Strategies for solving time-shortage problems
In cases where teachers wish to administer all the subtests in the CoPS suite but are prevented from doing so due to lack of time, they could try some of the useful strategies listed below for solving time-shortage problems.
- Ensure that administration of CoPS is part of school policy and that appropriate staff time is allocated for it on the timetable, rather than expecting teachers somehow to create the time on top of their other responsibilities. Giving CoPS to students does take time, but the information gained is valuable in students’ education.
- Encourage staff to recognise that CoPS is a useful educational activity in its own right. The CoPS subtests are mentally stimulating and involve use of concepts and skills which are vitally important in early learning (e.g. discrimination of colour, shape and sound, memorisation, understanding of ordinal position, visual and aural attention, awareness of rhyme and alliteration). Hence time spent by teachers and students on the CoPS subtests has a wider educational value.
- Train non-teaching personnel to administer CoPS. Although it is essential that the interpretation of CoPS results is carried out by an experienced teacher, administration of the subtests can be done by any suitable adult who understands the essentials of what the task involves. In particular, students need to know that they are tests, so they have to understand what is required, but the tester is not permitted to coach the student or give hints to the answers. In many schools CoPS subtests are being successfully and efficiently delivered by various non-teaching personnel, such as classroom assistants, parents, volunteers or school governors. However, it is not advisable to use older students to supervise testing.
- Register all students in a block to be more time-efficient, rather than registering students singly at the time of testing. To add multiple students at once use the ‘Import student’ button on the GL Ready platform. Instructions on how to upload students via a CSV file are provided on the upload page (for more guidance, please visit www.glreadysupport.com).
- Give all students in the class the same CoPS subtest, before moving on to another subtest. That way, the teacher can get into a rhythm and does not have to re-adjust to delivery of each different subtest.
- Organise activities in order to use available time most effectively. Using playtime or lunchtime can work in some cases. Amalgamating classes for some activities (e.g. story time) can free up one teacher who can use that time to administer CoPS.
- Operate an efficient queuing system, so that the teacher does not have to waste time locating the next student and bringing that student to the computer for assessment.