USATestprep Blog

Archive for the 'How to' Category

Quick Tips: Merge Student Accounts

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

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 “Merge” 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 “Merge Students” button (4).

 

You’re done! You’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 “Student Merge Suggestor” 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 “Merge Students” button and you’re done.

 

This is a great way to clean up your student accounts quickly and without losing any data.

Quick Tips: Eliminating Answers

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

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.

Quick Tips: Sharing a Benchmark Test

Friday, October 19th, 2012

When you create a Benchmark test, keep in mind that you can always share that benchmark test with other teachers in your school.

 

To share a benchmark test, simply change the “Teacher” option in the first step- “1 Enter Teacher Info”- when you create a benchmark test. Change your name to “Shared Benchmark- Allow Students to Choose” from the drop down menu. When a benchmark is created with this option in place, any teacher who has chosen that test subject- American History, Algebra, etc.- will be able to have the results of the benchmark sent to them should a student choose. This is perfect for department or school-wide review.

 

As always, this topic and many others are covered in the  “How To” videos located on your teacher Home page.

 

Quick Tips: Videos Not Playing?

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

It is unlikely to happen, but if you ever go to watch a video on the site and find that it won’t work, there are a few things you can do on your end to troubleshoot. Here are a few tips:

  • If you are experiencing this is on a school computer, check with the IT department before doing anything.
  • Make sure you have updated your web browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc.) to the latest version.
  • Check that you have the latest version of Adobe Flash on the computer.

Quick Tips: Autograde Override

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Last year, as every year, we gathered feedback from teachers and received a “wish list” of ideas for the site. Towards the top of that list was the ability to have video comprehension questions graded automatically. This fall, we have that. Still, there are only so many alternative answers we can think up as answers to those comprehension questions.

Now, you have the ability to override answers that have already been autograded. Here is how you do it.

1. Go to the Student Results tab.

2. Find the video and click the orange Edit button.

 

3. To change a grade, click the drop down menu. You can choose to keep it as Incorrect, change it to Correct, or give Half Credit. You can then scroll down (not pictured) and leave any comments you wish (if you wish). Click the green Submit Grade button and you’re done. The changes have been applied.

 

We know this help alleviate any uncertainty your students may have about their results. We will, of course, continue to edit the question answers. Students and teachers can always give us feedback about this by clicking on the Question Feedback button.

Quick Tips: Name Not Showing Up For Students?

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Have you ever had students tell you that they don’t see your name from a list of teachers when using USATestprep?  Well, don’t worry: the school isn’t trying to tell you something.

 

You just need to make sure your name is associated with the test subject you teach. You can do this by looking at the “Creating a Class” entry above, but here is the quick scoop.

1. Click the “Classes” tab.

2. If you’ve created a class already, click the green “Manage Class” button on the right. (If not, click the “Create a New Class” link.)

3. On the next page, click “Edit Class.” That page will allow you to associate that class- and you as a teacher- with a test subject. Your students will now be able to choose your name from a pull down list of teachers when they complete an activity on the site.

 

While you’re there, you can also add  or remove students to your class, a process also explained in the “Creating a Class” entry on this Blog.

Quick Tips: Assignments

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

So you’ve created some classes. Now what?

Well, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of our Assignments tab on your teacher Home page. To create an assignment, just A) click the Assignments tab, then B) the “Create New Assignment” link.

 

The rest of the process is pretty easy.

1. Choose the class/students you want to take the assignment. You can choose an entire class by simply clicking on the box next to the class name. If you only want specific students to take the assignment, click on the box next to the class name, “Uncheck All,” then select the student who you want to complete the assignment.

 

2. The next step is to Choose the Assignment. You’ll enter A) a name, B) then the type of assignment you want to give- Test, Practice, Game, or Video (Comprehension Questions)- and C) the appropriate options that go along with each type of assignment.

 

3. The final step is to Choose your Settings. A) You’ll determine the start date and end date for the assignment. When you choose a start date in the future, please note that the assignment will only show up on for your students when that start date has been reached. Also, once an end date has been reached, students will still be able to see the assignment on their Home page, but they will not be able to complete it. You can also choose whether or not you B) want students to have multiple attempts to improve their score, C) achieve a minimum score, or D) retest the questions they’ve missed. Then click “Save Assignment,” and you’re all done!

 

The assignment will then show up on your Home page and your students’ Home page.

 

Remember, this topic and many others are covered in the  “How To” videos located on your teacher Home page.

Quick Tips: Emailing Student Results

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Now that your students are back in class and using USATestprep, you’ll want to track their progress. Of course, you can do this by using the Student Results tab on your Teacher Home page. But you can also have these results sent directly to your email’s inbox.

All you have to do is:

1. Click the Student Results tab.

2. Check the Receive Nightly Email Results box.

Checking this box will create an automated email from our system each night (around 2am Eastern) containing detailed data regarding all of your students’ results for the past 24 hours.

 

You might want to take a moment, as well, to verify that your email address is accurate and up to date. You can do this by clicking Edit Account underneath your avatar on your Teacher Home page.

 

One last thing: students will NOT be able to email you directly. They will not be able to see or access your email address through USATestprep.

 

 

Quick Tips: Create a Class

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Creating a class is an easy and necessary step in using USATestprep. By creating a class, you can not only assign students tasks- from the Assignments tab- but you can associate your name with a test subject.

Why is this important? By doing this simple step, students will be able to see your name from a pull down list when completing an activity such as a test, practice activities, or games. This will allow you to see their scores on all of these activities. If you ever hear a student say that they didn’t see your name in such a list, this is the reason why.

To Create a new class:

1.Click the Classes tab.

2.Click the “Create New Class” link.

3.Then type in a name for your class…

4.…and pick the test subjects that you want to associate with that class.

5.The final step is to add students to your class. (You do not have to do this in order to create a class, though: you can always add them later.) You can search for students who have created an account on USATestprep in a few ways. A) You can search by the first letter of their last name (click on the appropriate letter) or B) you can Search by typing in their first, last, or full name.

6.To add a student, just click “+ Add.”

7.You will see all enrolled students on the left.

8.Once you have added everyone, click the green Save and Close button. You’re done!

Quick Tips: Data Management

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Just a reminder: Each August 1 we move around the data from the previous year in order to make the site run more smoothly. Here is what we do:

  • All test results are archived (for 1 year).
  • All practice and game results are deleted.
  • All data deleted by teachers is permanently expunged.
  • All data over 1 year old is expunged.
    We do NOT:
  • Delete classes.
  • Delete students.
  • Change teacher/account information.
    If you need more information about this policy, simply click the “Need Help” link at the top of any page, then the “Downloads” tab. Our “Data Management Policy” can be viewed, downloaded, and/or printed.

    And of course, if you have any questions please let us know.
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