Technical Support

McDougal Littell Assessment System

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
PC Information:
Windows XP, 2000, or ME

Macintosh Information:
Mac OS 10.2.8 and higher

Browsers:
For PC: Internet Explorer 6.0 and 7.0, Firefox 1.5, Netscape 7.2
For Mac: Internet Explorer 5.2.3 (for Mac OS 10.2.8 only), Safari 1.2 or 2.0, Firefox 1.5, Netscape 7.2
USER'S MANUAL
Select the appropriate McDougal Littell Assessment System help guide below. For those new to the program and for set-up, we recommend the User Walkthrough Guide below, which gives a concise overview and includes screenshots.
DOWNLOADS
Documents for getting started with MLAS
These documents will assist you in loading your information into MLAS and determining the best way to get started using the program. User-downloadable copies of the Help Guide are also available from inside MLAS.

Eight steps to set up MLAS

These eight steps are essential for setting up MLAS:
  1. Activate your order
  2. Register and sign in
  3. Define the school year and terms
  4. Import users and distribute product
  5. Set up the scanner (if applicable)
  6. Create classes
  7. Add students to classes
  8. Distribute usernames to students

The MLAS Quick-Start Guide
Each of these documents provides a one-page flow-chart that outlines a clear and easy-to-follow path through the initial set-up of MLAS. Also provided are extra facts and quick tips to help new users.

For Districts follow these steps for setting up multiple schools in a district
For Schools follow these steps to set up one or more teachers in a school
For Classroom Teachers teachers follow these steps to set up and use MLAS


McDougal Littell Assessment System User Walkthrough Guide
This guide outlines specific tasks for users to follow as they set up and begin to use MLAS. Including easy-to-follow steps accompanied by detailed screen shots of the program, this document also includes a comprehensive table of contents with hyperlinks directly to specific sections in MLAS. Contained within this document are instructions for both MLAS administrators and classroom teachers.

About MLAS Security
This document outlines steps taken to keep information safe and secure.

MLAS Technology Infrastructure FAQ
This is a technical document that describes the MLAS system infrastructure.

MLAS License Agreement
This document outlines the MLAS License Agreement.

Check here for important system updates and downloads:
For the latest version of Netscape for PC.
For the latest version of Netscape for Mac.
For the latest version of Internet Explorer for PC.
For the latest version of Firefox.
For the latest version of Adobe Reader.
For the latest version of Java Runtime Environment.

Frequently Asked Question



Getting Started
What is the McDougal Littell Assessment System? The McDougal Littell Assessment System is a flexible, web-based program that allows you to use assessment as a teaching tool. MLAS provides assessments and remediation materials tied directly to state and national standards. MLAS aggregates and disaggregates student data to create prescriptions for differentiated instruction. The McDougal Littell Assessment System helps you use assessment to inform instruction. It is a tool to help all students achieve their potential.
How is MLAS ordered? Like most other digital goods, MLAS is ordered on a one license per student basis. If a school or district orders 400 Pupil Editions of a program, they need to order 400 MLAS licenses.
What kind of data does MLAS need to get started? How can I import questions? MLAS allows users to either manually create users and classes, or an administrator can use the import tools (see "Downloads" above) to import users and/or classes from their Student Information System (SIS).
How is the class roster transferred? Do teachers have to input each student? MLAS offers users two ways of getting student information into the system:
1. Users can upload their own data using a spreadsheet that ML will provide. This is recommended for large- or medium-size adoptions or for schools and districts that use an electronic Student Information System.
2. Users can input student information manually. This is recommended for smaller adoptions or for districts that don't use an electronic database system for student information.
Where does MLAS get the demographic data about students in the system? The school MLAS administrator provides any demographic data such as gender, ethnicity, and/or educational programs. They may have this information in their SIS or the administrator or teacher may choose to manually add it to each student's profile.
How are usernames and passwords created? Whether the administrator imports the users or a teacher creates them manually, MLAS simplifies the process by creating usernames and temporary passwords for each user. MLAS uses the naming convention:

firstname.lastname

If more than one user has the same first name and last name combination, then MLAS uses:

firstinitial.lastnameX (where x is a number incremented by 1)

