Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Updated Guidance for Remote Testing

Steps to Confirm that Remote Tests are Set Up Correctly (5/17/2021)

Take a moment to confirm whether your school has taken the steps below so that tests for your remote students can be administered successfully.

  • Ensure that students testing remotely will access the forms through a browser only instead of the TestNav app, even if students are using a school-owned device at home, and even if the app has been successfully installed on the device. Please do not allow students to switch to the app for remote testing.

  • Set the "Remote Administration" indicator to "Yes" for students testing remotely.

    • Option 1 (for large number of students): Use a file import (SR/PNP).

    • Option 2 (for smaller number of students): Use the PAN user interface.

  • Set up special Remote PAN Sessions.

    • Update the Form/Group Type to "Remote." This step is critical to ensure that students will receive a browser-based, remote form.

    • Review PAN Session names for remote testing and in-person testing, and confirm that the remote PAN Sessions are clearly differentiated from the in-person ones. Recommended: Rename each PAN Session to include "Remote" in its name (e.g., "03 ELA Smith Remote").

    • Update ProctorCache settings to bypass the ProctorCache device (for schools that are using ProctorCache for in-school testing).

Video Conferencing During Remote Testing on Chromebooks (5/17/2021)

It has come to our attention that students using Chromebooks for remote MCAS testing may encounter issues while trying to run a video conferencing application (e.g., Google Meet, Zoom) at the same time as browser-based TestNav. If students will be using Chromebooks for remote MCAS testing, schools are encouraged to have students open a separate browser tab for a browser-based version of the video-conferencing software instead of the application. This should resolve the issue.

GoGuardian and Dyknow Guidance (5/7/2021)

For remote testing for grades 3–8 this spring, schools are permitted to use screen-monitoring software such as Dyknow and GoGuardian in order to communicate with students in real time. However, principals are reminded of their responsibility for maintaining test security in their schools and training their staff accordingly. When using applications like these, test administrators will have access to view the secure test content on students' screens, and therefore they should be made aware of the test security implications and reminded of the test security requirements. When deciding whether to use this software during MCAS testing, schools should also consider that bandwidth issues that may arise from running additional software.

Guidance on Using a Video Conferencing Tool on iPads (5/7/2021)

It has come to our attention that in order to run video conferencing tool (e.g., Google Meet, Zoom) on an iPad at the same time as browser-based TestNav, students would need to have a split screen view with the video conferencing tool on one side and the test on the other, or the students could run the video conferencing tool in the background with audio only. Schools with remote students who use iPads are strongly encouraged to have students use another device (a personal device or school-owned device) for MCAS testing. If this is not possible, students with iPads are still expected to use the video conferencing tool during testing, but can leave these apps in the background and be monitored by audio only.

Cameras During Testing (5/7/2021)

Remote students are expected to keep their cameras on during MCAS testing.

Some students are not able to use their cameras during remote testing or remote learning due to their home circumstances. Schools that have a list of students who are not required to use their cameras during regular instruction due to certain circumstances are not required to keep them on for MCAS testing, and such situations do not need to be reported to the Department.

If a school does not know any reason for a student to not be on camera, and the student's camera is turned off for long periods or for the majority of a test session, the school should report this to the Department as an irregularity by calling 781-338-3625. If a student turns off their camera during testing, the test administrator should check in with the student and remind them to turn the camera on. A temporary situation in which a student's camera is off does not need to be reported to the Department.

If low bandwidth is interfering with the student's ability to use TestNav successfully, and turning off the video as a troubleshooting step solves or substantially improves the issue, then it is acceptable to do so.

Last Updated: May 20, 2021

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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