Problems of time-shortage for testing
In cases where teachers wish to administer all the subtests in the LASS 8–11 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 LASS 8–11 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 LASS 8–11 to students does take time, but the information gained is valuable in students’ education.
- Encourage staff to recognise that LASS 8–11 is a useful educational activity in its own right. The LASS 8–11 subtests are mentally stimulating and involve use of concepts and skills which are vitally important in learning. Hence time spent by teachers and students on the subtest has a wider educational value.
- Ensure that a student is clear about what any given LASS 8–11 subtest requires, so that only minimal supervision is needed. It is not essential for the teacher to observe the whole subtest administration.
- Train non-teaching personnel to administer LASS 8–11. Although it is essential that the interpretation of LASS 8–11 results is carried out by an experienced teacher, administration of the subtests can be done by any 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 LASS 8–11 tests 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 LASS 8–11 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 LASS 8–11.
- 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.
- Test students in small groups, if more than one computer or tablet is available and headphones are being used.