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Teacher’s Guide to Cambridge English

Empower in the Cambridge Learning


Management System

CONTENTS
1 Introduction 2
2 The Learning Oriented Assessment (LOA) cycle 2
3 How to access your classes 3
4 Cambridge English Empower in the Cambridge LMS – Quick overview 4
Class Home 4
5 Cambridge English Empower in the Cambridge LMS – In depth 5
Content 5
Assessment and Practice 6
Online Workbook 13
Extension 13
Resources 13
Teacher’s Book 14
Printable Tests 14
Teacher’s Extra Resources 14
Class Audio and Class Video 15
Language Check 15
Class Tools 15
Learner Profile 16
Unit Progress Test scores 16
CEFR Report 17
Gradebook 18
Teacher view of Gradebook 18
Student view of Gradebook 23
Dashboard 24
Teacher view of Portfolio 24
Student view of Portfolio 25
6 Further Information 25
7 What’s special about the assessment in Cambridge English Empower? 26
Unit Progress Tests (formative) 26
Unit Speaking Tests (formative) 27
Competency Tests (summative) 27
1   INTRODUCTION
Who is this guide for?
This guide is intended for teachers of Cambridge English Empower using the online assessment and
practice in the Cambridge Learning Management System (LMS).

What is included in this guide?


This guide includes
• information on the parts of the course delivered online through the Cambridge LMS
• recommendations on when and how the online components can be used
• the differences between teacher access and student access
• links to further information about Cambridge LMS features.

What is not included in this guide?


This guide does not include information about Cambridge LMS features that are not relevant to
Cambridge English Empower.

How does this guide work?


This guide is intended to help you as a teacher start using Cambridge English Empower in the
Cambridge LMS immediately. A Quick overview of the Class Home offers an easy starting point for you
to try out some of the main elements of the course. This is followed by an In depth visual walkthrough
of all the Cambridge LMS features of the course. Further information provides links to more sources of
assistance, including the Cambridge LMS FAQs and step by step help videos.

2   THE LEARNING ORIENTED ASSESSMENT (LOA) CYCLE

Class lessons A + B:
Grammar, vocabulary
and mixed skills
Class lesson D:
Class lesson C:
Consolidation of Take the
Everyday English
core language via
integrated skills, Unit Progress Test
plus a writing Online
focus
Mid-course
and End-
of-course
CEFR
competency Report
assessment

Follow the
Personalised
Retake the Gradebook learning path
monitoring +
Unit Progress Test (targeted
reporting on
test scores and online practice)
practice
activities

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As a teacher, you’ll naturally be interested in your learners’ progress. Every time they step into your
classroom, you’ll note if a learner is struggling with a language concept, is unable to read at a natural
rate, or can understand a new grammar point but still can’t produce it in a practice activity. This is
often an intuitive and spontaneous process. By the end of a course or a cycle of learning, you’ll know
far more about a learner’s ability than an end-of-course test alone can show.
An LOA approach to teaching and learning brings together this ongoing informal evaluation with more
formal or structured assessment such as end-of-unit or end-of-course tests. Ideally supported by a
learning management system, LOA is an approach that allows you to pull together all this information
and knowledge in order to understand learners’ achievements and progress and to identify and
address their needs in a targeted and informed way. A range of insights into learners and their
progress feeds into total assessment of the learner. It also allows you to use all of this information not
just to produce a report on a learner’s level of competence but also to plan and inform future learning.
Cambridge English Empower in the Cambridge LMS provides all the necessary material and tools to
help you successfully achieve total assessment of your learners, including a complete assessment
package with automated grading, a comprehensive range of additional activities for extensive
language practice and access to all the necessary performance data in one gradebook.

3   HOW TO ACCESS YOUR CLASSES


This guide assumes that teachers are already registered and have classes set up to use
Cambridge English Empower in the Cambridge LMS. For more information on how to register on
the Cambridge LMS please go to:
www.cambridgelms.org/main/

After logging in, the My Teaching tab lists all the Cambridge English Empower classes that have been
set up for you to teach. Click on the links to access the relevant course and section.

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4  CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH EMPOWER IN THE CAMBRIDGE LMS –
QUICK OVERVIEW
Class Home
Your Class Home will look something like this:

Click here to access the Click here to access a range Click here to Click here to access
Assessment material, of additional material to access the Forum, all the scores and
Online Workbook and help with your teaching of Message Board data for the students
Extension activities. Cambridge English Empower. and Blog tools. in the class.

