+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14
Windows 7 Thread, How would you solve this problem....? in Technical; ...
  1. #1
    Zammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    29
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    How would you solve this problem....?

    Hello there,

    I work for a small college, and have been tasked with the problem of how to tackle a growing problem we have with exams software, and more specifically the AD account we use to run them. Here is the current scenario:

    We run a number of courses, that between them use ~6 different pieces of exam software, some more complex than others, some require internet connectivity, others check for updates every time they are launched and some older apps. need certain administrative privileges or access to the c:\ drive to run. Because of the varied nature and design of these apps. they cannot be ran under a typical "student" account. Instead an exams account is set up which has the correct privileges to run all of the exam apps.


    In theory, before any exam the exams staff should log each user on using the exams account. What we are finding however is that the exams password is being given out to the students, who are then open to abuse this right by logging in as the exams account at a later date (thus avoiding accountability for misuse).

    We have tried simply changing the exams password on a regular basis, however this results in frequent AD lock outs, which is a pain considering some of these exams take place after working hours. We have considered implementing a "log on hours" policy for the account, but we don’t believe we can rely on our exams department to be organised enough to make this workable!


    I can think of a number of ideas that *might* resolve the problems, but I suspect that other colleges\schools will have similar setups and could enlighten me on how they work!

    Thanks in advance

    Martin

  2. #2

    Steve21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Swindon
    Posts
    2,815
    Thank Post
    364
    Thanked 541 Times in 505 Posts
    Rep Power
    184
    Generally anything that needs a seperate exam login one of us techies will log it in. If we're not told about an exam etc they don't get access. No problems with students etc logging on either then

    Steve

  3. #3

    Michael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Birmingham
    Posts
    9,331
    Thank Post
    242
    Thanked 1,601 Times in 1,277 Posts
    Rep Power
    346
    If you specify 'Domain Users' as local administrators, this means all users have the necessary rights to run and update software as required. You can still lock out Control Panel and make the C:\ drive unavailable (hidden) for example.

  4. #4

    Dos_Box's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Preston, Lancashire
    Posts
    9,428
    Thank Post
    700
    Thanked 2,300 Times in 1,061 Posts
    Blog Entries
    23
    Rep Power
    678
    Is the software installed college wide, or just on a specific set of machines?

  5. #5
    Zammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    29
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Thanks for the thoughts so far, I will give them some thought...
    @Dos_Box - The software is not college wide, I would estimate that 60% of the computers have some form of exams software on them, if not all the packages at once. Another ongoing battle we have with exams is their habbit of using a very wide selection of IT suites to perform the exams, as opposed to limiting themselves to just a couple of rooms that could be managed more easily....

  6. #6

    twin--turbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Carlisle
    Posts
    2,334
    Thank Post
    1
    Thanked 381 Times in 340 Posts
    Rep Power
    151
    Use AB Tutor to log all the machines on.

    Rob

  7. #7
    bandgeekmafia78's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Salford
    Posts
    382
    Thank Post
    88
    Thanked 22 Times in 14 Posts
    Rep Power
    22
    If you could narrow it down to 2 computer suites, you could simply add up to 64 computers in the 'Log on to' section of the account tab in Active Directory. I guess this won't solve your problem but it will make it a bit more manageable.

  8. #8

    tmcd35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    6,053
    Thank Post
    896
    Thanked 1,008 Times in 821 Posts
    Blog Entries
    9
    Rep Power
    349
    We (try to) keep exam accounts disabled in AD unless a teacher as requested they be enabled. We usually create specific accounts for a particular teacher with unique passwords for him to use with his class.

    All staff here have the facility to change pupils passwords so if an account is locked out or disabled they can sort it with out disturbing us (we use WiseSoft's password utility).

    On top of that all computer logons are logged and time stamped in two log files whenever anyone logs in. One log file is for the user listing date/times/machines he/she logged in to. The other is per computer listing date/times/users logged in to that machine. So, if we suspect someone of cheating we can easily check it.

  9. #9


    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    4,706
    Thank Post
    354
    Thanked 807 Times in 722 Posts
    Rep Power
    348
    Are you in a position to make using an exams account an annoyance for the user?

    For example, if you have a decent filtering product could you make the exams accounts only be allowed access to the exams website so no naughty / games websites (to avoid the accountability) can be accessed?

