Frequently Asked Questions

General
Item Development
Technology
Assessments

General

Q: How is the ClassScape® Assessment System different from other assessment programs? Is it just a piece of software?
A: ClassScape® is an assessment tool that was created to be used only by North Carolina public and charter schools. All items are written by North Carolina classroom teachers and undergo a rigorous development process that includes reviews by EC and ESL teachers. ClassScape® items are only written to align with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts and the North Carolina Essential Standards for Science. ClassScape® is part of NC State University's Center for Urban Affairs and Community Services which provides technical assistance and related support for many public sector agencies and programs.

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Item Development

Q: What type of item review is done before an item becomes part of the ClassScape® Assessment System?
A: In order to create high quality items, every potential ClassScape® item must be evaluated at many stages of development and review. This flowchart illustrates the process in detail.
Q: How does a reading selection become part of the ClassScape® Assessment System?
A: Reading selections and other stimulus materials have their own development process, including obtaining copyright privileges. This flowchart illustrates the details of this process.
Q: How many items are currently available?
A: ClassScape® currently has 30,915 items available for use on assessments. More items are being added to ClassScape® every day.

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Technology

Q: What are the client side technical requirements?
A:
  • A monitor resolution of 1024 * 600 or better is required.
  • Because the system uses graphics, an ISDN or greater Internet connection is preferred.
  • Cookies, javascript, and pop-ups (for classscape.org) must be enabled in your web browser. Handling for these requirements is already included in the secure brower application for student testing.
  • For student testing, only the NCTest secure browser application is allowed for desktop systems. On Chromebooks, only the Chrome browser is suppported; the Chromebook administrator must also have applied the designated setup configuration. Starting on Jan 10, 2014 at 5 p.m., all iPad assessments MUST be taken using the iPad NCTest app, available on the Apple App Store. Android tablets will eventually require the NCTest app to be downloaded from the Google Play Store; an announcement will be made on ClassScape when the app is available. WARNING: An early version of the iPad NCTest app has been available for download since September. However, some Math items containing fractions will not display properly in this version. Schools with the older version of the app should download version 2.4.0 or better.
  • The following Web browsers are supported for ClassScape® (not for student testing): Internet Explorer 8 or better, Mozilla FireFox 6 or better, Google Chrome 14 or better, and Safari 5 or better.
  • The following operating systems are supported for ClassScape® and student testing: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X 10.5 or better (Intel hardware ONLY), an up-to-date version of Chrome OS for Chromebooks, iOS 5.1 or better for iPads, and Android 4 or better for Android tablet devices. NOTE: Phone devices and the iPad Mini are not supported. Also, the drag and drop feature used to order items when creating assessments is not supported on iPads.
  • WARNING: When new browser and OS versions are released during the school year, it may take some period of time for ClassScape® to be tested with the newer versions so that any issues can be addressed. Please contact our help desk if you experience any problems with new browser and/or OS versions.
For information on Firefox's technical requirements, click here.
For information on Chrome's technical requirements, click here.
For information on Safari's technical requirements, click here.
Q: What if my browser or operating system is not listed as supported by ClassScape®?
A: If you have an older version of a supported browser or operating system, you will NOT be allowed to use ClassScape®. If you are using an unlisted browser, operating system or device, you may use ClassScape® but we cannot guarantee that all features will function properly. In addition, if you experience any problems, no technical support will be provided. WARNING: The NCTest secure browser, Chrome for Chromebooks, the iPad NCTest app, and the Android NCTest app (TBA) are supported for student testing. No other options will be allowed.
Q: What does it mean if my OS and/or browser is listed as supported by ClassScape® but I still get a WARNING about an unknown OS and/or browser at login?
A: ClassScape® maintains a list of supported browsers and operating systems. It may take some time for us to add the newest versions to our list. In addition, some supported browsers return information that we cannot use to determine your OS or browser. The WARNING can safely be ignored if your browser and OS are on ClassScape®'s list of supported operating systems and browsers.
Q: Why does my ChromeBook get a screen resolution Error message from ClassScape®?
A: The following information should help you "adjust" the screen resolution on ChromeBooks:

