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Recommendations for Addressing the Impact of Test Administration Interruptions and Irregularities

In recent years, multiple states and vendors have experienced technological glitches during the administration of computer-based assessments. While there are various ways for both small- and large-scale test interruptions to occur with paper and pencil testing (e.g., school-wide fire drill, statewide natural disaster), computer-based testing adds complexity and can create additional opportunities for test interruptions, particularly large-scale interruptions.

This resource is intended to provide a general framework for examining the impact of technology-related interruptions on student scores on statewide summative assessments. As such, this paper is meant to act as a guide to structuring investigations of interruptions and thus does not advocate for the use of any specific statistical model. This paper provides:

  • A definition and examples of what is meant by a technology-related interruption
  • A review of current literature and an indication of the methodologies and data used to evaluate the impact of interruptions
  • A framework for examining how technology-related interruptions may have impacted student scores         
  • Implications and alternatives for reporting and accountability based on the outcome of the analyses  

For questions or comments, please contact Katie Carroll.

Contact:KatieĀ Carrollkatie.carroll@ccsso.org202-312-6434