Presentation on theme: "Regional Workshop for PARCC Field Test Spring 2014"— Presentation transcript:
1 Regional Workshop for PARCC Field Test Spring 2014 Introduce presenters and provide information about the location for slide deck of today’s presentation.
2 Agenda9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Introduction to the PARCC Spring 2014 Field Test9:30 AM – 11:00 AM Part I: Technology Set UpIntroduction to computer-based testingPreparing your environment for computer-based testingProviding technology support during testing11:00 AM – 11:15 AM Break11:15 AM – 12:30 PM Part I: Technology Set Up (continued)Conducting an Infrastructure TrialNew technologies – Virtualization, tablets12:30 PM – 1:00 PM Q/A
4 Agenda Technology Setup Introduction Computer-Based Testing Components Preparing for TestingTestNav 8Proctor CachingSystemCheck for TestNavCreate a TestNav ConfigurationProviding Support During TestingEarly Warning SystemConducting an Infrastructure TrialEmerging Technologies – virtualization, tabletsDuring this presentation we discuss:Technology Setup IntroductionComputer-Based Testing ComponentsPreparing for TestingTestNavProctor CachingSystemCheck for TestNavCreating a TestNav ConfigurationProviding Support During TestingEarly Warning SystemConducting an Infrastructure TrialEmerging Technologies – virtualization, tablets
5 Computer-Based Testing Components During this part of the presentation we will cover the technology components of computer-based testing. We will discussTestNav, the secure, browser-based student application for accessing the computer-based assessmentProctor caching, the Pearson supplied software to accelerate the delivery of test content.SystemCheck, an application developed to assist district and school technology coordinators with determining device and network readiness- PearsonAccess, the administrative website used by district and school coordinators, administrators, and technology coordinators. This site has both a secure and non-secure component. Users can access training materials and manuals without logging in but will need to log in for most all other activates. Technology coordinators will use PearsonAccess to create and maintain TestNav Configurations.The PARCC Field Test also offers a PARCC Training Center for practice. The PARCC Training center is a PearsonAccess environment designed to mirror the operational version of PearsonAccess but does not contain real student information. The purpose of this site is to allow users to practice without affecting real students and information will not be sent to scoring.
6 Technology Activities: Preparing your Environment Phase 1: Bandwidth & Hardware VerificationPhase 2: Assessment Environment ConfigurationPhase 3: TestNav Configuration in PearsonAccessPhase 4: Infrastructure TrialPhase 5: Pre-administration ChecklistThere are 5 phases to prepare technology staff for setting up a computer-based assessment.During phase 5, pre-administration checklist, the technology staff will need to review phases 1-3 in the operational PARCC PearsonAccess environment to prepare for the operational PARCC Field Test. Technology staff will need to set up the TestNav configuration in the PARCC PearsonAccess operational site using the information tested in the Training Center during the Infrastructure Trial.
7 Technology Setup Checklist Identify technology coordinatorsConfigure firewall, content filter, proxy server and spam filterIdentify the testing rooms and the number of workstations to be used for testingIdentify the Proctor Caching machine(s) and install Proctor CachingComplete the SystemCheck tests to verify testing workstation readiness and the number of concurrent testers supported using Proctor CachingUpdate testing workstations to comply with TestNav hardware/software requirementsEnter TestNav configuration(s) in PearsonAccessPre-cache test content from PearsonAccess siteConduct an Infrastructure TrialSupport testing during the computer-based administrationThese are the steps necessary to prepare for a computer-based assessment. During today’s presentation we will discuss information needed to perform these steps to prepare for a computer-based assessment.Identify technology coordinators who will be assisting in site readiness activities at the district and district and school levelConfigure firewall, content filter, proxy server and spam filter to allow Pearson testing addressesIdentify the testing rooms and the number of workstations to be used for testing so you know how many testing workstations may be used concurrentlyIdentify the Proctor Caching machine(s) and install Proctor CachingComplete the SystemCheck tests to verify testing workstation readiness and the number of concurrent testers supported using Proctor CachingBased on the results from step 5, you may need to update testing workstations to comply with TestNav hardware/software requirementEnter TestNav configuration(s) in PearsonAccess. This step will need to be repeated for the Training Center for the Infrastructure Trial.Pre-cache test content from PearsonAccess siteLaunch Training Test from student machines to verify TestNav Configuration(s) are correctly configuredSupport testing during the computer-based administration
8 PARCC Field Test Spring 2014 TestNav 8Browser-Based Student Testing PlatformTestNav is a secure, browser–based application used at student workstations to take computer-based tests. For the PARCC assessments, students will be using the TestNav 8 platform. Some states may already be using the browser-based, TestNav 7.5 platform for other computer-based assessments. You can only access PARCC assessments using TestNav 8.
9 TestNav 8 Student Interface Students will launch TestNav from a supported browser by entering the TestNav 8 URL found on the student authorization ticket. Student authorization tickets include the URL and student login and password information to access the secure test content. The student authorization ticket is available for printing from PearsonAccess and will be discussed during the administration portion of the presentation.These images are an example of the student interface. The content displayed and tools shown is not an actual PARCC item. Tools may change between tests offered.Also, students will have an opportunity to practice using the student testing interface by accessing the Sample Set tests for student practice. These tests are electronic practice assessment tests (ePATS) and can be launched from a browser meeting the minimum system requirements. These tests do not require a login and password; therefore, do not require setup in PearsonAccess by test administrator in advance. Students can simply select the link from the sample set page or type the URL in a browser to access these practice tests.
