The team behind the Common Core-aligned PARCC online assessments plan to administer a broad field test in spring 2014, however, per information recently released by PARCC, these field tests will not contain many of the student accommodations previously promised as a feature of the overall test.
Read below the break to learn more about which features will not be available and which operating system may incur difficulties during the the upcoming field test.
List of PARCC accommodations still in development
Per PARCC, the missing accommodations will be unavailable because they are still under development. These tools include:
- The "notepad" tool
- The "word prediction" software
- The masking tool (The masking tool provides students the ability to create a mask to eliminate distractions by covering a portion of the exam.)
Keep in mind that though these features will be missing from the field tests, it still seems that the PARCC developers are on track to deliver the full selection of accommodations for the official 2014-2015 school year rollout.
Chrome users may encounter difficulties during field test
Another concern for the PARCC online assessment field test is the incompatibility with devices using a Google Chrome operating system. Per Education Week, the test developers are currently evaluating the assessment's functionality on the Chrome OS and plan a future upgrade for the assessment to improve compatibility.
This lack of clarity on Chrome functionality is somewhat discouraging. Many schools have invested in Chrome OS-running Google Chromebooks as a means of providing online learning to their students, and it seems that these schools will be at a disadvantage during the field test.
Helpful Links and Resources about the spring 2013 Field Test
It's important to note that the spring 2014 PARCC field test is intended to provide valuable information to developers before the exam launches in the 2014-2015 school year.
However, the lack of accommodations and Chrome-compatibility represents a lost opportunity to observe the full functionality of the tests and to fix any potential problems.
For more info about the spring 2014 PARCC Field Test, including technology requirements, goals, and logistics, be sure to check out the links below:
- PARCC Field Tests to Lack Some Accomodations - Education Week
- Technology Guidelines for PARCC Assessments - September 2013 Update
- Technology Guidance for PARCC Spring 2014 Field Test Participation