Some of the items are in a convergent response format and others
call for a divergent response. Some convergent response items involve
finding specific information. A multiple choice format is used when
there is a chance that some students might misinterpret the driving
question without being constrained by a limited set of answer choices.
The divergent response items involve drawing conclusions and
Responding Online or in Paper and Pencil
As explained on the IPAT home page (click "Home" in the links at
the top) and in the directions for administering EPA Phoenix (click
"administering the assessment" in the links at the top), you can
administer EPA Phoenix online. If you are considering this, it
is strongly advised that the students be proficient in computer
keyboarding and manipulating multiple open windows on their computer
desktops. Deficiencies in these areas will compromise the assessment's
validity. For example, if a student does not understand how to open
and close windows on her computer screen, her score might reflect
that lack of technical competence rather than the proficiency the
item is intended to measure (e.g. proficiency in relevant Web-based
Customizing EPA Phoenix
EPA Phoenix is not easily customizable because many of its
items require that all students examine the same information sources.
However, if you want to try, you can go to the EPA and the National
Weather Service Web sites to look for comparable graphs, tables,
and maps for other locations other than Phoenix.
If you encounter technical difficulties
If your students encounter technical problems that prevent
them from accessing the EPA or National Weather Service Web pages
required to do the EPA Phoenix assessment, bookmark or open on their
computers a special IPAT Web page that links to back-up images from
those pages. You can get to the backup images by clicking the "backup
images" link above. The backup images allow students to do all the
items except 14, 15, and 16 (which require phrase-based Web searching).
If you are administering the Level 1 form and have to rely on the
back-up images, make sure that your students ignore the detailed
navigational directions that precede Items 1-6 (Part A of the assessment)
and 12-13 (Part C of the assessment). Keep in mind that if the students
use the back-up images for Part A, it makes no sense to score them
on the rubric for Item 1, which diagnoses their ability to carry
out specific attribute-based searches.