To Do Next, Calendar and Announcements are


immediately available and allow you to keep track of
work that is due and to notify learners of upcoming tasks.

Note: Logged in as Teacher, the main tabs for the course are Class Home, Content, Resources, Class
Tools and Gradebook. Your learners, logged in as Students, have an extra Learner Profile tab:

There is more information on the Learner Profile below.

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5  CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH EMPOWER IN THE CAMBRIDGE LMS –
IN DEPTH
Content
This is where to access the Assessment material (Unit Progress Tests, Unit Speaking Tests and
Competency Tests), Online Workbook and Extension activities.

Click this button to lock


or unlock the content and
Click here to access the This icon shows if the the option to set time
Online Workbook and activity or test is locked parameters for the test or
Extension activities. or unlocked. activities to be available.

Click on Show Indicates how much of the


all to open content has been accessed
the menu. and submitted for scoring.

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Assessment and Practice
There is a Unit Progress Test and Unit Speaking Test for each unit (12 units for levels A1, A2 and B1,
and 10 units for levels B1+, B2 and C1) and two Competency Tests (mid-course and end-of-course) for
each level of the course.

Unit Progress Tests


We recommend that learners take the Unit Progress Test at the end of each C lesson as learners
encounter all the language that features in the test in lessons A–C. However, if it suits your teaching
situation, the Unit Progress Test could equally well be set for learners to take after the D lesson or after
Review and Extension.
Learners have two attempts at each Unit Progress Test. The first attempt is timed. On completion
learners receive a recommendation and links to do some personalised online practice activities
(My Practice). At the end of My Practice, learners are invited to take the test again, with no time
restrictions, so they can correct those answers they got wrong the first time. Leaners can review test
answers at any time.

Unit Speaking Tests


We recommend that learners take the Unit Speaking Test when the unit has been completed so that
they have covered the pronunciation points and have had as much opportunity as possible to practise
speaking about the topics in the unit.
Learners have one attempt at the Unit Speaking Test. There are no time restrictions and these tests
give ample opportunity for learners to listen to a model, then record, listen and re-record their own
answers before submitting their responses.

Competency Tests
There are two Competency Tests: students should take the Mid-course Competency Test halfway
through the course, either at the end of Unit 5 for levels A1, A2 and B1, or at the end of Unit 6 for level
levels B1+, B2 and C1. Students should take the End-of-course Competency Test at the end of the
course. There are four sections to each Competency Test focussing on the four skills: Reading, Writing,
Listening and Speaking. These Tests are completed online, apart from the Speaking Test, which is
conducted by the teacher (see p14, 20–21).
The purpose of the Competency Test is to give as accurate a measure as possible of a learner’s
performance relative to the target CEFR level. There is, therefore, just one attempt and no Review mode
for the Competency Tests.
Note: To find out more about the assessment material in Cambridge English Empower please read
section 7 What’s special about the assessment in Cambridge English Empower?

Lock
When you first access your Cambridge English Empower class, all the tests are locked and appear
greyed out. This means that your learners cannot access the tests until you unlock them, giving you
more control over your classes. As Teacher you will always be able to access and preview the tests.

Settings
To unlock a test for your learners, and (if you wish) to set a period of time that it is available, click on
the settings icon. You can do this either for a complete set of tests or for an individual test.
We recommend that you unlock each test when you want to make it available for your learners. In this
way, the learners in your class will all access the test for the same period of time and will be able to
check their progress at the appropriate points in the course.

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Teacher view of Test Summary page
To access a test, go to Assessment and click on the relevant test:

This opens the Test Summary page:

Note: As Teacher, there is no limit to the number of times you access any test.

Student view of Test Summary page

Here the learner can see how The (most recent) If you have set a time that
many attempts are allowed score for the test will the test is available, the time
for the test and how many appear here. and date will appear here.
attempts they have remaining.

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Students have a limited number of attempts for each test:
• Unit Progress Test – 2 attempts
• Unit Speaking Test – 1 attempt
• Competency Test – 1 attempt for each section (Reading, Writing, Listening)
Click on Start test to open it. The test will appear in a new window and will look something like this,
depending on which test you have opened (this is the opening screen for a Unit Progress Test):

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My Practice
After taking a Unit Progress Test and submitting it for scoring, learners receive a recommendation
based on their test score, to do some personalised practice activities online. Links to My Practice are
provided for each of the five language areas in the unit:

This is the This is the score A score of 100% This is a link to Learners are Click here to
score for this for this language in this language the personalised directed to do review the test
test attempt. section. section means online practice My Practice and attempt and see
there is no My activities. then take the Unit which answers
Practice link. Progress Test again. are incorrect.

