How To Use The Test

How to create classes and add children to ATLAS:

1. Go to accesstoliteracy.com/assessment. The Google Chrome browser works best

2. Make an account — or Enter a username and password you have created

3. Before children can be added, a class with a name needs to be made. To create a new class, type a name under Add a Class, then press Submit:



In the example, three classes named “chameleon”, “falcon”, and “narwhal” have already been added. Class names can also be edited or class data deleted from this screen.

4. There should be a dark blue box, which will look like a book spine, with the name of the class you have created, e.g., “chameleon”. Press it once to open the class screen:



5. At the bottom left of the page, select the green “plus” symbol 

6. You will see the Add Child screen. You can add children’s information individually through the drop-down menus. You must create a unique number for each child: this will be the Child ID. Save this information separately in your own files so you can reference an ID number later. The Child ID should only contain numbers (no letters or special characters).

7. Enter the child’s date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY).

8. Enter the child’s grade level (preK1, preK2, K, grade 1, grade 2)

9. Enter whether the child is bilingual.

10. Enter the child’s gender.

11. Enter whether the child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). If you select Yes for this box, another box will appear directly below asking for the Individualized Education Plan Type. More than one IEP can be chosen, if needed:

  • Cognitive impairment (CI)
  • Emotional impairment (EI)
  • Hearing impairment (HI)
  • Visual impairment (VI)
  • Physical impairment (PI)
  • Other health impairment (OHI)
  • Speech and language impairment (SLI)
  • Early childhood developmental delay (ECDD)
  • Learning disability (LD)
  • Severe multiple impairment (SXI)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Traumatic brain injury impairment (TBI)
  • Deaf-blindness (DB)

12. Enter the child’s method of responding. If in doubt, select Touchscreen.

13. Enter the child’s speech generating ability. If in doubt, select Yes.

14. Enter the level of the instructions you wish to provide the child. If in doubt, select Basic. The instructions will direct the child to a more supportive level of instruction if practice items are not answered correctly. Basic+ (“Basic Plus”) and Enhanced both offer more support on practice items. For the Enhanced level, please note that the next question does not appear until the assessor selects the green arrow in the upper right to advance test items.

Select Basic if the child:

  • Knows basic phonological awareness (PA) concepts
  • Has few behavioral issues

Select Basic+ if the child:

  • May not be familiar with PA concepts
  • Has one or two behavioral or cognitive challenges
  • Is a relatively independent test taker

Select Enhanced if the child:

  • May not be familiar with PA concepts
  • Needs behavioral supports
  • Benefits from individualized task presentation

For a class, at the lower right of the screen, you can Delete Child or Edit Child. If you need to edit a child’s information, including selecting a different Level of Instruction, find the relevant Child ID in the drop-down menu and select Submit.

Information about the use of each subtest:

ATLAS contains subtests of phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge:

  • PA:
    • Rhyming
    • Blending
    • Segmenting
  • Alphabet knowledge:
    • Letter Names
    • Letter Sounds

As of October 2020, alphabet knowledge subtests are being validated. Letter Names and Sounds items may have three picture options side by side (receptive, multiple-choice items). Or, they may have a single letter presented (expressive, yes-no items), then the assessor presses the green arrow and selects Yes or No to whether the child got the answer. The test then advances.

PA tests all present three picture options side by side, and a speaker reads a question followed by the names of each option. Children can tap or click before the options are all read aloud. They can select one of the three options themselves, or an assessor can help them pick their choice. The stimulus question repeats once, and if a child does not respond, the website automatically proceeds to the next item.

To begin the ATLAS subtests, find the row with the Child ID of the child you wish to assess, and confirm that the level of instruction in brackets is correct (e.g., [Basic]; if this needs to be changed, click Edit Child in the lower right). Then, click one or more of the oval buttons at the right under Launch Test. Then press Submit. The test will run with sample items for PA Rhyming, Blending, and Segmenting, but begin directly with scored items for Letter Names and Sounds. After a subtest is completed, an animal GIF will appear moving on screen, to keep the child engaged and motivated. Then the interface returns to the classroom screen with all Child IDs for that class.

As each child takes a subtest, her results will appear on the left as a colorful icon: a red apple, yellow star, or green checkmark. Under the oval buttons on the right, the scaled M-score for that subtest will appear in brackets. The M-score is a rescaled score from 15 to 25, with a mean of 20 and standard deviation of 2. Scoring is based on Rasch item response theory, taking into account not only the child’s initial ability estimate but also the difficulty level of the items she took.

Users can select the button Class Metrics in the lower left to view graphs of subtest results for all students in a class. On the Class Metrics page, at the bottom, users can adjust the date range by specifying the start and end dates to display test results of interest and visualize children’s progress over time.