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General Chat Thread, Going to meet 'The Man' on your behalf in General; Tony (Grumbledook) and I have been invited to a meeting with Ofqual ( Ofqual - Welcome to Ofqual ) in ...
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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Going to meet 'The Man' on your behalf

    Tony (Grumbledook) and I have been invited to a meeting with Ofqual (Ofqual - Welcome to Ofqual) in Coventry to discuss the issues around online testing. We are not sure exactly what format this meeting is to have (there are to be many relevant parties present), but we have been asked to represent the technical side of educational IT and put your views forwards, so we shall keep you posted on what happended once I get back in the EduGeek office on Tuesday. It may be they don't want a repeat of the KS3 testing debacle!
    Watch this space

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    Ohhh - you have reached exalted heights!
    Best suit, of course!

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Ohhh - you have reached exalted heights!
    Best suit, of course!
    Just back from the cleaners

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    webman's Avatar
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    If you're taking ideas with you:

    We would greatly appreciate web-based testing with minimal-to-zero client-side software installation. This ticks boxes for a) mostly cross-platform and b) gives us fewer headaches.

  5. 4 Thanks to webman:

    alan-d (22nd November 2009), bossman (19th November 2010), Busybub (20th November 2009), nsherin (20th November 2009)

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    budgester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    If you're taking ideas with you:

    We would greatly appreciate web-based testing with minimal-to-zero client-side software installation. This ticks boxes for a) mostly cross-platform and b) gives us fewer headaches.
    I would agree with this, web based please. No client etc.

    Username/password sync with our AD or Shibboleth implementation.

    With data that will import straight back into our MIS systems without too much faffing around.

  7. 2 Thanks to budgester:

    nsherin (20th November 2009), webman (20th November 2009)

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    An option to pick the levels expected from the students.

    The reason we kicked out the KS3 system was because it was far too easy for our high acheiving students. This meant it was basically a waste of time for assessment purposes, especially as extra time had to be spent showing the students around the system etc.

    Technically we had no real problems with the system it just didn't reflect what the students used on a daily basis and levels were set too low.

    Oh - and another vote for Webmans suggestions
    Last edited by alan-d; 20th November 2009 at 12:24 PM.

  9. 2 Thanks to alan-d:

    bossman (19th November 2010), webman (20th November 2009)

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    Web based generally a good idea
    Flash/shockwave OK but watch out for visually impaired students
    System must save state at the end of each question - this means that if a machine fails; user closes browser; world ends etc nothing is lost
    System must allow student to abandon test for whatever reason (time runs out, feels ill etc) and what has been done so far is marked (just like paper test)
    Should be mock/practice tests available in same format (very disconcerting if they come into a test and it's completely different from anything they saw before)

  11. Thanks to srochford from:

    Busybub (20th November 2009)

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    Dependencies on outdated versions of libraries is my biggest annoyance.

    Keep the technical documentation up-to-date. If you have existing common issues with the software that you've just sent us, stick it in the accompanying (.pdf) manual - don't make me search for something you knew about and could have provided up-front.

    Examples of good online testing/survey software that always works, always has sufficient capacity (load balancing at their end):

    Midyis & Alis from Intuproject.org and (recently) the ECM Perceptions Survey.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    One thing that comes up is software that needs particular ports opening and the problems some schools have going through this ... how much of a problem is this now? Configuration to go through your RBC's proxy or firewall? Any real world experiences about how well or poor this is for some schools would be appreciated.

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    Busybub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgester View Post
    Username/password sync with our AD or Shibboleth implementation.
    No thanks, in the past our kids have routinely swapped their passwords with their mates leading to all sort of problems, really don't want them logging on as somebody else!

    Whoever sets up the students on the system needs a one click solution to randomly generate an access code for each test taken by each student, which can be distributed at the start of each test. The ePIPS system works well in this regard - students access the test software, enter their assigned code, and it launches the required test matched to their name.
    Last edited by Busybub; 20th November 2009 at 04:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    System must save state at the end of each question - this means that if a machine fails; user closes browser; world ends etc nothing is lost
    System must allow student to abandon test for whatever reason (time runs out, feels ill etc) and what has been done so far is marked (just like paper test)
    Absolutely!

    Lost count of the number of times the KS3 test has crashed out, been competely unrecoverable, leaving the kids with no marks at all. Also with questions not appearing in Midyis/Yellis CAB tests. There is then the hassle of rearranging to take the test which could be an issue in itself if our facilities operate near capacity.

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    Teachers need more feedback. I remember our last ICT teacher moaning a great deal about the levels given for the KS3 test, and no other information about which questions the students answered incorrectly.

    It would help to have some facility where the test administrator could log on and have access to the answers that the students supplied, so that teachers can assess where they went wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    One thing that comes up is software that needs particular ports opening and the problems some schools have going through this ... how much of a problem is this now? Configuration to go through your RBC's proxy or firewall? Any real world experiences about how well or poor this is for some schools would be appreciated.
    We would welcome any info ahead of time about what schools might be needing, and would happily test things and make any changes to our rules prior to going live. Feel free to point any web-based testing personages at me for such cooperation

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton View Post
    We would welcome any info ahead of time about what schools might be needing, and would happily test things and make any changes to our rules prior to going live. Feel free to point any web-based testing personages at me for such cooperation
    Personally I would say it shold be expected that any online testing should be tested to work via *any* Becta accredited filter or accredited filtered connection. That could be a point for me to take along. how the various companies do that will be interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Personally I would say it shold be expected that any online testing should be tested to work via *any* Becta accredited filter or accredited filtered connection.
    forgot earlier - it must work with ISA server (and probably Squid?) - too many of the suppliers seem to have any idea that lots of schools don't have direct internet access but go via some kind of filter or proxy or both!

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