Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) FAQs for 2016 - 2017

Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) FAQs for 2016 - 2017

Updated January 2017

General Questions

OELPA Format

Test Blueprint

Practice Test

Test Manual

Test Administration

Test Security

Scoring and Reporting

Technology

Standards

Professional Development


General Questions

    1. What is the Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA)?

    The OELPA is an English language proficiency assessment. The OELPA is composed of four tests which measure a student’s skills in four key domains (listening, reading, writing, and speaking).

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    2. Who developed the OELPA?

    The OELPA was developed through an Enhanced Assessment Grant (EAG) awarded to the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) consortium. Seven states including Ohio belong to the consortium. 

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    3. Who takes the OELPA?

    Students enrolled in a public school who have been identified as an English learner (EL) are required to take the OELPA. ELs enrolled in a chartered nonpublic school are not required but may take the OELPA.

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OELPA Format

    4. What are the four tests for the OELPA?

    The tests are: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

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    5. What are the grade bands?

    The grade bands are K; 1; 2-3; 4-5; 6-8; and 9-12. The test grade bands match the Ohio English Language Proficiency Standards.

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    6. What is the format of the OELPA?

    The format is online for all English learners. Paper tests are intended as an accommodation for English learners unable to test online. Districts that need to use paper tests for all English learners are encouraged to contact the Department. Large print and Braille are available.

    K-2 will no longer be an observational test; K-2 students will take the online test unless the circumstance requires a paper format. The K-1 writing test will be an online test with a paper component for all students including those students who are taking the reading, listening and speaking tests online.
     

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    7. Are the students able to skip a test?

    Districts may schedule the tests in a sequence of its choosing. There is no required sequence. 
     

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    8. Are the paper tests scannable?

    No, the OELPA paper test booklets are not scannable documents. 

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Test Blueprint

    9. What are the item types?

    Item types include selected response and other non-constructed-response such as word match for the paper format, technology enhanced such as drag and drop, short-constructed response, and extended response; listening and speaking prompts. Examples of these item types can be found here

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    10. How many tasks and points per grade band and test will be on the operational test?

    The test blueprint is shown at this link.

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    11. What are the specific tasks by grade band and test?

    The specific tasks are located at this link.

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    12. Which standards are assessed per test and grade band?

    The standards are located at this link.

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    13. Are translations available for the OELPA?

    No, translations are not available. Students must take the test in English as this is a test to determine the level of English development.

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Practice Test

    14. What is the OELPA practice test?

    It is an online test that is intended to demonstrate the online functions and the test items the students will experience when taking the operational OELPA. The practice test is not formatted in four separate tests as is the operational OELPA. Students do not "pass" the practice test.

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    15. Is the practice test available?

    Yes, the practice test has been posted on the Portal.The practice test is online only. All English learners and OELPA test administrators should go on to the practice test multiple times to become familiar with the available functions and the type of questions.

    In addition, districts should use the practice test to check the headset/headphone/earbud that will be used for the operational test. 

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Test Manual

    16. Which manuals will be used for the OELPA?
    • Test Coordinator Manual (TCM) – covers policies and procedures for districts/schools that are administering OELPA online and/or on paper
    • Test Administrator Manual (TAM) – guides the test administrator in log-in procedure and covers general test administration activities for online and/or paper
    • Directions for Administration (DFA) – includes the script that will be read aloud for all students for those students using the paper format
    • The OELPA Accessibility Manual – presents OELPA accessibility features 
    • Understanding Results – explains the data used to create the results

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    17. When will the manuals be available?
    • Test Coordinator Manual – will be posted on the Portal mid-January
    • Test Administrator Manual – will be available prior to the first day of the online test window
    • Directions for Administration – will be sent with the test booklets as the DFA is a secure document
    • The OELPA Accessibility Manual –is posted on the Portal
    • Understanding Results – is posted on the Portal

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Test Administration

    18. What are the administration dates by format for the Spring 2017 administration?

    The online test administration window is Feb.6 - March 31.

    The paper test administration window is March 6 - 31.

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    19. What is the sequence of the OELPA administration?

    There is no fixed sequence. Districts may administer the OELPA tests in the order of their choice.
     

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    20. May multiple tests be administered on the same day?

    The listening, reading, writing, and speaking tests may be given one per day or may be given over a number of days. The reading, writing and listening tests may be given in a group administration. The speaking test is a one-to-one administration with one student and one test administrator in a test room. The student will speak aloud the response.

    A student must complete a test on the same day in which it was started. There may be extraordinary circumstances that would cause a student’s test to be stopped. The district would require department approval to resume the test on another day.

