Comparative Time on Task

I don't think my Comparative Time on Task report could possibly be accurate. My kids are on the software about 80 minutes a week. However at the end of the year I'm seeing numbers like 73, 500, etc...minutes. Any idea on what might be causing this? I KNOW they're on more than than because I see them working!

Posted on: May 07 2010
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  • AskDee

    Be sure to double chck the timeframe for the report.


    Time on Task only reports time when students are working within a zone.  The time spent looking at Ty in the main menu or listening to the music does not count either.

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    They have to be "actively working" in a zone.

    I have had ongoing problems with this since using laptops for the program. When I had regular pc's the last two years it did not happen. Sometimes SAM 'catches them up', but I still have a couple kids that were 'stuck' for a loooong time and now their minutes are really low. Our tech here doesn't seem to know what the problem is.

    My students are on longer than what is recorded as well. however; when the program runs slow, or if they stop working and sit there, these times are depleted. I hope this helps

    I believe students' time on task only records their true working time. If they are sitting staring at the screen, time is not adding up. Debbie

    Students also need to read the passages using one of the buttons at the top of the page - by Word, Phrase, or Passage.  If they do not, the computer does not credit their time-on-task.  I've had a few who think they are above using Jackie's narration or chunking and read the passage on their own.   Not only are they not getting credited for their time-on-task, but they also don't get credit for those words read.  Debbie

    It makes me crazy to find out something I wish I knew from the start.  I know the students are on 5 days a week.  Yet the computer reports 2 or 3.  I know they are on for thier full rotational time and then the minutes don?t add up at the end of the week. 


    I asked for help with this one from Scholastic.  Here is the response: If they do not click one of the Read Aloud buttons, they will not get credit for the Words Read in the passage; however, they should still get credit for the Time on Task spent in the zone. I would make sure that the student is exiting correctly by pressing the Quit button to end the session.  I have seen a few instances where Time on Task does not get saved because a student is using Ctrl-Alt-Del or just shutting down a workstation to end a READ 180 session, instead of pressing the Quit button in the application.  If the Total Time on Task is not being accurately reflected in the software, this is the most likely cause.

    I have measured software minutes and rank my students, printing out a graph of who's in first place for software minutes.  This really helps the students with lower lexile levels because they are usually the top students. The students on level 4 are working frantically on the difficult spelling zone and it takes them longer to get to the success zone. I found that Spelling Zone minutes do not count until they complete the spelling zone; then the program totals those minutes and they get a significant.  So, if students are 'stuck' in a spelling zone, they won't show minutes right away.  It's true that the program only measures 'working minutes' but every year I'm amazed at how clever students are at beating the system. For example, students who were trying to get top software minute bragging rights found a way to add up minutes without doing any work. Students can add tons of minutes by listening to their own recording in the reading zone.  They can literally do this for 20 minutes and gain all that time.  So, I have to watch them closely to see if they are trying to cheat the system.

    I will also watch for kids listenening to their own recordings multiple times.  I have noticed it but did not know that it added minutes. 

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