ChromeBooks come with a single screen resolution, which is pre-set, and this value is always the resolution reported. On some models, the resolution will be set to a lower resolution not allowed by ClassScape®. In order to "change" the resolution, you have to go to the Settings option (from the menu in the top right hand corner), and then click on 'Show Advanced Settings...'. Once the advanced settings are visible, adjust the Page Zoom lower than 100%. It may take some experimentation to find what value works best; the width of your resolution divided by 1024 is a reasonable starting place. NOTE: The reverse is also true. If your resolution is correct by default, zooming in may make the resolution too low.
Q: How do I enable pop-ups in Firefox for ClassScape®?
A: In order for the ClassScape® Assessment System to work properly, pop-ups must be enabled for classscape.org. To enable pop-ups for ClassScape® in Firefox, click Tools->Options... and select the Content tab. Click on the 'Exceptions...' button next to Block pop-up windows. Next, enter classscape.org in the field for Address of web site. Click the 'Allow' button, then click the 'Close' button.
Q: How do I enable pop-ups in Internet Explorer for ClassScape®?
A: In order for the ClassScape® Assessment System to work properly, pop-ups must be enabled for classscape.org. To enable pop-ups for ClassScape® in Internet Explorer, click Tools -> Pop-up Blocker -> Pop-up Blocker Settings. Next, enter classscape.org in the field for Address of Web site to allow. Click the 'Add' button, then click the 'Close' button.
Q: I am using Internet Explorer and get a popup window that says "A Runtime Error has occurred. Would you like to debug?". Is there a way I can prevent this window from appearing?
A: In Internet Explorer, click Tools in the menu tab, then select Internet Options. In the window that appears, click the Advanced tab. The second section header is labeled "Browsing". Uncheck the checkbox with the option for "Disable Script Debugging (Internet Explorer)". Click the "Apply" button, then the "OK" button. You may also need to close and re-open your Internet Explorer browser(s).
Q: Our school computers are behind a proxy server. How do we configure the proxy server for ClassScape® use?
A: Proxy servers must not cache content from classscape.org. In addition, proxy servers, firewalls, and other internet filtering/security technologies should be configured to pass traffic on remote TCP ports 80 and 443 for classscape.org.
Q: What are the technical requirements for read-alouds?
A: Computers to be used for read-aloud assessments must have a sound card installed with a pair of headphones connected. Network appliances, content filters and the Chrome browser (for Chromebooks) must not block ogg or mp3 files from classscape.org.

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Assessments

Q: What is the average time a student takes to complete the various prepackaged assessments?
A: On average, it takes students 15-45 minutes to respond to all the questions in a prepackaged quiz.
Q: Can I print ClassScape® items, selections, or assessments?
A: Some of ClassScape® selections are printable; look for the printer icon next to the selection. Otherwise, all ClassScape® items are copyrighted and must not be printed under any circumstances. NC State University and the NC Department of Public Instruction have sole ownership and control over all ClassScape® test items and some reading selections. If copyright permissions were necessary in order to use certain reading selections, the ClassScape® Assessment System has paid a fee for its use and has agreed to specific conditions of use. Any person who prints ClassScape® items is subject to scrutiny under copyright law.
Q: Is there a feature that allows items to be presented randomly or shuffled, so students in close proximity do not have assessment items presented in the same order?
A: No. Changing the order of presentation makes each version a different assessment statistically. Even though the items are the same, changing the order of difficulty, depth of knowledge etc. will affect how an assessment performs. Whether the statistical difference is large or small we could not report these results as equivalent assessment(s).
Q: Can a student take the same test more than once?
A: ClassScape® is intentionally designed so that students are not able to take the same assessment multiple times; reporting results are affected when a student takes the same test more than once. Also, although presenting the same test multiple times eliminates the need to create another assessment, having different assessments on the same standards/clarifying objectives provides additional data to show that students have truly mastered the content of the standards/clarifying objectives and have not merely memorized the answers to the previous assessment. Since there are two equivalent forms of each prepackaged assessment, these can be used to retest students. The custom item banks also allow educators to create as many assessments as necessary to test and retest standards/clarifying objectives without having to re-use the same assessment (or items).
Q: Can I rename a prepackaged test to create a duplicate copy?
A: No. Pre-packaged assessments may not be changed in any way.
Q: My class was unable to take a test during the established window. Should I re-schedule the assessment?
A: Classes cannot be scheduled multiple times for the same assessment. Simply go to Manage Scheduled Assessments and extend the testing window for the existing session.

Note: Benchmark windows established by the district can only be edited by District Administrators.
Q: Why can't I add my own items?
A: All ClassScape® items must go through the same development process (flowchart) in order to maintain the integrity of our item banks and our reporting. If you are interested in writing items for ClassScape®, please check ClassScape® announcements for opportunities for training.

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