Ask Fatima: Building capacity to administer WIDA assessments

This month, Fatima offers some tips on how you can build and maintain capacity to administer WIDA assessments at your school by budgeting time for training, preparing test administrators and calibrating scores.

How do we build and maintain capacity to administer WIDA assessments?

After choosing an assessment, it is time to prepare test administrators and build a system of training and administering WIDA assessments. Here are some tips you can consider to build a system of training and administering WIDA assessments.

Budget time for training

WIDA provides ample resources to facilitate test administrator training; however, getting trained takes time and effort on the part of the test administrators. To ensure all test administrators have enough time, consider asking the school leadership to reserve time for test administrators to go through the training materials. School administrators might support test training by releasing educators from other duties or by providing time during in-service days.

Prepare to administer tests

Establish expectations for everyone to engage with the WIDA MODEL training materials individually and as a group. You can find a consolidation of WIDA assessments with links to the training resources in the WIDA International Secure Portal. For example, teachers should read the test administration manual individually to build background knowledge and then engage in other training materials as a group to clarify any questions and build common understandings. Next, test administrators should practice administering the assessment to one another to get comfortable administering the assessment.

Calibrate scores

Once all test administrators are prepared to administer the assessment, they still must continue to work with the team of test administrators to check for possible inconsistencies in administration and scoring. This can be done by creating time to observe one another at the beginning of the testing window. You might also want to record the speaking portion of the exam, so that other test administrators can listen to it and the speaking scores can be calibrated. Since each individual has a unique perspective, and evaluating language is subjective, it is important for test administrators to practice calibrating the both the Writing and Speaking domains with a team using the rubrics provided by the assessment. Although there might not be time to calibrate all writing and speaking assessments, test administrators can work together to calibrate a sampling of each to prompt discussions that can support more consistent scoring across the team.

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