Click here to start the One attempt has been This shows the score As teacher you can
Unit Progress Test for made for the Unit of the latest test set when the test is
the second attempt. Progress Test. There is attempt. available.
one attempt remaining.

Note: If a learner scores 100% in all five language areas in the Unit Progress Test, they receive a
recommendation to do Extension activities. Every learner receives a recommendation to do Extension
activities after they have completed their second attempt at the Unit Progress Test.
My Practice is intended for self-study and consists of a sequence of three parts: Language Check,
Practice 1 and Practice 2.

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Language Check imitates the way a teacher might present language in class, incorporating
context setting, language presentation and concept checking stages.

The language point The teacher avatar


from the lesson is presents the language The My Practice sequence.
highlighted. in context.

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Practice 1 follows Language Check and consists of a sequence of interactive activities to practise the
language point. Practice 1 activities are carefully selected to offer learners additional support before
they progress to Practice 2.
An example of a Practice 1 activity:

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Practice 2 follows Practice 1. If offers an increased level of difficulty with activities o en requiring a
more productive response.
An example of a Practice 2 activity:

If a learner performs poorly on a particular language point in the Unit Progress Test, then the My
Practice link takes the learner to the Language Check at the start of the chain. The learner then
proceeds through Practice 1 and Practice 2. If a learner gets a moderate score, the My Practice link
begins at Practice 1 and a good score takes the learner to Practice 2. Learners starting at Practice 1 or
Practice 2, if they wish to do so, can move backwards in the chain to Practice 1 or Language Check.
This means that busy learners can focus on what they really need.
After having the opportunity to work on their weaker areas in their personalised My Practice, learners
are then ready to retake the Unit Progress Test, correct the answers they got wrong on their first
attempt and improve their score.
Note: The Language Check is also available from the Resources tab. This means that learners can
access this material at any time, including as a way of catching up if they miss a class.

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Online Workbook
The Online Workbook provides homework after every lesson. It includes practice activities for all the
grammar, vocabulary and functional language plus extended coverage of the pronunciation from the
Student’s Book. It also includes:
• Reading and Writing skills focussed activities, including a free writing activity which saves to the
learner’s Portfolio (see pp24–25). This activity can also be completed within the Portfolio itself.
• A Review section focussing on common errors and the Wordpower section
• Extra ‘vox pop’ video (only available in the Online Workbook)

Extension
The Extension activities consist of two sequences of either three or four activities. Each sequence
of activities practises either Reading or Listening skills based around a text (or multiple short texts)
which then serves as a model for a final free Writing or Speaking activity.
Writing activities can be saved to the learner’s Portfolio by uploading a file. Speaking activities often
suggest working with a partner and practising a short conversation.

Resources
In Resources you will find a range of additional materials to help with your teaching of Cambridge
English Empower.

Note: Your learners, logged in as Students, do not have access to the Teacher’s Book, Printable Tests
or Teacher’s Extra Resources.
Student view of Resources:

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Teacher’s Book
Click on the relevant section of the Teacher’s Book to view or download as a PDF.

Printable Tests
Download the PDFs of the Competency Speaking Test instructions and view the training videos.

Note: You can also find PDFs of all the Competency Tests and Unit Progress Tests here. We
recommend, however, that all tests except the Competency Speaking Test are completed online,
accessed from the Content tab. Only by doing the Unit Progress Tests online will your learners be able
to do the My Practice personalised practice activities.

Teacher’s Extra Resources

There are Forum and Message Board activities for each unit, and suggestions for Blog activities that
can be used with any unit. Download the relevant PDF for detailed instructions on how to set up and
manage the activity.
We recommend that the Forum activities are used after the Student’s Book Lesson A or B (see the
relevant activity), the Message board activities after Lesson C and the Blog activities at the end of
each unit.

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Class Audio and Class Video
All the Class Audio and Class Video is available, either to play directly online, or to download.
Note: Depending on the speed and reliability of your internet connection, you may prefer to download
the audio and video in advance of your class.

