Ensuring test security through active monitoring
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Ensuring Test Security through Active Monitoring. Gloria Zyskowski, Ph.D. Director of Test Administration. S T U D E N T A S S E S S M E N T D I V I S I O N T E X A S E D U C A T I O N A G E N C Y. What is active monitoring and why is it so important?. Active Monitoring.

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Ensuring Test Security throughActive Monitoring

Gloria Zyskowski, Ph.D.

Director of Test Administration

S T U D E N T A S S E S S M E N T D I V I S I O N

T E X A S E D U C A T I O N A G E N C Y


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What is active monitoring

and why is it so important?


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Active Monitoring

Active monitoring means that test administrators are actively engaged while students are working on the test, moving about the room so they can be more aware of students’ actions.


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Active Monitoring – What It’s Not

  • Catching up on e-mail

  • Grading papers

  • Surfing the web

  • Checking your horoscope

  • Taking a nap


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Why is active monitoring so important?

Failure to properly monitor students can result in:

  • invalidation of students’ tests

  • loss of testing opportunities

  • greater potential for testing irregularities

  • increased opportunities for student cheating



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2004-2005 Testing Year

Approximate number of monitoring related incidents: 449


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Actions Taken to Address This Issue in 2005

  • Increased focus during training (ESC training, assessment conference mini-sessions, TETNs)

  • Introduction of the Test Security Supplement

  • FAQs


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2005-2006 Testing Year

Approximate number of monitoring related incidents: 278


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Monitoring issues during the 2005-2006 administrations

  • Eighty-two incidents involving blank answer documents being accepted (almost 30% of reported monitoring-related incidents)

  • Numerous transcription requests after score reports received indicating that blank answer documents were not detected by campus coordinators


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More monitoring issues during the 2005-2006 administrations

  • Students not bubbling in answers for the correct subject (i.e., students recorded their reading answers in the math section of the answer document)

  • Students moving ahead to another subject area test

  • Students using pens

  • Marking through all responses on the scorable test booklets


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Actions Taken to Address This Issue in 2006

  • Additional material added to 2007 District and Campus Coordinator Manual , including revised oaths

  • Continued focus during training (including this presentation and associated Powerpoint)

  • Additional emphasis added to revised Test Security Supplement


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Promoting Active Monitoring

  • Continue to emphasize the importance of monitoring every chance you get.

  • Consider use of checklists for test administrators to review before test administrations.

  • Increase oversight of test administrations (the principal’s presence is a powerful motivator!).


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New in 2007 – Revised Oaths

(Initial each statement.)

  • ____ I have received training on testing procedures specific to this administration;

  • ____ I have read and understand the test administrator manual governing the administration of the statewide student testing program, and I understand my responsibilities concerning the administration of this test;

  • ____ I am aware that testing procedures require me to actively monitor during test administrations;

  • ____ I understand my responsibilities as a test administrator, and I am aware of the range of penalties that may result from a departure from the documented test administration procedures;

  • ____ I understand my obligations concerning the security and confidential integrity of this test,


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The inevitable

  • Mistakes are still going to be made.

  • Not all situations can be prevented or detected through active monitoring.


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What to do When a Monitoring Incident Occurs

  • Gather the facts – district must determine whether there was sufficient monitoring to prevent the situation

  • Determine if student cheating occurred– generally this is handled at the local level


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Submit Incident Report and Supporting Documentation

  • FYI - Student cheating – no incident report required if student is caught or the district determines that sufficient monitoring was in place. Documentation should be maintained at the district level.

  • FYI - Student cheating – incident report and supporting documentation IS required in the case of inadequate monitoring

  • FYI - Blank answer document accepted – incident report and supporting documentation IS required