NFER (National Foundation of Educational Research) 2012 main survey
Has anyone else come across the NFER PISA 2012 main survey system?
I've just been handed a USB drive and manual for this survey software that we will be supposedly undertaking in September. I don't think I've ever see such a suspicious set of instructions.
Basically we are supposed to run the software on this USB drive on each of the computers that will be used in the survey to confirm they meet the specifications and then return the drive to NFER. I don't know what everyone elses opinion is, but personally I dislike this kind of approach - let me tell you if we meet your specifications, and if I'm wrong then it's my fault. As part of this process you are also obliged to run their virus checker - their own notes state that the schools own antivirus will detect this as a virus ... 'This is normal and should be ignored'. Yeah right!
All the information that is gathered by this process is written back to the USB drive as a Truecrypt encrypted file. So there is no way we can see what information has been gathered. Again - why is this necessary?
On the testing day the students will need to "log in to the computer as a user with administrative rights" WTF??? Is there any school stupid enough to think this is a good idea? They do say that "if there are security concerns about having students logged into computers with full administrative rights..."
Am I alone in thinking that not one bit of this process is acceptable - or even professional?
Of course, as is usual with schools, we are under pressure to just do this regardless.