Intermittent tasks, long pauses in scheduled processes and drastic changes in responsibilities tend to be things that cause difficulty for both students and educators, and all these things happen every year to the RCU assessment team.
In my 11 years managing statewide CTE assessments in Mississippi, each year has brought its own set of challenges. Each challenge provides us the opportunity to grow and create a better learning environment for the students of our state. With this understanding, we attempt to provide consistency, clarity and communication when it relates to CTE assessment.
These are non-negotiable requirements that have guided processes since 2011. The MS-CPAS Minute continues to be our version of a bell ringer. With this strategy, we also offer a few reminders related to processes and events, as with the items below.
- Practice Test Information: For 2021, career pathways that use the MS-CPAS for their assessment type have practice tests available in Questionmark, the online testing system for MS-CPAS. You must verify students/classes in the RCU submission and verification system to schedule a set of practice tests for students in eligible career pathways.
As a reminder, we will not make roster changes, practice test schedule changes or practice score modifications to incorrect rosters originating from districts due to technical glitches or mistyped verifications. We are currently supporting normal practice test administration and preparing for regular MS-CPAS testing in April and May. The CTE Testing Manual contains instructions for administering practice tests and retrieving reports.
- Training Notes: On our assessment web page, we have posted archived video tutorials of each session from February's online test coordinator training. There you can also find more video tutorials and the CTE Testing Manual, which outlines every preparation and administration process associated with the MS-CPAS.
- Other Important Dates: Download the exact dates for other testing-related events through the summer of 2021 in a single-page format through the RCU website.
- The deadline for upload and verification of student rosters was Feb. 19. Due to the ice storm, we have accepted late submissions and will continue to accept late submissions until 5 p.m. March 2. After March 2, any districts that have not completed the upload and verification process will not receive national certification vouchers/exam codes purchased by the RCU.
- Google Drawings Resources: One way of getting students to demonstrate an understanding of CTE topics is to require the creation of a graphic organizer or informal schematic. Using Google Drawings is a free way to complete this assignment.
- Flipgrid: I cannot think of a better way for most career pathways' CTE students to explain what they are learning in their CTE classroom. Flipgrid is also a free tool that integrates with Canvas and other popular learning systems. Students can access the Flipgrid assignment within your Canvas course, record a video explaining a process or demonstrating a technique they are learning in your class and submit it for formative or summative grading. For non-graded activities, Flipgrid can just be a way for classmates to interact with one another online besides a discussion board. The possibilities for CTE are endless.
Thank you again for everything you do for the students and communities of Mississippi.
Sean Owen, PhD