10 TestNav Technology Requirements Firewalls, content, and spam filters must be set to allow access to Pearson domainsMinimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 is requiredBrowser Requirements:Java runtime plugin version 1.5 or higherWindows firewall configured to allow javaw.exe to communicateAccept Java appletAllow pop-ups for Pearson sitesAllow local file access to home directoryComplete requirements for TestNav 8 can be found at:TestNav has minimum technology requirements to successfully launch a computer-based assessment. Firewalls, content and spam filters must be configured to allow access to Pearson domains. The list of domains are available in the TestNav 8 User Guide and are also listed in the next slide. A minimum screen resolution of 1024x768 is required.TestNav is browser-based and has minimum browser requirements. Your browser will need Java runtime plug-in version 1.5 or higher and the Windows firewall must be configured to allow javaw.exe to communicate. If you receive a pop-up requesting access for a Java applet to run, you must accept the Java applet. Pop-ups should be set as allowed for Pearson sites and students must be allowed to read and write to a local home directory for the purpose of temporarily storing response and log file information.For a complete list of TestNav 8.0 requirements, visit the requirements page at Pearson continually monitors and evaluates hardware and software requirements. As vendors release newer versions, Pearson reviews compatibility and updates requirements as needed. Select the most recent version of TestNav from the list of options.
11 Firewalls, Content Filters & Spam Filters The following domains and ports must be allowed to pass through your Internet firewalls, content filters, or spam filters. *testnav.com 80, 443 *pearsonaccess.com 80, 443 *amazonaws.com 80, 443 PARCC Call Center phone number: PARCC Customer Support PARCC Customer Support Hours: 6:00 am 8:00 pm CST, Monday–Friday[Read slide]
12 Student ResponsesTestNav will save student responses to an encrypted backup file during testing and when the student exits the system to avoid losing response data.TestNav requires at least one working save location.TestNav, by default, saves student response data to: <home dir>/Pearson/<student>/SRFPearson recommends designating two Response File Save locations . Create a TestNav configuration to specify custom Primary and Secondary file locations.Primary Response File location should be on student computers.Secondary Response File location should be a shared network location.Students must have full read/write access to designated Response File locations.[Read slide]Pearson recommends that the Pearson directory be excluded if desktop restoration tools such as DeepFreeze are used.
13 Preparing Student Computers After verifying network and testing workstation readiness, freeze your environment and do not accept updates until after the test window if possible.Any applications or update processes that may launch automatically on testing workstations may interrupt testing. These programs should be configured to not launch automatically.Common applications that may launch automatically include:Anti-virus software, browsers or operating systems performing automatic updatesPower management software on laptops warning of low batteriesScreen saverswith automatic message notificationEnergy saving features[Read slide]
14 Wireless Testing for Computer-Based Testing Wireless networks are acceptable for computer-based testingWireless testing is acceptable for computer-based testing. This diagram displays the connections for both wired and wireless networks. Schools can test both wired and wireless at the same time.Best practices when testing wirelessly:Ensure sufficient wireless access and limit the number of computers per wireless access point for better performance.Computers located closer to wireless access points perform better than those that are far away.Obstructions such as walls and equipment between testing workstations and wireless access points can disrupt connection and negatively affect performance.SystemCheck can be used to assess the number of students that can be tested using a wireless networkSet up a small number of workstations to measure performance on a wireless network before setting up a large number of workstations
15 PARCC Field Test Spring 2014 Proctor CachingProctor caching is Pearson-supplied software that is used in conjunction with TestNav to reduce bandwidth requirements and accelerate the delivery of test content. It allows you to cache test content to your local network BEFORE testing and reduces the burden on your ISP by eliminating redundant requests for test content. Cached test content is encrypted and stored locally. The proctor caching software is available on the non-secure support pages within PARCC PearsonAccess. The application is free and does not require secure login access to download.
16 How Proctor Caching Works This diagram illustrates the network traffic differences between using and not using proctor caching. Without proctor caching, multiple redundant copies of the same test are downloaded over the district’s ISP connection while students are waiting for the test to load. This heavy use of bandwidth not only affects how quickly tests load for students, but also the available bandwidth for all other internet related district activities.With proctor caching, districts will pre-cache one copy of each test and tests will be served to the students from the proctor caching machine. This minimizes redundant requests for test content over the district ISP connection, loads tests faster for students, and minimizes the effect of computer based testing on district bandwidth utilization.Districts have the flexibility to decide where to implement proctor caching in the network environment. Based on local network considerations, districts can implement proctor caching machines at the district, school or classroom level.
17 Proctor Caching Requirements Runs on Windows and Mac OS XDoes not require an underlying server-based operating systemProctor caching hardware requirements can be found atTCP Ports: 80 (Internet), 4480, and 4481 (Local Network)Proctor caching requires a fixed internal IP addressFor setting up an upstream proxy refer to the Windows or Mac “Tips on Proctor Caching” section in the TestNav 8 Proctor Caching User Guide available DecemberUse the SystemCheck for TestNav -Testing Capacity tab for determining your network capacity during computer-based testingProctor caching runs on Windows and Mac OS XIt does not require an underlying server-based operating system. It can run on desktop class hardware and a desktop class operating system, which gives districts flexibility on what machines they use for proctor caching.Complete proctor caching hardware requirements can be found atProctor caching uses TCP Port 80 for communication between the proctor caching machine and the Pearson servers, and ports 4480 and 4481 for communication between testing workstations and the proctor caching machine.Because testing workstations must know a predictable network location for the proctor caching machine, proctor caching requires a fixed internal IP address. Those districts which require internet traffic to pass through an upstream proxy server will have to configure proctor caching to point to their proxy server. For details on setting up an upstream proxy refer to the Windows or Mac “Tips on Proctor Caching” section in the TestNav 8 Proctor Caching User Guide, available December 2013.Use the SystemCheck Testing Capacity tab for determining your network capacity during computer-based testing.