    Perhaps have a logon script that logs when these accounts are used along with the computer names (or all computers) so you can get a location, date, time etc and talk to the teacher to know who was sat to the left of John Smith, and the right of Jack A'Nory to pinpoint who the darling was?

    I'd go about it this way to make the exams accounts actually less desirable to use!

  10. #10

    Dos_Box's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Preston, Lancashire
    Posts
    9,428
    Thank Post
    700
    Thanked 2,300 Times in 1,061 Posts
    Blog Entries
    23
    Rep Power
    678
    Is running them on VM's (hosted locally) not an option? You could then restrict access to the VM as and when required.

  11. #11
    clareq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Doncaster
    Posts
    776
    Thank Post
    57
    Thanked 199 Times in 131 Posts
    Rep Power
    103
    All exam accounts are disabled when exams are not running. Those that require Internet access are only allowed access to the web page required by the exam. No network drives are set, they are the most locked down accounts we have, which makes them undesirable.

  12. #12
    TheLibrarian
    Guest
    I gave our Exams Officer a small script file that activates the exam accounts on the day she runs the script; students could use those accounts for that day should they choose to afterwards but not again until she activates them again.

    Code:
     @echo off
    
    
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    REM REM out the if statement to allow any user to run this script.
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    if /i NOT "%username%" == "staff-username" goto noteofficer
    
    
    cls
    color 1f
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    REM The following two commands are the worker commands.
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    dsquery user -samid exam* | dsmod user -acctexpires 0 -disabled no
    
    
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    REM Check that the commands were executed successfully.
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    if %errorlevel% equ 0 goto finished
    goto error
    
    
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    REM Everything went as it should
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    :finished
    cls
    color 2f
    echo Completed sucessfully
    echo    - The exam accounts will be active in 30 minutes.
    echo    - The exam accounts will automatically deactivate at 23:59 today.
    pause
    goto end
    
    
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    REM Something went wrong - no idea what though.
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    :error
    cls
    color 4f
    echo Something went wrong!
    echo    - Call ICT Helpdesk on 0000.
    pause
    goto end
    
    
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    REM Username running the script is not Mrs. E. Officer
    REM --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    :noteofficer
    cls
    color 4f
    echo This is only to be run by Mrs. E. Officer - Exams Coordinator.
    echo    - Call 0000 to contact Mrs. E. Officer
    pause
    goto end
    
    
    :end
    color
    It's not the best of scripts, but it does its job.
    Last edited by TheLibrarian; 11th December 2012 at 04:46 PM. Reason: Realised how bad that script is.

  13. #13

    dhicks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Knightsbridge
    Posts
    5,767
    Thank Post
    1,306
    Thanked 803 Times in 697 Posts
    Rep Power
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLibrarian View Post
    I gave our Exams Officer a small script file that activates the exam accounts on the day she runs the script;
    You could put that script on the other end of a simple web page that lets the user log in and press a button to enable a given set of exam accounts - it might make the process a bit more usable for the average end user.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sunderland
    Posts
    45
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 11 Times in 8 Posts
    Rep Power
    12
    We used to have same problem with online exams - exams being ran in different rooms everytime, students given the online exams accounts, conflicting requirements from different exam boards etc...

    Fortunately when we looked at the exams timetables we discovered that about 70% of the time we had at least one online exam or test of some sort running in the College - this gave us a good case for having a designated online exams room, as it didn't really have any cost implications.

    The PC's in our exams room have Microsoft Virtual PC installed and have a seperate VM for each exam board. The physical machines are tightly locked down, we set Virtual PC as the shell and configured them to autologin, so basically they sit showing the available VM's - students them start the appropriate VM for the exam they are doing.

    To get round the online exam password we generate a unique online exam account for each student for each exam - some of the exam boards we use actually require this be done. Where required the accounts are placed in an appropriate group to give them admin rights on the relevent VM.

    Sounds like a complicated setup but online exams used to be anightmare, complaints from stduents, letters to the Principal etc... Since introducing this system they run like a dream, not a single complaint



SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Network storage question - how would you solve this?
    By swpmre in forum Wired Networks
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 14th May 2012, 03:20 PM
  2. How would YOU handle this situation? (DC Replication Problem)
    By Ambient in forum Windows Server 2000/2003
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 11th June 2010, 12:15 PM
  3. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 4th October 2007, 08:31 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •