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Student Disengaged with Test

To help every student succeed, MAP Growth deals with a critical issue: student disengagement during testing. A student is considered 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.

New – Excessive disengagement can lead to the test becoming invalid. If the student rapidly guesses through 30% or more of the questions, a notice appears at the end that their test is invalidated. Invalidated tests also appear on the Class and Grade reports. See also Invalid and Growth Test Results.

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:

  • Immediately pause testing before the student adversely affects the score. (Choose Select Action > Pause.)
  • 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. Limit your help to encouragement only.

After intervening, you can dismiss alerts individually or all at once. You are not required to dismiss the notifications, but 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, so if the student re-engaged quickly, the RIT score should represent student performance accurately. However, too many random answers could undermine the student's potential RIT score.

In the Student Profile report, the Estimated Impact of Disengagement shows the potential effect of rapid guessing:

The Estimated Impact shows how many RIT points higher the student might have scored. For example, with a RIT score of 210 and an Estimated Impact of –3, it means the student might have scored 213 if fully engaged during testing.

Excessive Disengagement—If 30% or more of all test questions are marked as disengaged, then the entire test becomes invalid. It is not trustworthy for growth measures, and so it does not appear in the Student Profile report. However, invalid tests will appear on the Class and Grade reports, along with the reason for invalidation. See Invalid and Growth Test Results.

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