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    bjohnny42's Avatar
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    General External Exams Using ICT / Computers

    Were dipping our toe in the water to do some external exams using ICT Equipment for the first time. Making the previso that a power failure / network failure would totally cock things up what do people have in place?

    Were starting with some External listening exams so the students don't need to use tapes. This is what i'm passing to the exams officer. Have I missed something here? How does everyone else do it?

    • Language teacher gets tape in morning from exam board, digitises it then puts it in special place on network.
    • We have specific users which are logged in before the students arrive. (Students donít know passwords for this user).
    • These usernames do NOT have internet access and cannot access USB drive letters or shared drive areas.
    • Media player and the file already open for the student to click play at start of exam. When setting this up staff can check headphones are working for student by playing the file for a few seconds.
    • I would suggest that 1 spare pc should be left for every 6-7 students in the classroom if possible just incase there is an issue so a student could be quickly moved between systems. With this being a listening exam they then would not need any work moving as the file is still the same one on the network.
    • Staff to note who sits where.
    • Staff to clearly give out information on not logging in or out during the exam or trying to use other applications.
    • The students donít have any other applications apart from Media player initially available in a menu structure.
    • All of the screens will be viewable by the member of staff on invigilation. All the screens should look roughly the same so anyone with word or logging out is very easy to see as it would take a two or three minutes to logout and back in before possibly getting anything resembling a desktop back. (May mean the member of staff sitting in the centre of the room as the pcís would have the screenís to partition them off.)
    • At the end of the exam students leave the workstations logged in.
    • Post exam we can run a report which will list which users have logged onto which stations. If anyone has logged out and back in with another username then this will be easily seen and seeing as though we know who was sat where.


    If a student chooses to try to cheat I would see it no differently from if they chose to cheat in any other exam, were not letting them accidently start the internet or run other applications, but as ever staff will have to be vigilant the computer canít protect against everything. We could potentially make this room a little more tightly controlled by changing the way these systems are initially configured but this would then mean this room could not be used for normal teaching during the exam period and a couple of days either side, and I do not see that it offers massive benefits.

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    We do something similar with the History individual study exams - we use a locked down desktop that has word as the shell, plus the ability to save and print.

    We're looking at doing something similar for MFL, but undecided whether buying a box of 1GB flash-based mp3 players wouldn't be better from a "points-of-failure" perspective.

    Are you using Windows Media Player or a 3rd-party app?

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    bjohnny42's Avatar
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    Were using Windows Media Player. It works and the kids know what they are doing with it.

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    As an additional safeguard we're looking at using screen filters which make it virtually impossible for pupils to see each other's screens

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hecate View Post
    As an additional safeguard we're looking at using screen filters which make it virtually impossible for pupils to see each other's screens
    Can you let me know how much and where you are looking to purchase these from. When I have seen them before they seem quite expensive. Are these backed by any of the exam boards?

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    Beware, some exam boards have their own specific system and room requirements for exams. We can't use some of our IT Suites for exams because the rooms were designed for teaching and learning, and the exam boards stipulate a different room layout. IIRC the exam boards publish an ICE document, can't remember what it stands for but I think it has all the relevant info about layout etc. your exams officer will probably know.

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