18 Proctor Caching SetupDownload proctor caching installer from PearsonAccess.Run the installer and Start Proctor Caching if it is not already started by the installer.Use SystemCheck from client computer to verify that Proctor Caching is functional.Create a proctor caching setup or add a proctor caching computer within PearsonAccess at the district or school level.[Read Slide]
19 Proctor Caching Diagnostics Once installed, the proctor caching software includes access to a diagnostic monitoring web page to assist district personnel with visibility to the status of cached content and monitoring caching connections from testing workstations.[click animation] Select the Contents tab for information about test content and caching status.[click animation] Select the Client List tab to monitor client connectivitySelect the Contents tab for information about test content and caching statusSelect the Client List tab to monitor client connectivity
20 Contents Tab Content is displayed at the Test and Form level. Functionality is available to Refresh, Reload, or Purge selected test content.Clicking on a test name will display the Content Details screen which displays individual items in a test.Content is displayed at the Test and Form level.Functionality is available to Refresh, Reload, or Purge selected test content if necessary, and requires a password. The password is available in the TestNav 8 Proctor Caching User Guide to protect against unauthorized deletion of cached content.Clicking on a test name will display the Content Details screen which displays individual items in a test.The content tab provides status indicators for each item of cached test content.An Ok status means the content is successfully cachedThe yellow status indicators usually appear when the content is in the process of being cached.Not Loaded means the content is not cachedWaiting… means the content is in the queue, waiting to be loadedand Loading… means the content is currently loadingRed status indicators indicate problems with cached content.Failed to load content means there was a failure to load contentProctor caching also performs an MD5 check once an item has been cached to compare the test content on the Pearson servers with the cached item. The MD5 check should show that the items are identical.MD5 Check Invalid means the MD5 comparison could not be completed successfullyMD5 Mismatch means the MD5 comparison was completed but the files did not matchIn general, any status in red is a critical problem. Any content with a red status should be checked and reloaded. If the problem is not resolved, contact Pearson Support for technical assistance.
21 Client List TabClients that have connected to TestNav are listed by IP address.Clicking on a computer will display the Client Details screen which displays information regarding a particular computer connecting to proctor caching.The Client List tab provides visibility to which testing workstations have requested test content from proctor caching.[Read Slide]
22 PARCC Field Test Spring 2014 SystemCheck for TestNavSystemCheck for TestNav should be used to assess your testing environment readiness prior to computer-based assessments.SystemCheck allows you to select the test-specific parameters for each upcoming assessment. It can verify that testing devices meet minimum requirements and check actual upload/download speeds from testing workstations. This will allow a district to evaluate their testing environment and make necessary adjustments prior to testing.
23 SystemCheck for TestNav Overview To gather realistic results on the Testing Capacity tab, SystemCheck should be run from a student testing machine, in a testing lab, on the same day of week/time of day as when you anticipate performing online testing.To learn more about SystemCheck, view the SystemCheck training module found on the training resources page atTo launch SystemCheck, visit or select the SystemCheck tool link from the Technology tab on the PARCC Resources page.SystemCheck validates testing workstations meet the minimum requirements needed to run TestNav 8.SystemCheck also provides the ability to run bandwidth speed checks to help plan for online testing capacity.Learn more about using SystemCheck by visiting and selecting the SystemCheck training module.Launch SystemCheck from
24 iPads and Chromebooks SystemCheck will not run on iPads or Chromebooks Since SystemCheck is Java based, it will not run on iPads or Chromebooks. A TestNav app will be available early 2014 to launch TestNav on these devices, which will need to meet minimum system requirements in order to run the app. No other readiness steps will need to be followed for iPads or Chromebooks.SystemCheck will not run on iPads or ChromebooksApp coming in February to launch TestNav on these devices
25 SystemCheck Functionality There are two tabs on the SystemCheck website [click for animation]– Check Your System and Testing Capacity. Check Your System validates if the testing workstation meets the minimum system requirements to run TestNav 8, and provides steps to verify if TestNav can run on the workstation. Testing Capacity tests bandwidth for internet and proctor caching connections, providing volume estimates to assist in planning the number of students that can successfully test concurrently.Check Your System:Validates system requirements are met on testing workstationsProvides steps to verify whether TestNav can run on the workstationTesting Capacity:Bandwidth testing for internet and proctor caching connectionsVolume estimates for capacity planning
26 Check Your System: System Requirements Select the Check Your System tab. Click Start to begin the check. If the workstation meets the minimum system requirements, a green check mark displays next to All Checks Passed. [click animation]If the workstation fails, a red X displays at the top of the screen and identifies the total number of areas that failed. [click animation]A red X also appears next to each area that failed. The Results column will detail the detected workstation components; in the case of an area failing, the minimum requirement will be noted.[click animation] To view the results in PDF, click Print Friendly.NOTE: This step can check the version of Java installed but cannot verify whether the version is corrupt. Also, this step cannot confirm whether content filters and firewalls and have been correctly configured to allow access to Pearson domains. The step in this process will verify that TestNav can launch and connect to Pearson servers.Validates computer workstation to ensure that minimum requirements are met
27 Check Your System: TestNav Verification Beneath the Checks Performed section, you will see a section titled Verification. Here you will find steps to follow that will verify if the workstation is able to run TestNav 8. In your browser, go to You will be prompted for a username and password; these are username and password, respectively. Select “Sign In” and then “Start Test Now.” If you see the congratulations screen, you have correctly configured TestNav on the tested workstation.Please remember, since SystemCheck is Java based, the verification steps will not run on iPads or Chromebooks.Verifies that workstation can run TestNav
28 Testing CapacityNext, let’s select the Testing Capacity tab. Testing Capacity does a speed check in real-time between the workstation and Pearson’s servers. This provides an assessment of the data transfer speeds, as well as an estimated number of concurrent testers that could be supported, at the time the check is performed. However, this result may not represent the actual transfer speeds during student testing, especially if network conditions will be significantly different.[click animation] Additionally, you can click Add Caching Computer to perform bandwidth testing between the workstation and your local proctor caching computer.Internet bandwidth testing between the workstation and Pearson’s serversClick Add Caching Computer to add your potential proctor caching machine for a local network bandwidth test
29 Testing Capacity: Add Caching Computer If you want to check a local proctor caching computer, click on Add Caching Computer. A pop-up window will prompt you for a display name for the computer, the IP address, and the port. Port 4480 should always be entered. You can add multiple proctor caching computers by repeating these steps, as well as edit or delete existing proctor caching computers.Detailed information on proctor caching will be covered in the Technical Setup Training Module now available on the Training Management System atAdd a name for the caching computer, the IP address, and port (4480)
30 Testing Capacity: Edit Caching Computer To edit a proctor caching computer, click on the computer you want to change. [click animation]Edit the host IP address and/or port, and then click Save.If you are deleting a proctor caching computer, select the check box next to the computer you want to delete, and then click Delete Caching Computer. You will be prompted to Continue or Cancel.Edit the IP address and/or port
31 Testing Capacity: Results To run the speed check, click on Start. If the connection fails or is stopped, a red X displays along with either Connection Error or Stopped. [click animation]An information icon displays next to the connection error result. Click the icon for more information.If needed, the PARCC Support Center can help you resolve the issue when you give them this information.Click on Start to begin the testOnscreen information helps determine whether the connection was successful or not
32 Testing Capacity: Results If the check successfully completes, a green check mark displays next to Test Complete. [click animation]Based on the bandwidth test, SystemCheck can provide the estimated number of students that can test concurrently. [click animation]The Testing Capacity Estimate is calculated using the download/upload speeds and the test type selected from the drop down menu. [click animation]Changing the test type changes the student testing capacity, but the download and upload speed stay the same. Click Start when you add or delete proctor caching machines in order to recalculate the results.[click animation] Again, you can click Print Friendly at any time after the check has completed to print the results.Based on the bandwidth test, SystemCheck can provide an estimated number of students that can test concurrently.
33 Create a TestNav Configuration PARCC Field Test 2014Create a TestNav ConfigurationIn order for TestNav to know where to access test content on the proctor caching machine, and to know where to save encrypted backup files, you must create a TestNav Configuration in PearsonAccess.
34 Creating a TestNav Configuration To create a TestNav configuration for use with proctor caching you will need secure log in access to the PARCC PearsonAccess and the appropriate technology role provides access to this feature. Technology staff will receive secure access from their District Test Coordinator.The Configure TestNav menu can be selected from the homepage. It is used to access the configurations settings to set up a connection to your proctor caching workstations and set primary and secondary temporary student response save locations.
35 PearsonAccess Test Setup: Configure TestNav Step 1: Select “New Configuration”Step 2: Provide a configuration nameTo create a TestNav configuration for your organization, click on New Configuration button. Then enter a name for the new configuration to identify it and click on Continue.
36 PearsonAccess Test Setup: Configure TestNav Click on Add Organization, select the radio button next to the school or district and click Add. You may add multiple organizations by repeating the process. When you have completed adding organizations click Continue. You will only have access to organizations assigned to your user role and these organizations are those that have already been loaded in PearsonAccess.NOTE: you can have many configurations created for your district but each organization can only be assigned to one configuration. For Example, you can create a configurations for each school within your district or have a district configuration with every school assigned to one district-level configuration. The decision for how to create configurations will depend on how you would like to set up proctor caching and assign locations for student saved response files. More information about setting up TestNav configurations is available in the PARCC PearsonAccess User Guide.
37 PearsonAccess Test Setup: Configure TestNav Next you will specify the TestNav settings for a proctor caching machine to be used by the organization. Fill in a name for the caching machine, the internal network IP address of the caching machine and the port number, which is 4480 for Pearson supplied proctor caching.If you will be using a non-Pearson supplied caching solution you will uncheck the box next to “This computer uses Pearson-supplied proctor caching software” and make sure the port is the correct port for the caching solution you will be using.Next you will set the Save Locations for the students’ encrypted backup files for Windows or Mac workstations. You may use the Pearson default locations, which is the Pearson folder in the user’s home directory. Pearson recommends that a secondary save location be designated when possible for redundancy. If you wish to set custom locations for the Primary location, uncheck the “Use Default Location” checkbox and enter the path for the custom location.Click on Continue to complete the configuration.
38 PearsonAccess Test Setup: Configure TestNav The Configuration Details screen shows you the entire configuration and provides an opportunity to modify it by adding another organization or TestNav Settings if necessary.A TestNav configuration can have more than one set of TestNav settings for an organization if you have more than one proctor caching workstation available for that organization.This screen shows a configuration with multiple proctor caching machines. Note that each TestNav Settings configuration has its own particular Save Locations set up, and note that the top caching machine is identified as the Default TestNav Settings for the organization. When a new test session is created it will automatically be set to the default caching settings for an organization unless changed to another. From this screen you have the ability to Edit the TestNav settings, Make a TestNav settings the new default for an organization or Delete a TestNav setting by clicking on the links provided.Because caching settings are now at a session level you may have sessions pointing to a caching machine that you are modifying. If you click on Make Default or Delete you will be asked for instructions on what to do with sessions that are already pointing to a particular caching machine.
39 PearsonAccess Test Setup: Configure TestNav If you attempt to change the default TestNav Settings for an organization by clicking on Make Default you will be prompted on what to do with test sessions that are pointing to the current default. You may select to redirect those test sessions to use the new default settings, or you may choose to allow those test sessions to remain unchanged. If you change the sessions to point to a different TestNav Setting the changes will take effect immediately and students from those sessions will use the new settings the next time they log into a test.
40 PearsonAccess Test Setup: Configure TestNav In a similar manner, if you attempt to delete a TestNav Setting for an organization by clicking on Delete you will be prompted on what to do with test sessions that are currently pointing to the settings you are deleting. You may select to redirect those test sessions to use the default settings, or you may choose to reassign them to use a specific TestNav Setting by clicking on the radio button and selecting the appropriate settings from the combo box.When you change the sessions to point to a different TestNav Setting the changes will take effect immediately and students from those sessions will use the new settings the next time they log into a test.Please note that PearsonAccess will not allow you to delete the Default TestNav Setting. If you wish to delete the default TestNav Setting you must first designate a new default setting, and then you may delete the unwanted Testnav Setting.
41 PearsonAccess Test Setup: Configure TestNav When the district or school coordinators create a test session, they will be defaulted to the TestNav configuration that was created for the school. They will be able to choose a different proctor cache computer from the drop down list if it is available.To create a TestNav configuration for your organization, click on New Configuration button. Then enter a name for the new configuration to identify it and click on Continue.
42 PearsonAccess Test Setup: Configure TestNav In the Manage Test Sessions Details screen, the district or school coordinators will be able to view and edit the TestNav Settings at any time.To create a TestNav configuration for your organization, click on New Configuration button. Then enter a name for the new configuration to identify it and click on Continue.
43 PearsonAccess Test Setup: Configure TestNav Additionally - In the Manage Test Sessions Details screen is where the Proctor Caching button is for downloading the encrypted test content to the designated proctor cache location.To create a TestNav configuration for your organization, click on New Configuration button. Then enter a name for the new configuration to identify it and click on Continue.
44 Proctor Caching Test Content Proctor caching is completed at the test session level.The Proctor Caching button will be disabled and you will not be able to cache the test content for the test session if you are not within the proctor caching window.Proctor caching is available up to one week before an administration; districts will receive notification when the test(s) are available for download.You do not have to proctor cache for all test sessions using the same test. You only need to proctor cache the test from one session one time.Note, the Proctor Caching button will be disabled and you will not be able to cache the test content for the test session if you do not have access to proctor caching or if you are not within the proctor caching window.Proctor caching is available up to one week before an administration; districts will receive notification when it is available.
45 PARCC Field Test 2014 Early Warning System The Early Warning System will alert you to issues that arise during the test administration such as a interruption in network connectivity or other applications attempting to take control of the desktop.
46 Early Warning System (EWS) The Early Warning System (EWS) is integrated functionality that gives TestNav a high degree of fault tolerance and provides additional fail-safes in the event of unexpected network disruptions during computer-based testing.The Early Warning System (EWS) is integrated functionality that gives TestNav a high degree of fault tolerance and provides additional fail-safes in the event of unexpected network disruptions during computer-based testing.Early Warning System notifications often involve IT staff, so an understanding of Early Warning messages is helpful to correct any issues during testing.
47 Student Responses: SRF Files The Early Warning System writes continuously in the background to the student response files (SRF). Both the Primary and Alternate files are written to at the same time.The SRF file has a response data threshold that, once reached, triggers TestNav to send response data to Pearson servers.Uploading of response data is continuous. If an upload to the Pearson servers fails, student responses continue to be saved locally and TestNav cycles and attempts another upload.If the response data upload is successful, TestNav creates a new empty SRF file and begins the process again. TestNav only deletes an SRF file once it is successfully uploaded to the Pearson servers.A combination of the test ticket ID combined with the session token is used to uniquely identify a Student Response File (SRF).TestNav can identify the correct student response file if a test is successfully resumed.Only the SRF from the student’s last test attempt can be used when the student resumes a test.The Early Warning System writes continuously in the background to the student response files (SRF). Both the Primary and Alternate files are written to at the same time.The SRF file has a response data threshold that, once reached, triggers TestNav to send response data to Pearson servers. This means that TestNav does not upload each individual response immediately, but writes responses to the SRF files until it has a “handful” of responses to upload.Uploading of response data is continuous. If an upload to the Pearson servers fails, student responses continue to be saved locally and TestNav cycles and attempts another upload.If the response data upload is successful, TestNav creates a new empty SRF file and begins the process again. TestNav only deletes an SRF file once it is successfully uploaded to the Pearson servers.Since Pearson recommends that one of the SRF save locations be configured to be a network location, districts may be concerned about students overwriting each other’s files. TestNav ensures this will not happen by using a unique file name for each student’s attempt to test.