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    21. Who may administer the OELPA?

    A test administrator must meet the following criteria to administer the OELPA:

    • An employee of the district/school; and
    • Hold a current license, certificate or permit issued by the Ohio Department of Education.

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    22. What is the administration window for the K-1 writing paper test?

    The online window Feb. 6-March 31 is the same for the K-1 Writing paper supplement as the K-1 Writing online test. Both parts of the K-1 Writing test must be administered and completed in the same day.
     

     

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    23. How much time should a district/school schedule for the tests?

    The tests are untimed; however, estimates are provided for districts/schools to schedule test time.

    All four tests combined per grade band should take approximately one hour to administer for lower grade bands (K, 1, and 2-3), and up to two hours for the highest grade bands (9-12). These approximate times are for student work time only. Therefore, allow an additional 15–20 minutes to pass out test tickets, set up headphones, read directions, and perform other testing activities. Districts who schedule one test per day should schedule 15-20 minutes for the student work time for the lower grade bands and perhaps 5-10 minutes additional for the higher grade bands. Please note these are estimates as the operational test is given for the first time this spring. Students should be allowed the time needed to complete the test the same day the test was started.

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    24. What paper materials are required for the OELPA?

    For the online K-1 online writing test, a paper supplement is required.

    For students who cannot test online, a paper test is available for grades K-12. The paper test includes the reading, speaking, listening and writing tests. 

    The Test Administrator Manual and the Test Administration Manual will be available on the Portal.

    The Directions for Administration will be shipped with the paper test booklets. The Directions for Administration manuals are secure documents.

    PreID labels are required for the paper tests.
     

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    25. Who is the vendor?

    American Institutes for Research (AIR) is the vendor that will provide the administration resources, scoring and reporting of the OELPA. 

    Measurement Incorporated (MI) is a subcontractor to AIR and will process the scoring of the OELPA.

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Test Security

    26. What test security should be followed for the OELPA?

    The OELPA four tests (listening, reading, writing and speaking) are secure state tests and must follow test security as established in Ohio law and rules. For all test security areas, please go to the Rules Book at this link.

     

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Scoring and Reporting

    27. How is the OELPA scored?

    For the OELPA online tests, machine-scored student responses are scored immediately when the tests are submitted. The online student constructed-responses are hand scored by MI.

    For the OELPA paper tests, test administrators must enter the student responses to all machine-scored items into the AIR Data Entry Interface (DEI) for scoring. Entering machine-scored student responses into the DEI is a manual process that will need to be completed by the test administrator either at the time of testing or soon after testing is completed but before the testing window closes.

    Please note that the paper test booklets (including the online writing supplement for Kindergarten and Grade 1 and paper test booklets for grade bands K-12) must be returned to the vendor for hand scoring of constructed-response questions once testing is complete. 

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    28. When will the scores be reported?

    The scores are scheduled no later than May 15. 
     

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    29. Will there be printed score reports?

    There is a printed Family Report.
     

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Technology

    30. Will the same online system be used for the OELPA as the Ohio State Tests?

    Yes.

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    31. Will the secure browser be the same as used in the spring administration by AIR?

    Yes.

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    32. Is there specific information on the secure browser for OELPA?

    Please review the Online System Requirements at this link on the Portal.

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    33. Are all devices acceptable?

    Please review the device requirements at this link on the Portal.
     

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    34. Do students need headsets?

    Yes, students will need a listening device as there are audio portions of the listening, reading, and writing tests. Students will need a listening device that has a mic or a mic embedded in the computer for the speaking test as there are audio portions and recording portions. Students may be in groups for the tests but the speaking test requires a one-on-one administration as students will be orally responding. 

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    35. Are there specific functions or characteristics required for the devices?

    Yes, the headset characteristics checklist is located at this link. AIR has offered information on a headset on the Portal; however, it is not a mandated headset. A district may use headsets, headphones, or earbuds depending on the test. For example, earbuds may be used for the listening, reading and writing tests since students will not record oral responses for those tests. A listening device with a mic or a listening device with a mic embedded in the computer may be used for the speaking test since the student will record oral responses. A district should use the checklist to determine if the headsets, headphones, or earbuds it already has will operate on the system.

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Standards

    36. On which standards is the OELPA based?

    The OELPA is based on the Ohio English Language Proficiency Standards that are located at this link.

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Professional Development

    37. What professional development is available?

    Webinars will be posted prior to the test window.

    Districts who wish to have a Skype presentation may contact the Office of Curriculum and Assessment.

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Last Modified: 2/22/2017 11:48:04 AM