Saturday, 20 March 2010

busy times

We have just completed one of the largest exercises at school, e-asTTle testing.
This involves testing all year 9 and 10 students in their reading and numeracy skills. The reading test was done on paper, and required the students to sit a 50 minute test, and then for the multichoice results to be entered into the e-asTTle program. Whereas the Maths department did a purely online test which required access to computer rooms, and the students to login and sit the test. I think I outlined the issues surrounding the online test in a previous post last year.
We never seem to be able to get a successful import from out student management system into e-asTTle. A number of issues surrounding NSI numbers caused this testing to be delayed a week due to an update in our student management system and ENROl sis not want to talk to each other properly, also information that the previous schools put into ENROl was not accurate enough. We have a number of students that seem to change names when they enter secondary school. So all these changes had to be entered.
e-asTTle have an issue surrounding NSI Numbers and ENROl as well. For every 100 students imported, it pops up and error, which normally requires you to remove the students NSI number from the e-asTTle csv file and upload it. Though you cannot export a student from the SMS without a NSI number. Catch 22 situation.

Once we had a successful import it was all on,
Issues surrounding the next set are school related,
Failure of communication from deans on changes to Year 10 classes, all the login papers had been printed and supplied to teachers, this also meant that a number of students in the english tests could not be found by the data entry people which required the test to be reassigned to students and marked by me.
Also meant that some year 10 maths teachers did not have the login codes for students, which meant issues for IT support to be in the room at the start of all tests.
Year 10 Maths test had a written answer question, which required it to be marked before the scores were released to teachers. Marked over 660 questions, which if you take too long or press the wrong key, you have to redo again.
Getting access to computer rooms, we selected two rooms to carry out the test, but already some of these had been booked already so early in the term, which does place some stress on planning and development of lessons.
Technical Issues surrounding internet access, this was resolved after the first day due to the virtualisation project over the holidays.
Assembly for all female students in year 10, which impacted on the test, meant there had to be a catch up later one.
Catch ups, organsied catch ups, but some teachers failed to read emails, or not understand to just send the student, they did not need the login sheet, as we have all the details available to us.
More understanding by the teachers why this is so important,
Training for teachers on how to set there own test and run it.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Catch up

It has been a while since I have last posted,

I have been busy getting the schools google apps domain up and running this year, with the changeover of student logins to an new schema, though I can see this needing to be changed again next year with possible changes throughout the sector.

The other stuff we have been working on is getting moodle in schools up and going, this has been a great benefit to the department as this is where we can see things moving to in the future. We already have other departments wanting to jump onto our server to make use of the various features. is a new one that we are trying out with the art department as a way to keep an electronic prortfolio. We signed up yesterday and already have the students in and starting to put work up. It has been a bit of a mission to get the usernames and passwords up, as our temporary passwords for students did not meet there criteria.

e-asTTle has also been a thorn in my side this year, with the requirement of NSI numbers to be included, and not having all this going straight away with our SMS and ENROL is has caused it to be put back a couple of weeks. Maths department are doing it online with multichoice questions, though I had to mark 500 students maths papers this morning due to there was a written question still left in the test. English are doing there reading test on paper and getting outside people to enter the results in e-asTTle. It was due to a professional development meeting yesterday morning that we realised that these haven't been entered yet, as they want to present the results next week.

Other things have been going on as well, but that is another post...