August 5, 2016
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Grades 6 through 8 Non-Writing and Grade 8 and End-of-Course Writing Practice Items Sets Available in the TestNavTM 8 Installable Application
Superintendent’s Memo #294-15 informed school division staff that existing Standards of Learning (SOL) practice item sets on the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Web site would be made available in the new TestNavTM 8 delivery software. As a reminder, all SOL tests will be administered via TestNav 8 beginning with the fall 2016 test administration.
This memo is to inform school divisions that the grades 6 through 8 non-writing practice item sets and the grade 8 and end-of-course writing practice item sets are now available in TestNav 8 and are accessible through the installable TestNav 8 application. The downloadable application varies by operating system and is available for certain desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. Instructions for installing the TestNav 8 application are available on the VDOE Web site.
Also available on the VDOE Web site is a document titled, Introduction to TestNav 8. The Introduction to TestNav 8 document provides information on:
- opening the practice item sets within the required TestNav 8 application;
- navigating through the practice item sets;
- answering technology-enhanced items (TEI) and multiple-choice items;
- using the online tools; and
- using the accessibility features available in TestNav 8.
Teachers and other adults should use this important information in conjunction with the information found in the Guided Practice Suggestions that are available for each practice item set. The Guided Practice Suggestions documents provide specific item information (item type, SOL, and answer) for each question in the practice item sets and provide specific information for teachers as they guide students through the practice items. Following the suggestions in these guides will ensure that students are exposed to the different tools within TestNav 8, the different functionality features of TEI, and common messages that may appear as students complete their tests.
School divisions will be notified when the remaining end-of-course practice item sets are available in the TestNav 8 application.
The online SOL tests administered this summer will continue to be delivered in the existing TestNav 7 test delivery system. School division staff are encouraged to discuss a plan to familiarize teachers and students with the new test delivery system prior to the administration of SOL tests during the 2016-2017 school year.
Should you have any questions, please contact the student assessment staff by e-mail at Student_Assessment@doe.virginia.gov or by phone at (804) 225-2102.