Poll: How do you rate the KS3 onscreen pilot?

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General Chat Thread, KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences in General; I'd be interested to here peoples experiences with the KS3 Onscreen pilot 2005, technical or otherwise....
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    KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    I'd be interested to here peoples experiences with the KS3 Onscreen pilot 2005, technical or otherwise.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    ok here is my view...

    the advantages of doing outway disadvantages... as we are going to have to do it.

    Second the support line guys last time were great no problems with them...

    Last time we couldnt talk about it but this time we can that is good as we knew other schools were having same problem but we couldnt do anything to discuss with them.

    There were bugs and some of them should of been sorted before it was released.

    more importantly we had problem all way through with database backend crashing and so we had to set up task to start it every so often just in case it had gone down.

    some of logicstis wasnt in plac last year which seem to have learnt from as releasing materials ontime...

    in all a bit of mixed bag but certainly worth doing it if not for the fact to see if the teacher levels are correct.

    Russ

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    woody's Avatar
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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    Our school is taking part in the KS3 onscreen test for 2006. I have had to fill in a network questionnaire whic was fine. But why do I have to run an audit on my network??? I know what spec my server is and of the PCs it will run on.

    This is a complete waste of my time (as is typing this message but hey, I gotta gripe)

    And why do I have to audit 20 PCs individually??? We will be using 20 PCs in the same room, which are identical. Why would we use a room with 20 different spec PCs?

    I know there are some schools where they don't have sufficient support to give them the correct detials, but hey, most secondarys not have at least one technician. Give us some credit and ASK us about what equipment we have.

    Anybody feel the same?

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    markcuk's Avatar
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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    we are using it..

    Installation was pretty easy once you worked your way through the bible they give you.

    Agree the audit was a waste of time talked them into only auditing 10 computers..

    Support team very good always got through no probs (suspect they knew certain problems because most times you would phone and complain and next day they would have a new revision to roll out!!!!!!)

    Have to say the worst bit of the test is the "Call Teacher" button where you have to put in the admin password each time to pause it and then again to add the time back to that pupil!!

    and the database would crash and you can lose results etc!!!!


    mark

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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    Why test all 20 workstations?
    The reason is that even though all the computers appear completely the same from a specification point of view, the networking route may not be identical in all cases (switches come in 12,16,24s etc and a whole room may be split accross more than one switch). So the networking throughput may affect the test. (bad cabling can also affect the test performance).

    I would agree that for 80-90% of schools network throughput will not be an issue, but out of 4000ish schools that could leave about 400 that don't have a good networking infrastructure. These schools would be at a disadvantage when performing the tests, so thats why QCA have specified that each workstation used in the test must be accredited properly.

    I'm also interested to hear from schools running the pilot on linux, novel or apple networks, how are you guys coping?

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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    We ran it last year and had issues with the amount of time that was allotted for installation, testing of the machines, running the example tests and allowing the students to see how it worked.

    Then we had issues running the test because the minimum spec of machine and server is only the minimum spec if you are running 10 machines. Our machines were higher than minimum spec, but not good enough to handle the 4 classrooms that we ran the tests in.

    This meant that it buggered up the test for over nearly 40% of the students and we did not get results back for them.

    We have spoken with the support team this year and we are waiting for the new build before reloading it onto machines. It is meant to be a lot better this time round ... but we will have to wait and see.

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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    That I am aware of, the test is only supposed to be run on 20 workstations at a time. If the school has 200 pupils, that will mean 10 sittings of 20 students. Poor system performance means poor student results...

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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    I set up the system in my last job and it had many issues - although I left before the kids were let loose on it

    They now want to take part in the test at my new place. I got the stupid questionnaire from RM/QCA but, since I'm far too busy to go through the rigmerall at the moment I sent RM an email explaining how I'd just undergone a HUGE Ctirix migration.

    Anyway... long story short. RM have told me that they don't support Citrix and they haven't got any idea when they will. Sounds a bit like buck passing to me.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences


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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    I particularly like the quote about what the pilot has achieved:
    * delivers an all-new approach to onscreen examinations
    * upgrades the ICT skills of tomorrow’s workforce
    * makes the delivery of examinations more efficient, freeing up teaching time
    * works and is popular with users
    * has consistently delivered on-time, on-budget and to highest quality standards
    * has the potential to be used for many other examinations.
    * 'all new' = 'sucks like never before'
    * OK?
    * 'freeing up teaching time' (at the expense of technician time)
    * 'works' (HAHAHA!) and 'is popular with users' (OK?)
    * high quality compared to? - bad photocopies maybe
    * potentially screw up testing in other subjects?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    If you have read the report about what they reckon the successes and failures were/are it is even more laughable.

    They have also changed some of the roles to take into account workforce remodelling ... nearly everything is now done by admin/support staff. Teachers do hardly anything. The NM sets up the server and installs the client on the workstations. An admin officer gets all the student information (based on PLASC) and gives it to the NM. They import it in and tell the Head of ICT to give the students levels. This is actually imputted by an LSA or member of associate staff designated for doing menial data entry tasks. The test is the allocated to students by the NM or the same associate staff gopher ... the test is invigilated by an external invigilator, and started by the NM/Techies. The NM / Techies have to be at hand to help with any technical difficulties or answer stupid questions from students like "what do they mean when they say 'save the attachment? What is an attachment?'" and this is because you have to timetable the test outside of the normal lessons due to it being too long to work in a normal lesson, and this means that they cannot be involved ... again the workforce remodelling.

    (takes a few deep breaths)

    Basically the teachers show the kids how to do stuff during the lessons and then bugger off during the test ... during a sodding pilot that the kids have had hardly any experience of and some classes need teachers in there for crowd control.

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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    Tony said: "Basically the teachers show the kids how to do stuff during the lessons and then bugger off during the test ... during a sodding pilot that the kids have had hardly any experience of and some classes need teachers in there for crowd control."

    Sounds familiar. Crowd control. Love it! lol!

    Paul

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    Spot the diliberate mistake...

    If you take a look at http://www.lancsngfl.ac.uk/nationals...CT_Flyer05.pdf you will notice a lovely picture of a widescreen PowerBook.

    Just a minute... Macs aren't currently supported by the software!

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    Might be worth saying if you on a mac then phone up rm as there is currently a beta version of software for mac which you can use..

    russ

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    Re: KS3 Onscreen Test Experiences

    We ran this on 92 machines at the same time. Half the test's crashed. it turned out the web service kept crashing.

    Apparently we had 5 lots of the Flight Deck running and this caused it.....................mmmmmmmmmmm?

    Installed the workstation software by MSI, worked great, but when you uninstall it it leaves the program folder still there but removes the shortcut.

    We are planning our next lot of testing on 130 pc's at once......that should be fun.

    Also things are always rushed, we never get enough time to prepare and the kids to practice. Our ICT staff are not amused.

    We have offered to do a whole year at once which means close on 250 kids running the test at once.....that will be fun as well.......not!!!!!!

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