48 TestNav Early Warning System: Triggers Scenario 1:TestNav determines that neither Saving Response File Location is viable.Results in an immediate Test Proctor Click Here notification.Scenario 2:TestNav is unable to download portions of the test.Scenario 3:TestNav is unable to upload student responses to Pearson.Results in a Test Proctor Click Here notification only if the student attempts to Exit or Submit the test.While the Early Warning System operates in the background throughout the entire test, monitoring connectivity and saving responses to encrypted backup files, there are three scenarios which may cause the Early Warning System to display messages to the student. The details about each condition can only be seen by the proctor after they have selected the Test Proctor Click Here button.Scenario 1:TestNav determines that neither Saving Response File Location is viable.TestNav requires that there be at least one working save location for the encrypted backup file as a safety precaution against a loss of internet connectivity. If TestNav detects that it can not save to any of the configured save locations it will result in an immediate Test Proctor Click Here notification screen being presented to the student.Scenario 2: TestNav is unable to download portions of the test.TestNav attempts to load the entire test to the testing workstation as quickly as possible in sequential order. If TestNav’s repeated attempts to download a piece of test content are unsuccessful then it assumes there has been a loss of connectivity and this results in an immediate Test Proctor Click Here notification being presented to the student.Scenario 3: TestNav is unable to upload student responses to Pearson.In this scenario, TestNav has already been able to download the test content, and it has at least one valid SRF location to save an encrypted backup file, but an attempt to upload responses has failed after repeated attempts. This also indicates a loss of connectivity, but TestNav will not notify the student immediately. Because TestNav has all the test content to deliver the entire test to the stuent, and it has at least one valid location to save response to, it will continue to deliver the test, and only results in a Test Proctor Click Here notification being displayed to the student if the student attempts to Exit or Submit the test.
49 TestNav Early Warning System: Test Proctor Click Here Screens One of the following screens will appear when scenarios 1, 2, or 3 occurs. Students should be instructed to ALWAYS raise their hand when presented with either of the Test Proctor Click Here screens. They should NEVER click the Test Proctor-Click Here button. NOTE: It may be necessary to contact your local Technology Coordinator to determine the appropriate course of action.[read slide]
50 TestNav Early Warning System: Scenario 1 In this scenario there is an issue with both of the Response File Locations. Either the student does not have full access to the location(s) OR the location(s) are temporarily unavailable.[read slide]Resolve this issue by entering and saving a viable Response File Location. If the issue is temporary, reselect the original location. Then, click the Save and Continue button.
51 TestNav Early Warning System: Scenario 2 In this scenario, TestNav cannot download one or more test items to the student computer. Either the proctor caching machine is not properly functioning OR there is a loss of connectivity between the student and Pearson.The ONLY way to resolve this situation is to click the “Close TestNav” button. The student’s testing status will remain as STARTED in PearsonAccess.Once communication is restored, resume the student in PearsonAccess and have the student log back into TestNav.[read slide]
52 TestNav EWS: Scenario 3In this scenario not all of the student responses have been received by the Pearson testing server. However, responses not received by Pearson have been saved locally to the Primary Response File Location.You may try to resolve this scenario by clicking the Retry button until the submission of responses is successful or click on Close TestNav[read slide]More information about resolving Early Warning System triggers is available in the TestNav 8 User Guide.
53 PARCC Field Test 2014 Infrastructure Trial Setting up an Infrastructure Trial
54 Infrastructure Trial Introduction What is an Infrastructure Trial?Answer:An Infrastructure Trial is a “dress rehearsal” of a computer- based assessment. It does not use real student information.This is low-stakes, dry run for final confirmation that:TestNav is configured correctlyDevices can successfully run TestNavNetwork will bear the full loadParticipating staff know what to do for computer-based assessment[Read Slide]An Infrastructure trial provides an opportunity to review your device, network, and staff readiness in a low-stakes assessment and most importantly, providing the least impact on students.
55 Infrastructure Trial Introduction Who should be involved in an Infrastructure Trial?Answer:Everyone within the LEA and the school who will have a role in the computer-based PARCC assessments should be included in the Infrastructure Trial.Test CoordinatorsTest AdministratorsLEA technology staffSchool technology staff[Read slide.]You should Involve any district and school staff responsible for participating in a computer-based assessment. It provides the opportunity to collectively evaluate the test environment and identify and resolve potential issues prior to the operational assessment.
56 Infrastructure Trial Introduction Where do I access the Infrastructure Trial?Answer:The Infrastructure Trial is conducted using the PARCC Training Center. The PARCC Training Center offers the ability to create “dummy” students in bulk to reduce preparation time for the Infrastructure Trial.Set up login access for your staffCreate “dummy” students in PARCC Training Center for the Infrastructure Trial and assign to test sessionsConfirm technology setup and configuration using Infrastructure Trial test[Read Slide]The “create students” wizard is only available in the PARCC Training Center to reduce setup time. During the live assessments, you can bulk upload students via a student data file. You should not include real student identifying information in the Training Center environment.
57 Infrastructure Trial Introduction When is the Infrastructure Trial?Answer:Plan to conduct an Infrastructure Trial only after you have confirmed site and staff readiness. The Infrastructure Trial window has opened and will continue to be available throughout both PBA and EOY administrations.Complete training activitiesConfirm network and assessment environment configurationDevelop a communication plan[Read Slide]The window for conducting an Infrastructure Trial opened in the PARCC Training Center January 9th, Use the Infrastructure Trial opportunity to be sure that you have a comprehensive communication plan between school coordinators and LEA administrative staff.
58 Infrastructure Trial Introduction Why is an Infrastructure Trial necessary?Answer:Reviewing set up and communications prior to testing in an Infrastructure Trial can avoid possible problems and delays during the live assessment.Provides practice for all participating usersMinimal additional activities are needed to conduct an Infrastructure TrialStudents and test results are not affectedProvides practice of communication plans to be sure everyone knows who to contact for help[Read Slide]If you have never administered a computer-based assessment, an Infrastructure Trial is strongly recommended. It provides an opportunity to practice in a low-stakes environment to avoid problems and possible delays during the live assessment. With the exception of creating “dummy” student data and configuring TestNav in the PARCC Training Center, many activities will already be needed for the high-stakes live assessment. The same installation of proctor caching can be used for both the Infrastructure Trial and the operational environment. Working through an Infrastructure Trial will help you to identify gaps in communication and training.
59 Infrastructure Trial Introduction How do I know when the Infrastructure Trial is complete?Answer:The Infrastructure Trial is complete when you can confirm that you are ready for the computer-based assessment. You may use the trial as needed to confirm readiness.Check progress with schoolsCorrect configurations and environment settingsTry again if neededMake changes to communication plan as needed[Read Slide]An Infrastructure Trial should only be scheduled after you have completed training and completed all setup activities in preparation for a computer-based assessment; however, if your Infrastructure Trial reveals significant issues or gaps within your setup, communication plan or training, you may want to review the training modules and materials and schedule a second Infrastructure Trial. You may need to create additional “dummy” students and create new test sessions for additional Infrastructure Trial attempts.
60 Communication between staff is critical Content FiltersFirewallsDistrict IT CommunicationsProxiesTestNavImportant NoticesLEA-specificPARCC CommunicationsLEA Technology StaffLEA & School Testing StaffLet’s talk about one of the most important best practices for computer-based testing – communication. If you are a district coordinator, you need to make sure that you establish best practices for communicating with your technology staff Early, before testing is scheduled, during the testing window, and most importantly, often, whenever you receive a communication from PARCC or Pearson that is related to computer-based testing. District coordinators will be the primary recipients of broadcast s that provide important information about computer-based testing including when tests are available for proctor caching download. Tests are typically available a week before the start of the testing window and we strongly recommend that your technology staff configures the proctor caching work stations and downloads the test content before test day.It is important that all technology staff receive the proper training before they begin setting up the environment for computer-based testing. Technology staff must also sign an oath.We also recommend that you develop a communication plan with your technology staff so that you can reach your staff during testing and make sure that they have all the appropriate contact information to get assistance during testing if needed. It is not uncommon for technology staff to try and troubleshoot the problem before reaching out for assistance only to learn that they have deleted an important piece of information necessary for the recovery of student responses. So, Contact before you act and when in doubt check it out. Pearson’s level II support staff is available to help make sure that your technology is set up correctly and testing computers are able to communicate with the Pearson servers to transmit student responses and have a smooth computer-based testing experience.Special AlertsIT-specific and School Coordinator-specificNew ToolsNew ProcessesWhite PapersImportant NoticesSchool Technology StaffDistrict IT CommunicationsProctor CachingFirewallsTestNavPearson Communication
61 PARCC Training Center Log In The Infrastructure Trial is conducted in the PARCC Training Center. You will need a separate user account for the PARCC Training Site from the PARCC Field Test site.You can access the PARCC Training Center From the PearsonAccess site Training Center tab. Sign in once you have received your login access information. If you are the district coordinator, you will need to provide login access to all users that will have a role in the computer-based assessment or delegate responsibility for this activity. Learn more about creating login access in the PearsonAccess User Guide. You will notice that there is a visual difference between the Training Center site and the live assessment site. The Training Center uses a brown theme in order to distinguish it from the blue live assessment theme. It is important that you are aware of which environment you are working in so that you do not inadvertently input real student information into the Training Center.
62 Creating “Dummy” Students Create “Dummy” Student Data for PracticeCreate mock students using the Create Students option from the Student Data menu. Create as many students as needed to represent the number of students that would be tested on a typical day during the live test window.Choose the organization, create a new group, select the grade, test name, and choose the number of students you would like to create for practice in the organization you have selected.The ability to create students in bulk is only available in the Training Center using the Create Students wizard. This wizard allows you to quickly create multiple “dummy” students in the Training Center environment for the purpose of practicing the steps for creating online sessions and administering a computer-based assessment. During the live high-stakes assessment, you can either upload student data files to load students in bulk or manually enter students to add new students one at a time. In the Training Center environment you may create as many as 99 students at a time. Repeat this step as many times as needed to create enough records for your Infrastructure Trial assessment.
