The most challenging part of the AP Spanish Language and Culture course, in my opinion, is administering the exam. I’ll describe what I do get everything ready for the Big Day. If you have a kick-butt AP Coordinator at your school, then maybe they already do this for you.
We use digital voice recorders. I have every one labeled with a number. I make sure each one has fully-charged batteries and have all the correct settings, like the volume turned up. When students check their recordings at the end, they might think they haven’t recorded anything, when it might actually just be the volume. 🙂 I also have a cheat-sheet (AP exam recording instructions sound recorder) that I tape inside the tri-fold foam board the students use for privacy and to reduce sound since there are 10 students in the room recording at a time. The conversation and the cultural comparison have to be together in one recording, so the students have to practice this before the exam.
We test a large number of students since most of our students are heritage Spanish speakers. This year, 2018, we are testing 107 students. I follow the recommendation in the proctor’s manual to put a recorder in a bag. I label the bag with the names of the 2 students who will be using that recorder since they do the recording in two testing groups. I put the recorders in a plastic basket, one for each testing room. This year we will have 6 testing rooms.
If you use computers or a computer lab, there are other instructions. Chromebooks are not allowed for the 2018 exam unless you contacted College Board before March 1st. Ipads are accepted and have an app that you must use.
I have already coordinated with my tech team to be available in the afternoon to download the recordings from the voice recorders, name the files with the AP student number, and upload them to the DAS portal since I cannot touch them. My AP Coordinator set up the account for the tech team. The email to the AP Coordinator for setting up the DAS is typically sent in April.
I create a seating chart for each room. On that chart, I note in which recording group each student will be and which recorder they will use. I like to do this in case there is some issue with a recording. That way we know whose it is.
We use CD players for the CD’s that are used in several parts of the exam. We used laptops one year, but a teacher’s laptop went into sleep mode but the CD continued on and it threw some students off when they missed a bit of the recording. I put the CD player in each room and test it. Some rooms need an extension cord or power strip, so I have a few of those. Second-hand stores are great for those things.
I prepare a binder for each proctor that includes the proctor’s manual. I highlight the relevant information and cross out the recording instructions that do not pertain to them. I also meet with the proctors and go through all the parts, especially the recording.
The afternoon before the exam, we set up each room according to the seating chart and label each desk or table with who should sit there, and in which recording group they are. We make sure all desks or tables are 5 feet apart for the paper-pencil parts of the exam according to the instructions on pp. 55-58 of the Coordinator’s Manual. The manual also give specifications for recording set-up. I leave the correct number of tri-fold boards in the room for the recording.
Since there are two recording groups and group 1 cannot interact with group 2 should they reveal what the recordings are about, group 2 is eating lunch in a room while group 1 trickles into a different room as each testing room finishes to eat their lunch and return to class. As soon as a group 1 room finishes, the group 2 that tests in that room is sent to record.
Occasionally there is a problem with a CD or a recording. The technology fails, or the student makes a mistake in recording. The Coordinator’s Manual has information on pages 62-71 that deals with administration incidents (this one is 2016-17) that tells what to do in different situations.
I think that is it! If I remember anything else, I’ll be sure to add it. ¡Suerte con todo!