Language Check
There are five Language Check presentations for each unit, covering the grammar and vocabulary from
Lessons A and B, and Everyday English functional language from Lesson C. You could choose to use
these in class, or direct your learners to use them for self-study, particularly for learners who would
benefit from an extra review of a particular language point (or learners who have missed a class).

Note: Language Check presentations also form part of the personalised online practice (see My
Practice (p9) for more information).

Class Tools
The Forum, Message board and Blog tools are available from the Class Tools drop down menu:

There are unit by unit activities available for each of these tools either to use in class or to set students
to do at home. These activities are available as printable PDFs in Resources (see p14).

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Learner Profile
The Learner Profile is available to learners logged in as Students and consists of:
• a visual representation of Unit Progress Test scores enabling learners to see easily their progress
unit by unit
• a CEFR Report that uses the Mid-course and End-of-course Competency Test scores to reliably
measure learners agains the target CEFR level

Unit Progress Test scores


As learners work through the Cambridge English Empower course, they build up a record of their
performance in the Unit Progress Tests. The Learner Profile shows both first and second attempt
scores of the tests so they can easily see how they have improved:

Learners click here to access


and print their CEFR Report.

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CEFR Report
The CEFR Report shows the scores for those sections of the Competency Test that have been
completed. Learners need to complete all parts of the test, and the teacher must enter a score
manually for the Competency Speaking Test, in order to receive an overall mark.

The CEFR Report after the End-of-course


Competency Test replaces that of the
Mid-course Competency Test.

Leaners receive a recommendation on which


internationally recognised standard Cambridge
General English test they may wish to work
towards after the End-of-course Competency Test.

Learners can access and print out their CEFR Report from the tab in the Learner Profile at any time.
Note: The Learner Profile and CEFR Report are only available to your learners. As a teacher you can
use the Gradebook to access all the scores for Assessment, Online Workbook and Extension material,
for they whole class and for individual learners.

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Gradebook

Teacher view of Gradebook


The Gradebook allows you as Teacher to see a complete breakdown of scores by class or by individual
learner and to access any test a learner has taken in order to review their answers.

Click here to manually


input scores.

This is the learner’s Progress shows This shows the total Graded Score Cambridge
percentage score the percentage time the learner has shows the score English Empower
for the activities of activities spent on activities that a teacher does not use this
accessed. accessed. that are graded in manually enters. Grade feature.
the Cambridge LMS.

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Automatically scored tests and activities
All of the tests (except for the Competency Speaking Tests) and all of the Online Workbook activities
(except for the Writing activity) are automatically marked, and scores are recorded in the Gradebook.

Tracked activities
The Extension activities and the Online Workbook writing activities are tracked in the Gradebook. This
means that when the learner accesses the Extension activities or the Online Workbook writing activity
this is indicated by a percentage mark under Progress, but as these include free practice activities, no
score is given.
Click on View by content to access scores and tracked activities:

This shows the


percentage of
activities attempted.

This shows the


number of attempts
at an activity.

The Writing activity


is not scored
because it includes
free practice.

Cambridge English Empower Teacher’s Guide to Empower on the LMS © Cambridge University Press 2015  19
Extension activities are tracked and show Progress, but are not scored:

Manually added scores


The Gradebook includes functionality for teachers to manually:
• add a comment to automatically scored tests (Unit Progress Tests, Unit Speaking Tests and
Competency Tests)
• add a comment and override a score for Extension and Online Workbook activties
• amend an overall course score to accommodate any extra work your learners may have done either
online within the LMS (for example, contributions to Blog, Forum or Message Board activities) or
offline ( or example, a class speaking activity).
The Competency Speaking Test scores must be manually inputted into the Gradebook so that your
learners can receive a complete CEFR Report.
To manually input scores into the Gradebook, click on View by content:

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Then open the folders to the relevant Competency Speaking Test, click on the settings icon and
select Score & Comment.

Follow the same process if you wish to override automatic scoring and manually input scores for
Online Workbook and Extension activities.
It is not possible to override the automatic scores for the Reading, Listening and Writing sections of
the Competency Tests, but it is possible to add a comment:

Note: Complete instructions on how to score your learners in the Mid-course and End-of-course
Competency Speaking Tests are located in the Printable Tests tab of the Resources area.

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View an individual learner’s answers
To review answers for a test, Online Workbook activity or Extension activity for a particular learner,
select View by content, then choose the test or activity you want to see and click on See answers via
the settings button:

Then click on the answers button next to the Student Name.