63 Creating “Dummy” Students Continued In the PARCC Training center, new “dummy” students created using the wizard will automatically be registered for the computer-based test mode of the test selected in the create students step.All students enrolled in the Training Center using the wizard will be automatically be registered to the test administration selected in the Create Students wizard and the students will be assigned to the “online” format for computer-based testing. Students assigned to the paper test mode are not eligible to be added to an online session and will not appear in the list of students eligible to be added to an online session.Later in the presentation we will discuss Test Management which allows you create and manage online sessions. Within the online session, you can select the Proctor Cache button to download encrypted test content to a local caching computer designated in your TestNav configuration. We will discuss the steps to create and manage sessions during the Administration portion of today’s presentation.
64 Part I: Technology Set Up Emerging Technologies: Virtualization and TabletsThis next section of the presentation will cover emerging technologies such as desktop virtualization and tablet systems.
65 iPads & Computer-based Testing Apple iPads have some unique challenges for TestNaviPads can not run Java so TestNav can’t lock down the device properly like “standard” computers via the browserPearson has developed an iPad TestNav app which will be available from the App Store in early February 2014Student Response Files (SRFs) will be saved locally through the applicationDistricts must take steps to configure iPads to deliver tests securelyDisable screen captureDisable Home button functionalityEnable “single app” mode[Read Slide]More information about testing on iPads and Chromebooks will be available in later this month in the Emerging Technologies and Security for Computer-Based Testing training module that will be posted on the Training Management System.
66 Managing iPads for Secure Testing There are several options for districts to manage multiple iPads for secure testing.Manually configure iPads for single app mode via Guided Access (iOS 6 and above)Enable/Disable single app mode with Apple Configurator via USB (iOS 6 and above)Enable/Disable single app mode wirelessly via Apple Profile Manager or third party Mobile Device Manager (MDM*) (iOS 6 and above)Enable/Disable app requested single app mode via third party MDM* (iOS 7 and above)NOTE: A third party MDM may incur additional costs to purchase and implement[read slide]For more information about configuring iPads for computer-based assessments, view the Emerging Technologies and Security with Computer-Based Assessments training module available on
67 Virtualization What is Virtualization? Using your monitor/keyboard/mouse to look at and run software on some other computer“Thin Clients” are one type of virtualizationVDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is becoming popular as a way of turning aging computers into terminals, instead of retiring themWhat is Virtualization?Virtualization is using your monitor, keyboard and mouse to look at and run software on some other computer“Thin Clients” are one type of virtualizationVDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is becoming popular as a way of turning aging computers into terminals, instead of retiring them
68 Virtualization Network This is a high level diagram of a virtualization network. The virtualized environment runs on a central server and streams the user interface to workstationsA Virtualized environment runs on a central server and streams the user interface to workstations.
69 Virtualization Security Concerns Looking at this diagram we can see several virtualization security concerns.Virtualization security settings on the server are typically unable to be accessed or controlled by the test delivery engine, which means the test delivery engine can not verify or control the security of the computer-based test.Streamed data between the virtualization server and workstations may not be encrypted and could be intercepted by “man in the middle” exploits. This could potentially expose Secure test content, Student keystrokes and interactions with TestNav and Student responses can be captured or manipulated.Virtualization running on student workstations may not properly lock down the environment to provide a secure online testing environment. The test delivery engine may be unable to prevent student use of other applications, unable to prevent capturing screen and test content, and there is a lack of visibility to virtualization “modal” windows.Virtualization performance issues could also potentially negatively impact students’ ability to test.
70 TestNav and Virtualization Pearson is working with individual virtualization vendors to qualify their solutions for use with TestNavApproved virtualization solutions will be listed on:Non-approved virtualization solutions may expose secure content of computer-based tests to unauthorized individuals and is not recommended.While virtualization does present some security challenges, it is still possible to use a properly configured virtualization solution.Pearson is actively working with individual virtualization vendors to qualify their solutions for use with TestNav.Approved virtualization solutions will be listed on: and will provide the necessary configuration instructions to ensure students can safely and securely test.The use of any non-approved virtualization solutions may expose secure content of computer-based tests to unauthorized individuals and is not recommended.
71 Other Technology Considerations Additional Training Modules for Technology Setup:SystemCheck for TestNavEvaluating device readinessEvaluating network readinessSetting up an Infrastructure TrialPurpose and description of Infrastructure TrialInfrastructure trial readiness checklistTechnical SetupComponents of computer-based testingMinimum requirements and technology setup tasksEmerging Technologies and Security with Computer-Based TestingUsing thin clients and virtual desktopsComputer-Based testing on iPads and ChromebooksSecurity and room layout considerations for computer-based testingAdditional training is available to learn more about the Technical Setup, SystemCheck, Setting up an Infrastructure Trial, and emerging technologies supported for the PARCC field test. The SystemCheck training module will provide instruction on how to use SystemCheck to evaluate your device and network readiness. The module will demonstrate how you can determine your network capacity by adding proctor caching computers to manage bandwidth utilization.The Setting up an Infrastructure Trial training module will provide you with information about purpose and importance of conducting an Infrastructure Trial prior to the PARCC field-test to confirm readiness.The Emerging Technologies and Security with Computer-Based Testing training module will introduce you to new technologies supported for computer-based assessments. If you are planning on using iPads or Chromebooks, this module will provide you with information on additional setup requirements necessary to secure the desktop for high-stakes assessments. This module will also review special considerations for virtualization and thin client environments. Additionally, this module will provide best practice information for making sure that your computer lab or classroom is ready for secure, high stakes, computer-based testing.
72 Resources & Additional Support PARCC Support CenterThat concludes our presentation. For additional support, you may contact the PARCC Support Center at or by at