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Student Assessment

A Comparison of Paper- and Computer-Based ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Tests

New computer- and paper-based ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 ("ACCESS") tests will be administered to English language learners (ELLs) in the 2015-2016 school year. Schools will have the option to deliver the assessment as a computer-based or paper-based assessment, or a combination of both. In schools administering the computer-based assessments, a student may take a paper-based version of ACCESS 2.0 if he or she is unfamiliar with computers, or is unable to use a computer due to a disability. Paper-based versions of the Kindergarten and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs tests will continue to be administered to all students.

To assist schools make decisions about which test versions to administer, a comparison of ACCESS computer- and paper-based test formats is provided below. Additional information can be found on the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 webpage.

For assistance, please contact the Student Assessment Office at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at access@doe.mass.edu or by phone at 781-338-3625.

Test DomainPaper-based testComputer-based test
ListeningTest administrator plays the listening passages on a CDListening passages are played to students on the computer through headphones
Students select response from multiple-choice options on paperStudents select response on computer screen
Answer sheets scanned and hand-scored centrallyStudent responses scored by test platform
ReadingStudents read passages on paper testStudents read passages on computer screen
Students select response from multiple-choice options on paperStudents select response on computer screen
Answer sheets are scanned and hand-scored centrallyStudent responses scored by test platform
SpeakingStudents speak in response to pre-recorded questions played on CD; each student tested individuallyStudents speak in response to integrated audio and visual prompts on computer; requires a headset for each student; group size up to 7 students
Expected responses "modeled" for studentsExpected responses "modeled" for students
Local test administrators score their own students during test administrationStudent responses computer-recorded for centralized scoring
WritingStudents hand-write all responsesHandwritten for students in grades 1 3; students in grades 4 12 may either keyboard or handwrite responses
Test booklet contains writing promptsIntegrated audio and visual writing prompts will be shown on the computer screen
Expected responses are modeled in test bookletExpected responses modeled by computer via textual, visual, and audio support, as appropriate*

A Comparison of Other ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Test Features

Test FeaturePaper-based testComputer-based test
Grade Clusters1, 2 3, 4 5, 6 8, 9 12 (A Grade 1 test was added for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0.)
TrainingTest Administrators complete online training modules for Group Test Administration (Listening, Reading, and Writing) and Speaking.

A score of 80 percent is required on the Speaking test certification quiz. Completion of an electronic checklist of training tasks is required for the Group Test Administration.
Test Coordinators and Test Administrators complete selected online training modules specifically for computer-based test.

Technology Coordinators complete online training modules on WIDA Assessment Management System (WIDA AMS), the new online administrative portal.

Completion of an electronic checklist of training tasks is required.
Accommodations and Accessibility FeaturesExpanded list of supports allowed for a range of student needs, including non-disabled students; others allowed only for students with disabilities

Principals can approve changes in test setting, group size, and timing/scheduling of tests.
Many built-in supports and accessibility tools allowed for a range of student needs, including non-disabled students; others allowed only for students with disabilities
Principals can approve changes in test setting, group size, and timing/scheduling of tests.
Test PreparationPaper-based sample and practice test itemsVideo tutorials; sample and practice test items, using online platform
Test AdministrationAdministration of test sessions by grade and tier. Tiers must be selected for each student before ordering test materials.No need to select tiers. Simultaneous administration of multiple grades and tiers. Can administer Speaking test in groups of up to 7 students. Track students who have been tested.


Last Updated: August 27, 2015
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