Because districts have their own personalized URL, usernames only need to be unique within that district.
How are class rosters created in MLAS? Once the raw data is in the system, teachers can build a class roster by picking out the students that are in their class. Users will see the list of students entered, and assign them to their classes.
With which Student Information Systems does MLAS work? MLAS allows users to import data from an Excel spreadsheet. See "Helpful Documents," above. The information is transferred from the SIS onto the template provided, and then imported into MLAS.
What about student mobility (especially between schools)? As students move between classes, the teacher can easily remove the student from their roster. The new teacher can quickly search for the student and add the student to their roster. If a student changes schools, an administrator can change the student's school location and then the new teacher can add the student to class roster.
How does the MLAS software interface with other grade book software? There will be no direct link between MLAS and other grade book systems. However, MLAS will provide various file export options that will allow for the transfer of data.
Will the Test Generator need to be installed? The Test Generator does not need to be loaded to use MLAS. Content from the Test Generator will be pre-loaded and correlated to standards. MLAS is a web-based system, so it can be used on any computer that is connected to the Internet. Teachers can, however, use the Test Generator to publish additional questions to the MLAS test library.
Does MLAS work with any of the testing systems already set up with school districts? MLAS does not work directly with any other testing system. As described above, it only allows for exporting of assessment data so that users can import the data into their own data management system.
Do I have to have a scanner to use MLAS? What scanners are supported? A scanner and a dedicated computer connected to the Internet for that scanner are required only if users wish to give plain paper assessments.

These are the scanners which have been tested and shown to be compatible with MLAS:

Brother DCP-8060
Brother DCP-8045D
Brother MFC-8440
Brother MFC-8460N
Can MLAS scores and reports be imported into a district's internal system of assessment? Yes, by exporting the files in the appropriate format and importing into the chosen system.
Can a teacher export data from MLAS to the school's grade book system? Yes, by exporting the files in the appropriate format and importing into the chosen system.
Administration set-up: recommendations Remember: you can import all users at the same time. The User Import Template has one tab for Faculty and Staff and another for Students. Once it has been filled out, all users can be brought into the system with one click of the "Import" button. If a student enters later in the year, you can easily add them manually, but it is best to do a more general import of everybody at the beginning of the school year.
What steps must be taken if I am a returning customer next year? If you have saved your import files from past years, you may adjust them and use them again to bring users and class rosters into the program. The important steps to remember are to 1. renew MLAS licenses, 2. create a new School Year and Terms, 3. add new faculty and staff, 4. distribute product, 5. add new student users and 6. create new classes. Detailed instructions with screenshots are available in the User Walkthrough Guide available for download above.
Troubleshooting
How do I access MLAS? MLAS is a web-based application. When you activate an order for MLAS, you will be given a special URL just for your district. You will log in there using a username and password.
How do I connect the scanner to MLAS? Follow the directions and use the CD that is provided with the scanner to install it to the office or administrator computer. Once the scanner is installed, verify that the computer is connected to the Internet. Important note: You must connect the scanner to a Windows PC that is connected to the Internet. The scanner operating drivers are not compatible with the Macintosh operating systems.
Do all computers using MLAS need to be Windows-based computers? No, only the computer connected to the scanner needs to be a Windows computer. All other user computers may be either PC or Mac.
Where are the servers and data hosted? MLAS servers are located in a state-of-the-art facility with a backup power supply, environmental controls, 24-hour on-site security and fail-over, and redundant Internet access. The facility guarantees 99.9%+ uptime. No data storage investment is required from schools or districts.
How can I be sure my data is secure? MLAS is protected by firewalls that restrict unauthorized access. The physical location is protected by 24-hour security. All data in MLAS is password protected. Passwords are encrypted in the database and cannot be retrieved by Houghton Mifflin employees. Users have access only to the data that they are entitled to see. Further, each district has a customized URL. For more information, see the document called "About Security" on this web page, above.
What happens if the MLAS database goes down? All databases are backed up daily to alternate locations.
What happens if the scanner connected to MLAS breaks? Scanners generally come with a warranty program supported by the manufacturer. Customers should contact the manufacturer with any problems.
How scalable is the MLAS system? MLAS is designed for scalability. Our customers range in size. MLAS functions just as well for one grade level within a single school to multiple grade levels in multiple schools within a district.
How do I get upgrades to the MLAS system? Because MLAS is a web application, any time a new feature, new content, or new state standards are added, you have access to it the next time you sign in to the website. There is no need to download any software or make system adjustments.
Once logged in, will a user remain logged in indefinitely? For your security, a user will be logged out of the application after 60 minutes of inactivity. The user will need to log in again to pick up where they left off.
Do any ports need to be open? Port 80 must be open in order for a user to publish from the Test Generator to MLAS. Port 7222 and Port 7223 must both be enabled. If the IP address is required, 155.44.225.80 is the allowable address for both ports.
Are there any issues using a proxy server? No. However, when you configure the scanning software, the proxy servers need to be turned on. You will need your server and port information in order to configure this properly. Contact your technical administrator to get this information if you do not know it.
My password/username is not working. What do I do? Remember that your password is case sensitive. If your name is John Smith, your username is John.Smith. Is there someone else in your district with the same name? Perhaps your password is your name with a number after it: John.Smith1, John.Smith2, etc. If you need your password re-set, contact your MLAS administrator. They will reset your password to "changeme," and you will be able to set a new password.