etc- or within a specific date range. Once you have made your choice, click the “Go” button.
You will then see the results for the students/activities/date range you have chosen. Still don’t see the result you’re looking for? Note that at the bottom of the results (8) you can see how many result pages there are. You can change the number of results you see per page, as well.
And if you want to manipulate them further, you can click the heading of any column will sort the results by that category. Of course, you can View assignment results and Archive (9) ones that are old and you want hidden from view. (Don’t worry: you’ll still have access to them.) At the bottom of the results you also have another option. You can choose to have all results sent to you in a nightly email (10) simply by clicking the box to the left of that option. This report will be run in the middle of the night and send to the email address you have associated with your account.
These options should help you keep a better track of your students’ performance in your classes. Let us know if you have any suggestions or comments.
Youâ€™ve probably already used our Message system- if you havenâ€™t be sure to check out the How To Video or previous Blog entries- but you may not know about our ne Instant Messaging system.
You can send a Message to students currently online the same way that you would a traditional Message. But to make it an Instant Message, click the â€œInstant Messageâ€ option (1). You can also see which students are currently online (2), so you can tailor your message to that individual should the need arise.
After you send it, the selected online student will receive it automatically.
As with regular Messages, students cannot initiate communication with you OR with other students. Students can only reply to a message from their teacher if that teacher chooses â€œAllow Students to Replyâ€ as an option.
USATestprep has received requests from teachers for a way to create many assignments all at once. The wait is over. We have come up with a system that will do just that. We have an excellent â€œGroup Assignmentsâ€ video on our â€œHow Toâ€ section, but here are a few of the most important points.
When you click on the â€œCreate New Assignmentâ€ link from the â€œAssignments Tab,â€ you will have a choice to create a Single Assignment or a Group Assignment. Either type can be made for an entire class, selected students, or a single student.
Give your Group a title (1), and choose the appropriate test subject (2). Next choose which Tests (3) and/or Practice activities Â (4) you would like to assign. (NOTE: If you wish to assign a Benchmark Test you must first create that test.) You do not HAVE to assign both. If you wish to only assign Practice activities, skip the Tests(s) section, and vice versa. In this example, we will only assign Practice activities.
After you choose your Domain (5), you will see the Elements listed below. Check the boxes for the kinds of activities you would like to assign. Choose as many or as few as you would like. (6)
For some activities- such as Skill Work, Videos, Puzzles, and Games- you may see a new window pop up. You will need to choose which activity/activities you would like to assign. You can select all with one click by choosing â€Select Allâ€ (A), or you can choose them individually (B). You can always reset the choices quickly by clicking â€Uncheck Allâ€ (C). Be sure to click the green â€œSave and Closeâ€ button (D) when youâ€™re done.
When youâ€™ve completed this process, youâ€™ll see the all the assignment types checked next (7) for the appropriate the Elements, as well as the number of types of assignments you have chosen (8). You can always edit this by clicking on that assignment type. If you want to assign another Domain practice, you can always click on the â€œAdd More Practiceâ€ link. (9) To go to the last step, click the green â€œContinueâ€ button. (10)
The last step has you choosing your settings. To move the order of assignments, simply drag the assignment (11) up or down. Then, choose a start date and an end date (12) for the assignments. They can all be the same or you can set them for different dates. However, students will ONLY be able to complete the assignments in the order you have set for them. You can make any other changes in the last three columns should you choose. Once you are done, click the green â€œSave Assignmentâ€ button at the bottom of the windowâ€¦
and youâ€™re through!
You can then see this Group listed in your Assignments tab. (13) Just click the â€œ+â€ to expand the Group.
As for your students, theyâ€™ll see a message in their Messages tab, but theyâ€™ll also see the group (14) in their Assignments tab. Notice that they can only complete them in the order you have set.(15)
We know you will love this new feature. For more information, be sure to watch the â€œGroup Assignmentâ€ video in the â€œHow Toâ€ section, and donâ€™t hesitate to call or email us.
Sometimes when a student forgets his or her username or password, they’ll just create a new account. This is a bad idea for them and for you as their teacher. When students create a second/third/eleventh account, they will most likely not be receiving any assignments you create for them. Why? You only know about their first/original account. As a result, they’ll lose any credit you would give them for completing their work. Additionally, multiple accounts makes tracking student performance more difficult for teachers and administrators. Fortunately, there are a few things that anyone with Admin access can to if a student has already created more than one account.
From the Admin tab on your home page, you can manually merge the multiple accounts of a student into one account. Simply locate a student that has more than one account (1) and click the orange â€œMergeâ€ button next to the account you want to keep (2). [Note: this is usually the one with the oldest login.]
Then, click the name of the account (3) you want to merge INTO the account at the top (the one you chose to keep). Then hit the green â€œMerge Studentsâ€ button (4).
Youâ€™re done! Youâ€™ll notice that the student now has just one account.
BUT, if you have many students with multiple accounts, there is a way to do this more quickly. Click the â€œStudent Merge Suggestorâ€ at the top of the Students tab.
Our system will immediately display any student accounts with identical student names and group them together. The student account in orange (5) represents the account that will be kept. The other multiple accounts for that student will be merged into that account displayed in orange. Click the green â€œMerge Studentsâ€ button and youâ€™re done.
This is a great way to clean up your student accounts quickly and without losing any data.
Did you know that when you create a benchmark test you can have our system automatically eliminate an incorrect answer?
This option can be found in Step 2 of the Benchmark process.
By default, the “Number of Answers per Question” option is set at 4, but you can change this is a simple mouse click. If you choose to have three answers per question, when students take the test they will see one answer already eliminated for them.
Additionally, students can always choose to eliminate answers on any test they take. This can be helpful when students want to narrow their own choices for a question. Simply directing the mouse an answer choice will highlight that choice. To the right of an answer is the “Eliminate” link.
Clicking this will eliminate the answer for the student, which will be represented by the answer being “grayed out” with a line through it. The answer can easily be reactivated by clicking the “Reactivate” link.
These options can help both teachers and students improve scores and reduce test-taking anxieties.