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Keep Students Engaged

To help every student succeed, MAP Growth deals with a critical issue: student disengagement during testing. A student is probably disengaged when he or she answers three successive questions with rapid guesses, and so an alert appears for the Proctor to intervene:

Exception for Early Learning– Although the alert does appear for MAP Growth K-2 tests, the other early learner tests—Skills Checklist and Screening—have a test design that does not benefit from this feature.

Rapid Guessing Defined

A rapid guess means the student answered in a few seconds, well below the average response time measured by NWEA for each test question. The response is so fast that the student could not actually view the whole question.

If left unchecked, the MAP results would become less reliable. See How Disengagement Affects Scoring.

How to Intervene

The best way to help students re-engage will vary for each student. In general:

  • Approach quietly and encourage the student to re-engage. Be as positive as you can.
  • Avoid singling out a student publicly. Drawing attention to a student may distract others and lower the student’s confidence.
  • Emphasize that it’s important to answer each question to the student's best ability.
  • Determine whether the student is capable, right now, of re-engaging. If the student is not capable (such as illness), consider pausing or suspending the test, and resume when the student will be fully engaged.
  • Avoid helping the student to answer test questions. Encouragement is okay; helping to take the test is not.

After intervening, you can dismiss alerts individually or all at once:

Note: Although you are not required to dismiss the notifications, it will help you keep track of who needs intervention and whether a student has become disengaged again.


How Disengagement Affects Scoring

MAP Growth tests rely on students genuinely attempting each question, so that MAP can adaptively choose a harder or easier question based on the student's response. For example:

When a student answers randomly in a rapid response, it undermines the adaptive selection. To compensate, MAP halts the adaptive selection and keeps providing questions with the same difficulty level. However, as soon as the student answers in a normal response time, then the test adapts difficulty again. For example:

The final RIT score includes all answers, including rapid responses, but if the student re-engaged before too many random answers, then the impact to the RIT score should be minimal. However, if 30% of all test questions are marked as rapid response, then the entire test score should be considered invalid. Future MAP updates will show when tests are considered invalid, as well as an estimate of the impact from student disengagement.


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