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Windows Thread, AQA Web And E-mail exam march 2012 in Technical; Is anybody else using this exam software in school? Having many problems with the software just stopping when you go ...
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    AQA Web And E-mail exam march 2012

    Is anybody else using this exam software in school?

    Having many problems with the software just stopping when you go to file and print within the software. Hangs with a flash error stating that it may cause things to stop working if this part of the script is stopped do you want to stop it? yes or no?

    pressing yes stops all interactive buttons from working for navigation, so having to get the students to print screen answers into a word documents and print. Then re open the software once they have evidence.

    Now the exam software loads at the top and says flash player 10, but all machines have flash player 11 obviously to make things like you tube and iplayer work. Do you think that the exam software just doesn't like the newer flash?

    annoying!

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    We ran the March exam on Tuesday without any issues. We are using Flash 10.3 but we do not have any problems with iPlayer.

    Client O/S: Windows 7 Pr: 64 Bit.

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    What about youtube? the only thing I can see different is the flash version, we always keep the machines up to date.

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    No problem with YouTube either.

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    I have similar issues with every version of this software, with flash hanging occasionally when using the inbuilt print function. Clearly there is an issue in the flash scripting as I have used this on a whole range of different machines (Windows 7 and XP, with up to 4GB of RAM) and I have had the problem occur randomly across the lot. When it occurs two thirds of the way through the question it is very disruptive for that user. We used it in a mock yesterday and had the issue with 4 students out of around 60. I am planning to get onto AQA today and see if I can discuss it with them...

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    We had the exact same problem during the January exam - 1 out of 8 students taking the exam had it crash when she went to print. In the end, I just had to take a screenshot of the state of the exam at the point it crashed and submit it along with an explanatory note.

    I don't think it's an issue with the version of Flash Player installed on the computer (we always keep it up-to-date). Bear in mind that the Flash Player is a browser plugin, whereas the AQA exam runs from a Flash projector, i.e. the standalone player you can generate when a project is exported from Flash. The executable uses its own internal version of the Flash player dependent on what version of Flash the project was built in, so it works independent of whatever browser plugin you have installed (and even if you have no plugin installed at all). I quickly checked the executable for versions of the exam software going back to June last year, and they all use 10.1.52.14.

    But yes, this is quite a serious issue if the exam software is unstable.

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    I reported the problem to AQA yesterday and was able to speak to someone in their IT department who was aware of the issue. Apparently "2 or 3 schools" have reported it to be an issue, and it does indeed appear to be a bug. They are having difficulty replicating the issue (as it only occurs occassionally and with no set pattern) and are not sure what is causing the problem. I was asked to contact them next time it happens so they can remote to the particular machine and find more about the fault.

    Not much use really, but I suspect this is happening across quite a lot of schools but the issue has not been reported to AQA (I have had the issue for the past year and only just complained). All I can suggest is contact AQA so they will make it a higher profile issue.

    And on a side note, I am certain that it is not down to hardware or software configuration, as I have had the same problem on a whole range of different workstations and laptops with different operating systems and flash player versions. It just appears to be either a bug in the Actionscript somewhere or just generally flash being unreliable (which it is).

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    We ran these exams last week and the only problem I had with the software was that sometimes when printing out you'd get characters missing especially on the last line.

    Ben

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