For more detailed information about using and customising the Gradebook, please view the step-by-
step help videos (see the links in Further information).

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Student view of Gradebook
Your learners can get a breakdown of their scores and amount of time they have spent on tests and
activities they have accessed from the Content area.

This Grade feature is This shows how much


not used in Cambridge of the total content the
English Empower. learner has accessed.

This is the learner’s Progress shows


percentage score in activities the percentage of
they have accessed. activities accessed.

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Dashboard
The Dashboard becomes available after you open a test or activity from the Content area. It gives
shortcuts to the Calendar and Announcement tools, the Resources area and the Portfolio.

Click here to Hide or


Show the Dashboard.

Teacher view of Portfolio


Your learners can keep a record of their work in their Portfolio by uploading a range of file types,
including audio and video files, or by writing directly into the Writing template.
We recommend that for the Online Workbook Writing activity learners write directly into the writing
template in the Task section of the Portfolio. As Teacher, you can access any work that your learners
upload to the Portfolio.

Click here to see the Click here to see the Online


work your learners have Workbook Writing activities your
added to the Portfolio. learners have added to the Task
section of the Portfolio.

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Student view of Portfolio
Leaners access the Portfolio in the same way as teachers, via the Dashboard. On the Tasks tab learners
can access the Online Workbook Writing activity and write directly into the writing template.

Learners can also add other work to their Portfolio by clicking on ‘Create a new task’ and either writing
directly into the Writing template, or by uploading a range of files (text, audio or video).

6   FURTHER INFORMATION
For general information about the Cambridge LMS please visit the Frequently Asked Questions:
www.cambridgelms.org/main/p/frequentlyaskedquestions

For step-by-step videos on how to use the Cambridge LMS features please go to:
www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-oYKB0D9-E3AhcZOLloAsIWc4ycsyUu5

To register as a Teacher on the Cambridge LMS please visit:


www.cambridgelms.org/main/

For more information about Cambridge English Empower course please go to:
cambridge.org/empower

For more information about Learning Oriented Assessment from Cambridge English please visit:
http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/research-and-validation/fitness-for-purpose/loa/

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7  WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THE ASSESSMENT IN CAMBRIDGE
ENGLISH EMPOWER?
The assessment material is validated and reliable. It has been written by expert test item writers
at Cambridge English Language Assessment and is based entirely on the Student’s Book content.
Over 23,000 trial tests were taken as part of the thorough test development and validation process,
involving learners across over 40 different countries. You can be sure that the test material provides
a reliable indication of learner progress and performance. The tests are also linked to the CEFR
(Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) levels and provide useful preparation for
the internationally recognised Cambridge English exams.
The course includes both formative and summative tests in a learning-oriented approach to assessment.

Unit Progress Tests (formative)

At the end of Lesson C in the Student’s Book, learners are directed to do the Unit Progress Test.

The Unit Progress Tests focus on the grammar, vocabulary and Everyday English (functional and/or
situational language) of the unit that has been studied. Learners receive an overall score, and each
question in the test is tagged to one of the five language points of the unit. Learners can therefore
see where their strengths and weaknesses lie in relation to each of the five language points/areas of
the unit.
After taking the test, learners receive recommendations for personalised practice (My Practice), which
varies depending on learner's performance on the test. After completing the personalised practice
pathway, learners are directed to the test for a second time and have the opportunity to redo the
questions they got wrong in their first attempt.

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Unit Speaking Tests (formative)
These tests are available for each unit (we recommend that they are taken at the end of the unit).
They test the pronunciation that has been focused on in the unit and also test the learner’s fluency in
talking about the topic of the unit.
Developed with Carnegie Speech – software specialist for assessing spoken language skills – the tests
use voice-recognition software that assesses to what extent the learner’s pronunciation matches the
required pronunciation. The software also assesses the learner’s fluency:
• There are three tasks in each test, using a range of the following task types:
• Phonemes
• Number of syllables
• Word stress
• Read aloud
• Fluency
• Within the time limit of the test, the learner is able to listen to themselves again and re-record their
answer as many times as they like. In this way, the tests provide both self-assessment and practice.
The learner can see how they have scored for each individual task.

Competency Tests (summative)


Skills-based tests covering Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking are taken in the middle and at the
end of each level. The Reading, Writing and Listening tests are automated and learners receive a score
immediately after they have completed the test.
The Competency Speaking Test is a face-to-face test that is administered by the teacher. The
Speaking tests and instructions on how to use them, as well as Speaking test training materials, are
available on the Resources area of the Cambridge LMS (see p14). The teacher marks the Speaking tests
and can then input their scores directly into the Gradebook (see pp20–21). This score contributes,
along with the other test scores, to the learner’s overall score which is given in their CEFR report.
The Competency Writing Test is marked by a Writing tool that we have developed in conjunction
with a Cambridge University department. The Writing tool has been programmed using a large bank
of similar scripts and test scripts. We are therefore able to compare aspects of written performance
against all other tests in the system, allowing us to give learners a CEFR level for their writing
performance.

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8  GUIDE TO COMPLETING CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH EMPOWER
ONLINE ASSESSMENT
Online assessments are accessed by clicking the Start test button, which launches the test in a
new browser window. Students do not have to complete the assessments in one sitting; clicking
the Close button during the assessment will close the window and their responses will be saved.
The assessment can be resumed at any point from the Test Summary page. All online assessments
are marked automatically. All students need a set of headphones for the Unit Progress Tests and
Listening Competency Tests; a headset with a microphone is needed for the Speaking Unit Progress
tests.

Introduction pages
Assessments start with instructions pages, after which the student clicks Start to begin the first task.
For assessments that contain listening tasks the instructions include an audio check page that allows
students to check they can hear audio clearly.

Audio check page

Unit Speaking tests start with an audio and record check page that allows students to check they can both
record and hear audio clearly. Further instructions for running Unit Speaking tests are provided below.

Navigation bar
The assessment window contains a navigation bar showing students where they are in the test. The
questions in the current part are displayed in different coloured boxes, as described below. For tests
that allow students freedom to move around the assessment (e.g. Reading CTs), clicking on another
Part in the navigation bar will move you to that part.
When taking assessments the navigation behaves as follows:

Blue = current question in focus


White (underlined) = question answered
Black = question unanswered

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When reviewing assessments the navigation bar behaves differently, as follows:

Blue = current question in focus


Red = candidate answered question incorrectly in this attempt
Green = candidate answered question correctly in this attempt

Unit Progress Tests (UPTs)


Each test generally has five parts, comprising one listening part and four parts testing Grammar and Vocabulary.
(Note - a few tests have two listening tasks). Students have two attempts at each test.
1st attempt - During the first attempt progress through the test is controlled by the software. Audio clips are
played automatically in the listening tasks and students have a limited amount of time to select their response
before they are moved to the next task, as indicted by a 5 second countdown timer. Each part testing grammar or
vocabulary has a separate countdown timer. Students can move to the next part before the timer expires by
clicking Next Section. However, once they have moved to a new part they are not able to return to previous
parts. The test will end either once the timer has run out for the last part or if the student clicks End Test.

Reading task showing countdown timer.

Assessment Review after 1st attempt


Students are able to review each Unit Progress Test as soon as it is complete. Results are displayed on the Test
Summary page, along with a Review Questions button, which is accessed by clicking on the three dots in the top
right corner of the screen. Review Questions displays the test in a read-only view. Each question is displayed with
the student’s response and corresponding score from their 1st attempt. Candidates can also access questions
and responses by clicking on the relevant question number on the Test Summary screen.

Summary page showing candidate feedback

Cambridge English Empower Teacher’s Guide to Empower on the LMS © Cambridge University Press 2015 29
Student's response from their 1st attempt

2nd attempt
During the second attempt students are free to answer questions in any order without any time constraints. The listening tasks do
not play automatically, rather the student uses audio controls in the top left of the screen to play/pause the audio. Students are only
required to answer questions that they got wrong in their first attempt (shown as black boxes in the navigation bar). The correct
responses from their first attempt are displayed in the tasks and cannot be changed (shown as green boxes in the navigation bar).

Audio control for listening tasks in 2nd attempt

Assessment Review after 2nd attempt


Students are able to review each Unit Progress Test as soon as it is complete by clicking on the Answers button under
My scores on the CLMS.
Results are then displayed on the Test Summary page, and answers can be seen by clicking on any question, or by
clicking on the three buttons in the top right corner and then clicking on the Review Questions button.
From here, candidates can click on the white ‘tick’ in the top right to see the correct answer; when viewing the correct
answer, the tick becomes a green tick and candidates can click on this to see their answer again.

