Basic Transcribing

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For a student who meets the eligibility criterion, this designated support may be used on:

  • STAAR, including STAAR Spanish


Description of Designated Support

For online testing, this designated support allows responses to be entered into the Test Delivery System (TDS) when a student has a disabling condition that prevents the student from independently entering responses through keyboarding or the use of a mouse.

For paper testing, this designated support allows a student’s responses to be copied into the student’s test booklet when the student has a disabling condition that prevents the student from recording responses independently.

Student Eligibility Criteria

A student may use this designated support if that student has a disabling condition and:

  • routinely and effectively uses speech-to-text (STT) software during classroom instruction and classroom testing, or

  • routinely and effectively has original responses to classroom instructional and testing materials transcribed.

Authority for Decision and Required Documentation

  • The Speech-To-Text field should be updated under the Test Attributes panel in TIDE prior to testing so the designated support is made available in TDS.

  • For students who require a test administrator to enter their responses, the STAAR Non-Embedded Supports or TELPAS Non-Embedded Supports field should be updated in the Non-Embedded Supports panel in TIDE after testing to indicate that this support was made available to the student.

  • For a student not receiving special education or Section 504 services, the decision is made by the appropriate team at the campus level (e.g., Response to Intervention [RtI] team, student assistance team) and documented according to district policies. The decision should be based on the eligibility criteria and aimed at addressing a student's consistent academic struggle in a specific area, even after intensive instruction and remediation.

  • For a student receiving Section 504 services, the decision is made by the Section 504 committee based on the eligibility criterion and documented in the student's individual accommodation plan (IAP).

  • For a student receiving special education services, the decision is made by the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee based on the eligibility criterion and is documented in the student's individualized education program (IEP).

  • In the case of an emergent bilingual (EB) student with a disability, the decision is made by the applicable group in conjunction with the student's language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC) and documented in the student's permanent record file and IAP or IEP.

Examples and Types

The test administrator may carry out Basic Transcribing to transfer student responses into the test booklet or into TDS only in the following situations:

  • The student indicates his or her answer choice selection on the computer screen by pointing or using assistive technology (e.g., eye gaze software).

  • The student uses STT technology to answer constructed-response items (including use of the online embedded support in TDS).

  • The student dictates or signs responses to test questions, including text entry questions. For information about the test administrator transcribing a student's dictated or signed responses to constructed-response items, refer to the Complex Transcribing policy. For information about the test administrator recording a student's dictated mathematics scratch work, refer to the Mathematics Scribe policy.

  • The student writes responses to test questions on another medium (e.g., scratch paper, dry erase board) or types responses on a word processor.

  • The student dictates or signs information to be recorded in the margins of the test booklet or in the notes tool for online tests (does NOT apply to mathematics calculations or to constructed responses).

Special Instructions and Considerations

  • A student who uses this designated support may need to complete the test in a separate setting to eliminate distractions to other students and to ensure the confidentiality of the test.

  • The student’s attributes in TIDE must first be set to indicate “speech-to-text” in order for this support to be accessed in the practice environment.

  • A test administrator who transcribes for a student must be trained in these guidelines and sign an Oath of Test Security and Confidentiality. The role of the test administrator is to record exactly what the student has indicated in his or her original response. The transcriber may not edit or alter student responses in any way and may not provide feedback regarding the correctness of the student's response. Transcription procedures include these special instructions and the general transcribing procedures for paper administrations found in the Directions for Entering Student Responses in DEI page of the DEI User Guide.

  • The test administrator must indicate to the student the space allowed for the constructed-response items so that the response will fit into the spaces provided when transcribed online. For STAAR, the extended constructed-response item character-count limit of 2,300 characters equates to approximately 46 lines on paper. Short constructed-response text boxes allow for 475 characters, which is approximately 10 lines on paper. For TELPAS, constructed-response items have a character-count limit of 1,000 and sentence rewrite items have a character-count limit of 100.

  • Students must be given the full time allotted to complete the test. Students are allowed to review the transcription and make any edits within the time window of the assessment. However, students may not edit their responses after the test period has ended and test administrators have transferred the final responses online. The test administrator must ensure that he or she can read and understand the student's intended responses before the student leaves the testing room.

  • To become familiar with the functionality of online tests, students should practice using the tools in the Practice Test Site before taking online operational assessments. The student’s attributes in TIDE must first be set to indicate “speech-to-text” in order for this support to be accessed in the practice environment.

  • Documentation of this support should be kept at the local level. For paper administrations of STAAR or TELPAS reading, the test administrator should write, "Transcribed by (NAME) because student is eligible for this designated support" on the student's test booklet. There is no field in which to enter this information online.

  • For TELPAS grades 2–12, Basic Transcribing applies only to the paper reading test, the online reading and writing test, and the listening portion of the online listening and speaking test. STT applies only to the constructed-response items for writing. For questions about the speaking portion of the online listening and speaking test, contact the TEA Student Assessment Division. This designated support does not apply to any holistically rated domain, since those are assessed during authentic classroom activities and the same accommodations routinely used during classroom instruction are acceptable.

  • Secure test materials and associated student responses cannot be photocopied, scanned, or saved in order to use this designated support. Any typed or handwritten responses that include student notes, answers to test questions, or responses to the constructed-response questions must be destroyed after testing. All voice recordings must be erased or destroyed after testing.

  • A student who needs assistance only in physically manipulating test materials or equipment is not necessarily eligible for this designated support. Refer to the Manipulating Test Materials policy.

  • For information regarding the role of a test administrator who transcribes for a student who uses braille materials, screen reader support for refreshable braille displays, or large-print test materials, refer to the test administration instructions.

  • For information regarding the role of a test administrator who transcribes for a student who is deaf or hard of hearing, refer to the STAAR Paper Test Administration Information.

  • Spell check, word predictor, and all other special features must be disabled when a student types responses to constructed-response questions on a word processor unless the student meets the eligibility criteria outlined in the Spelling Assistance policy.

  • Districts are required to have procedures in place to prevent use of personal cell phones and electronic devices during test administrations. If TEA-approved technology-based accommodations are used by a student during testing, TEA guidelines on the use of this technology must be followed in order to maintain the security and validity of the assessment. Although some technology may be very useful during a daily academic setting, technology that has functionality that violates the Technology Guidelines cannot be used during a state assessment. 

  • For situations when a student experiences an unexpected or emergency situation (e.g., broken arms, broken glasses) immediately before the assessment, refer to the Accommodations in Unexpected or Emergency Situations policy.

If you have any questions, contact the Student Assessment Help Desk at (512) 463-9536.