4. Instructions for in-School Administration of the Student Survey

Survey Administrators, School Survey Coordinators, and Survey Proctors should read the instructions in this section in advance of the first day of the administration window. The instructions in this section should be used as a guide in how to effectively and consistently administer the EDSCLS student survey. Note that students should take the EDSCLS survey in the controlled environment of a school, not at home or in any other uncontrolled environment.

Scheduling resources (e.g., time in computer labs; survey support staff)

The student survey portion of the EDSCLS has been designed to be completed in a single 50- to 60- minute class period. This includes the time needed for the Survey Proctor to read the script to students (see Appendix D), to log in, and complete the survey. The survey administration procedures are designed so that Survey Administrators and School Survey Coordinators can follow typical computer lab/media center reservation procedures at their respective schools.

Accommodations for students

  • The EDSCLS surveys are 508 compliant[1] and schools should provide the same accommodations for students as are usually provided for student testing. These accommodations include magnifying devices, bilingual dictionaries, extended time, and small group administration.
  • The EDSCLS student survey is provided in both English and Spanish. Other language accommodations, such as small group administrations with translators, should be offered to students who are not fluent in either English or Spanish.

Make-up dates for absent students and those needing additional time

  • For student surveys, it is important to fold make-up dates into the data collection window, especially for large school-, district-, and state-level administrations. Absentees are inevitable, and a large enough number of them could introduce a nonresponse bias; for example, students who are frequently absent may not be as engaged in the school as others. Have at least one make- up day set aside for absent students as well as those who are not able to complete the survey in one class session. If possible, consider setting aside multiple make-up dates for larger administrations.

Setting the ground rules of the administration

  • Students should be instructed to take a seat at a computer terminal of their choice and should be provided with a username for logging in to the survey.
  • Students should be reminded to write down their password. If they lose it, they will not be able to get back to the survey.
  • Students should be reminded to stay quiet throughout the survey to avoid distracting fellow classmates. If they have a problem logging in to the survey, they should raise their hands. If they have a question about the meaning of language used in the survey, they should do their best to figure out the intent—to ensure privacy and standardized administration, proctors cannot provide individualized help.

When the above instructions have been given, the proctor should begin reading the Proctor Script (see Appendix D).

Assigning usernames and ensuring all students can log in to the survey platform

  • It should be clear to students whether or not the proctor will be able to connect usernames to specific students. If the linkage to other student data is not planned, we recommend placing a username at each computer before the students arrive, and then allowing them to choose where they sit. If you prefer assigned seating, we recommend having students pick up a username from a stack as they walk into the room. If the linkage to other student data is planned, usernames will need to be handed out after students’ names are verified. Use the standard administration procedures and conduct the survey in setting that ensure students’ privacy.
  • The proctor should be free to move around the room until every student has successfully logged in and reached the welcome page. If a student has trouble, ask him or her to try the username again, paying careful attention to special characters and capitalization.
  • Once a student logs in, the system will generate a PIN that can be used for re-entry to the survey. The PIN cannot be recovered by the Survey Administrator. Please instruct students to write down their PIN so that they can re-enter the survey at a later time. It is important that they write down the PIN, whether they think they will need it or not, because of the possibility of unforeseen circumstance, such as fire drills or the class period ending before a student can finish.

Accessing the survey in Spanish

  • The EDSCLS platform has a bilingual toggle feature for the student (and parent) surveys. Students can click on the “English/Español” links above each question to select their preferred language.

Answering students’ questions

  • The proctor should help students log in, but not answer any questions about the wording of the survey items, since proctors cannot provide individualized help. If students are confused, please tell them to respond based on their best guess.

Closing out when the survey period ends

  • It is best not to allow students to leave the class or surf the web upon finishing the survey as this may incentivize them to rush through it too quickly. Either ask them to sit quietly or give them an activity that will not disturb others (e.g., a reading assignment).

[1]   The survey instrumentation adheres to the requirements in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998, which includes a set of standards by which electronic forms of governmental publications are made more easily accessible to people with disabilities.

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