Unit speaking tests also have an Answers button under My scores on the CLMS, allowing students to review the
questions on the Test Summary page and play back their recorded response.

Competency Tests (CTs)


Listening tests are controlled and should be taken in one session, not paused or closed during the test. For each task several
audio clips will play in succession, including instructions and prompts. The stimulus is played twice. Students should answer
the questions as they listen. They will have a limited amount of time to select their responses before the test moves to the
next task, as indicated by a 5 second countdown timer. The test ends automatically once the final task is complete.
Reading and Writing tests allow students freedom to answer questions in any order. There is an overall timer for the
whole test. Once the timer reaches “0:00” the test ends automatically. Writing tests have an autosave function every
60 seconds to ensure that responses are not lost if students have technical difficulties.

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Example task interactions seen in UPTs and Reading and Listening CTs
Inline choice – click in the blue box then select one of the options. Click grey cross to clear selection

Multiple choice – Click on the bar containing the question number to show the options for each question.
Select the correct option. Click on the same option again to remove your selection or click on another
option to change selection.

Text Entry – Click in the box and type your response

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Drag and Drop – scroll up and down through the images on the right hand side. Click and hold an image
then drag and drop it into the correct box on the left hand side. Use “drag and drop” to remove your
selection or replace it.

Unit Speaking Tests


Online speaking tests require students to have a microphone attached to their headset.
The first page in the assessment window helps the student confirm that their microphone is recording
correctly. The quality and volume of their recordings may significantly affect the ability of the
automarker to provide an accurate score therefore it is critical that students take time over this step to
ensure that their voice is recording clearly and audibly. Further instructions on microphone setup are
provided below.
For each unit speaking task the student is given an opportunity to record a response, stop the recording
and then listen to (play) their recording. They can record over their response by repeating these steps
until they are happy. Clicking the arrow to move to the next task will save their last recording.
There are 5 different types of speaking task and each test usually contains 3 of the 5 types.

Pronunciation task
Record, Stop and Play controls

• Click on the headphones icon to hear the correct pronunciation of the word “sorry”.
• Then record yourself saying it by using the Record, Stop and Play controls.

32  Cambridge English Empower Teacher’s Guide to Empower on the LMS © Cambridge University Press 2015
Number of syllables task

• Click on the headphones icon to hear the correct pronunciation of the word “apologise”
• As a learning aid, click on the correct number of syllables (this part of the task is not scored).
• Then record yourself saying it by using the Record, Stop and Play controls.

Word stress task

• Click on the headphones icon to hear the correct pronunciation of the word “balcony”
• As a learning aid, click on the circle above the stressed syllable (this part of the task is not scored).
• Then record yourself saying it by using the Record, Stop and Play controls.

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Read aloud task

• Practise reading the paragraph in the box.


• When you are ready, record yourself reading it aloud by using the Record, Stop and Play controls.
• You can listen and re-record as many times as you like within the time limits of the test.

Fluency task

• Think about the question “Why do you think some languages die?”
• The instructions tell you how long you have to speak.
• Plan a response.
• When you are ready record yourself by using the Record, Stop and Play controls.
• Speak for the whole time available to you (this is very important for the scoring).
• You can listen and re-record as many times as you like within the time limits of the test.

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Technical guide to running speaking tests
The unit speaking tests are scored by an auto-marking tool. It is important that students produce as
high quality a recording as possible to ensure that the automarker can provide the most accurate
score. It is therefore very important that students speak for the whole time available to them
and do not stop recording too early.
It is recommended that students use headphones that are comfortable and cover the entire ear.
The microphone should be attached to the head-set and be directional. The best results will be
produced with noise cancelling headphones in an environment with little background noise. Using a
computer’s built-in microphone is likely to produce a poor quality recording. Poor quality recordings
may be unable to receive a score.

Recording check page


The tests start with a recording check page that allows the student to check that everything is
working properly. If the headphone settings are correct, then the student will be able to click on
‘Play Sound’ and listen to a short audio file.

Check the sound is ok

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To check if the microphone settings are correct, the student records a short message,
as shown below.

Check microphone settings

If the settings are correct, the student can begin the test by clicking on the arrow
button in the bottom right corner of the screen.

36 Cambridge English Empower Teacher’s Guide to Empower on the LMS © Cambridge University Press 2015