Seven Things to Consider in Preparing for MAP

Seven Things To ConsiderThe Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) K – 12 interim assessment provide essential information about a student’s continuum of learning and growth trajectory. MAP provides real-time information that helps teachers teach, students learn, and administrators lead. Many schools use MAP in fall, winter, and spring for a consistent longitudinal measure of student growth. It offers a clear picture of your students’ learning and college readiness regardless of whether scores on your state summative assessment show drops in proficiency.

So how can you best prepare for MAP? Here are seven things to consider:

Schedule time for a data conversation – What structures are already in place that could be used to talk about the data you’re going to receive to make it actionable? The assessment data from MAP can be used to guide teaching as well as inform students and parents about academic progress, so the data conversion will likely be multi-faceted. Consider peer discussions as well as student and parent discussions. Are there professional development sessions available to discuss and understand assessment data and actions? Are parent-teacher conferences available or scheduled frequently enough to best communication results? These are all things which need to be considered.

Prepare teachers and proctors – Proctors have a great opportunity to set the tone for the test experience, and to ensure that the conditions are optimal, so that each student can perform their best on the MAP assessment. There are a number of best practices proctors need to consider, and we’ve blogged about six of them earlier this year. There’s also a proctor handbook that’s available for download as well.

In many places teachers act as proctors. This provides teachers the opportunity to see first-hand the types of questions and how students respond to different questions. Being in the room with students as they work their way through the MAP assessment allows teachers to begin to get ideas about errors and misconceptions students may have. Besides, haven’t you wanted to know what the questions look like?

Prepare students for the MAP assessment – Before administering the MAP assessment, teachers should spend some time speaking with students about the test and its purpose, along with the specifics of how the test works. We’ve prepared a PowerPoint presentation designed specifically for this teacher-student discussion. There are also some familiarization tests that students can take to get more comfortable with MAP, as well as a MAP warm-up for MPG (MAP for Primary Grades).

Beyond the preparation for the actual logistics of the assessment, there is also an opportunity to expand a student’s growth mindset. From the work of Carol Dweck, we know that hard work and dedication make a difference. The brain is a muscle and it can grow – students can learn and achieve more. What if every MAP test was an opportunity for a student to show how much they had grown?

Consider scheduling flexibility (where possible) – You’ll want to work with district staff to determine the dates of your testing window. In order to monitor growth of students across time, a testing window of no more than three weeks is recommended. For accurate comparison of growth data, your test window should be consistent from year to year. So while flexibility is important, consistency also needs to be part of the schedule.

Once you have set up your testing window, create a testing schedule for each school, and share the schedules with all staff. Remember to include time for make-up tests for students who were absent on the day of testing. Only one group of students should be scheduled in each lab the first day of the testing window. This gives proctors the opportunity to test the systems and procedures to make sure everything is working properly.

Set up the Class Roster File to make it actionable for more – Who needs to see and use the data? Part of making data actionable means that those who need to take the actions have timely access to the data. One way to think about organizing your Class Roster File may be to put the student at the center and then consider who works with that student who might need to see the data to better support the student’s learning needs. Multiple teachers may be attached to a student in the CRF. There may be other educators – specialists, counselors, etc. – who work with a student and would benefit from having the quick and easy access to MAP results that the classroom teacher does.

Additionally, to set up your class roster file (CRF) and/or special program file (SPF) follow these steps:

  • Log onto the NWEA Reports Site and click the Upload Roster link from the left-hand navigation menu.
  • Select the School or District Name and the Roster Term, and then click the Add Files button.
  • In the Add File window, browse to the CRF and SPF (optional), and then click the Open button to add the files.
  • Click the Start Upload button to submit your files to NWEA.

NOTE: An SPF file is only necessary if your district plans to disaggregate data based on special programs, such as Title I, ESL, or Talented and Gifted.

Establish or review testing procedures and communication plans – Before each testing season, it’s a good idea to review your school and district testing procedures. It is important to know what data needs to be communicated to whom and in what format. Items to consider include the following:

  • Do all staff have appropriate network permissions and software to administer tests, add or modify student testing accounts, or access online reports?
  • Who will be responsible for uploading test results to NWEA each day?
  • What is the process for submitting Problem Item Reports to NWEA?
  • What is the process for submitting and tracking Data Repair Requests (DRRs)?
  • Who should proctors talk to for help with technical troubleshooting?
  • Do you have a plan for communicating with parents and students, providing testing status information to staff, or collecting feedback from staff on established procedures?

Ensure that your teachers and staff receive MAP training – Teachers, proctors, and school administrators who are either new to MAP testing or who need a refresher can visit the Professional Development section of the NWEA web site to take advantage of the self-paced online tutorials, to learn more about the NWEA Knowledge Academy, or view the Regional Training Calendar for upcoming workshops in your area. In addition to the Professional Development training offerings, be sure your staff has access to the NWEA Training School sample environment.

There are many resources available as well as FAQ’s at the support section of our site. Together with the seven steps above, you’ll be ready to make the most of the MAP interim assessment.


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