Technical requirements and other considerations

This page provides the technical and digital examination support requirements that schools must consider before participating in digital examinations.

Network and internet connection

Schools are required to consult with their IT administrators and technicians when assessing their readiness to undertake digital examinations.

To deliver a digital examination, schools will need:

  • an internet connection that is reliable and can manage the volume of students taking part in a digital examination at the same time.
  • Wi-Fi or cabled connections in the buildings where students will sit the examinations
  • technical support staff available on the day of each examination
  • to test the school’s network with the expected cohort, using the devices and spaces to be used for the Pilot examinations.

Schools must consider prioritising the digital examination traffic on their networks to minimise connectivity disruption during the examinations.

It is strongly advised that technical support staff are involved in the support for the Digital Trial examinations, especially if the school is also planning on participating in the Pilot examinations. This can assist in identifying any technical or device issues that may need troubleshooting.

Device specifications

  • Most laptop and desktop computers are compatible with the digital examination platform.
  • Netbooks may be able to run the digital examination, but are unlikely to be the best choice of device as they have very small screens and slow processors.
  • Students may use their own devices if the school has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programme and supporting policies, providing the devices meet the above criteria.

IMPORTANT: iPads and touch screen portable devices do not meet the security requirements of a digital examination and should not to be used.

Browser options

For optimal performance and experience, the following browsers are supported:

 

Minimum Version

Recommended Version

Google Chrome:

54

Current

Firefox:

49

Current

Safari:

10

Current

IMPORTANT: Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers are not compatible with the digital examination platform, and are to be avoided.

Device Preparation

Prior to sitting a digital examination, the following device preparation is required:

  • Notifications, screensavers and automatic updates must be disabled.
  • Screen resolution should be set to a minimum of 600*800.
  • Devices are fully charged and their batteries can last for the duration of the assessment.
  • Devices are virus-free.

IMPORTANT: students are required to be familiar with the device they will use during the digital examinations and regularly use computers in the classroom as part of their learning.

Schools may want to:

  • remind students using BYODs to ensure setting changes have been made
  • ensure technicians check school-provided devices prior to the digital examinations.

Familiarisation Activities

Students and teachers must be familiar with the digital examination platform to be well-prepared.

This may be achieved in the following two ways:

1. Past digital examinations. The 2016 and 2017 digital examinations are available to experience. These digital examinations have a generic login for all users and allow students to experience the look and feel of a digital assessment. Note: their work will not be saved.
A link to the previous examinations can be found here.

2. Experiencing the tools found in the digital examinations. The Familiarisation Activity Tool navigates through the structure of a digital examination, from logging in, to submitting an examination, and includes tutorials on how to use the features found in the 2018 digital examinations. This activity does not include assessment material and student responses will not be saved.

Students who have registered for a Digital Trial and/or Digital Pilot will receive access to the Familiarisation Activity Tool prior to sitting a Digital Trial and/or Pilot.

It is strongly recommended that students log in to the activity as part of their preparation prior to sitting Digital Trial and Pilot examinations.  

Schools are required to ensure that staff and students involved in digital examinations are familiar with these resources prior to participating in the digital examinations.

You can find links to access these tools and find more information on the Familiarisation Activities here.

Examination room setup

For the Digital Pilots (and Trials conducted under test conditions where results will contribute to derived grades):

  • A separate room or rooms from those sitting the paper examination is required for candidates sitting the Digital Pilot examinations.
  • Set the digital room up so that screen peeking is minimised.
  • If using Wi-Fi, test the network for reliable connectivity for school-provided computers and BYODs.
  • The digital examination room must comply with Health and Safety regulations (i.e. power wires not hazardous to students/teachers/supervisors etc).
  • Candidates are encouraged to take brief, micro-pause breaks during the examination to relieve eyestrain and muscular tension. During such breaks, they must not navigate away from the examination to other tabs or areas of the device.

For Pilots only, Exam Centre Managers (ECMs), Lead Digital Supervisors (LDS), and Supervisors must have access to a computer and the internet so they can monitor the examination in each digital examination room via a dashboard.

Examination supervision

Trials:

  • Supervision of Digital Trials is to be managed by schools.
  • There is no invigilation/anti-breach software built into the assessment tool for Trial examinations. Supervisory staff will need to carefully monitor candidates’ screens if the digital examination is being sat under test conditions and is intended to be used for derived grade evidence
  • Exam Centre Managers should also be involved in the room set up and supervision of the Digital Trials if these are being used as preparation for Pilot examinations.
  • If your Exam Centre Manager is to be involved, this is to be at the cost of the school.

Pilots:

  • Schools are advised to inform their ECM as soon as possible, if they plan to participate in a Digital Pilot.
  • ECMs and supervisors involved in Digital Pilots must be comfortable using computer technology. Training in the use of the supervision dashboard will be provided to ECMs later in the year.
  • Training of digital supervisors will be conducted by ECMs.

Marking

Trials:

  • Trials are marked by teachers at school.
  • Marking schedules will be provided to them, via the Principal’s Nominee.
  • The marking platform is not configured to allow teachers to add formative feedback, so comments need to be recorded elsewhere and provided separately to students.
  • Once marking is complete, teachers can release marked examinations back to students.

Pilots:

  • Pilots are marked by NZQA markers.
  • Results will be available in January 2019, at the same time as paper-based results.
  • Shortly after results release, candidates will be able to view their completed digital examinations online. To access these, they will need to log on to the exam URL and enter their username and password from the Pilot examinations.

Queries and feedback

If you have any queries about the technical requirements please email future.state@nzqa.govt.nz

 

 

Page last updated 28 May 2018

 

 
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