Practicing Remote Administration

To have the best experience with testing, it is recommended that you, as the TE, run at least two practice sessions with students. The first session can be set up using a video meeting application, with students using the web-based version of the Student Testing Interface. The second session can be set up with students using the secure browser when testing grades three through twelve students remotely.

Why Two Practice Sessions?

By completing at least two sessions, students and TEs can become comfortable with logging on to a test session remotely and using the widgets in the Student Testing Interface. During the first practice, students can stay on the video session as the TE guides them through logging on, testing the camera and microphone, and using the widgets.

During the second practice attempt, students need the test session ID and their SSIDs. Because students use the secure browser to log on, students are not able to communicate with the TE until they have entered the actual practice test. This works the same way when they take the actual assessments.

Preparing Students for the First Practice Session

Prior to running a practice test with students, provide students with their SSIDs. Refer to the SSIDs subsection for recommended ways of providing the SSID in a way that keeps it confidential.

Provide a video meeting link to students with a set date and time for the practice session, and prepare the session before the meeting with students, to save time.

Take the following steps to administer the first round of practice tests:

  1. Log on to the Test Administrator and Test Examiner Practice and Training Site.
  2. Select a practice or training test for the students by selecting the Remote or Hybrid radio button as the “Session Type” (figure 1), the type of assessment, and any subsequent levels.

    The session settings section of the practice session screen

    Figure 1. Selecting the Session Type

  3. Select the [Start Practice Session] button.
  4. To initiate the remote tools, select the I agree checkbox in the communication widget and select the [Allow] button (figure 2).

    Checkbox with the words 'I agree' to give permission to the testing system to access the student's webcam and microphone; the allow button is indicated.

    Figure 2. Permission box for remote tools

  5. Save the session ID to provide to students prior to testing.

Although students use the standard secure browser during the actual assessment when testing grades three through twelve students remotely, for the purposes of this first practice test session, students should use the web-based version of the Student Testing Interface. This allows students to join a video meeting while testing.

Have all students join a video meeting (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet, etc.). Talk students through the logon process in the video meeting.

Signing Students In to the Practice Session

Ask students to turn off their cameras in the video meeting. The remote tools cannot function if the camera is on in a program other than the practice and training tests.

Using the chat feature in the video meeting, provide the link for the Practice and Training Test Site. Students need to use either the Chrome or Firefox browser for this session.

Step 1: Signing Students In

To sign students in to a test session:

  1. The student launches the web browser on a testing device. The Student Sign-In screen appears (refer to figure 3).

    Student Sign In with 'Guest User' and 'Guest Session' toggled off

    Figure 3. Student Sign In screen with Guest User and Guest Session toggled off

  2. The student should toggle off the Guest User and Guest Session.
  3. The student enters the student’s name into the First Name field as it appears in TOMS, the student’s SSID, and the session ID provided by the TE.
  4. The student selects the [Sign In] button.

Step 2: Verifying Student Information

After students sign in, the Is This You? page (i.e., screen) appears (figure 4). The student verifies the student’s personal information on this page.

Is This You? screen in the student interface, followed by sample student information.

Figure 4. Is This You? page

To verify personal information, complete the following steps:

  1. If all the information is correct, the student selects [Yes]. The Your Tests page appears (figure 5).
  2. If any of the information displayed is incorrect, the student must not proceed with testing. The student should select [No]. Notify the site ELPAC coordinator that the student’s information is incorrect.

Step 3: Selecting a Test

The Your Tests page (i.e., screen) displays all the tests a student is eligible to take (refer to figure 5). The student can only select tests that have been selected by the TE and still need to be completed.

Your Tests selection box on the student test delivery system.

Figure 5. Sample Your Tests selection box

Tests are shaded in a light color with an arrow icon pointing at the test name. When starting a new test opportunity, the arrow is solid. When resuming a test opportunity, the arrow indicating the test is circular. Or, a test can be inactive for one of the following reasons:

  • Being started and paused
  • Being started and actively testing
  • Being completed
  • Being in the wrong browser
  • Requiring a remote proctor

To select an available test, complete the following steps:

  1. The student selects the required test name. The request is sent to the TE for approval, and the Waiting for Approval screen appears (figure 6).

    Waiting for Approval screen; text reads 'Your Test Administrator needs to review your requested test and your test settings. This may take a few minutes.'

    Figure 6. Waiting for Approval screen

  2. Take this time to assist students and ensure that all students have the same screen displayed on their monitors.
  3. If a student’s required test is not displayed, the student should select [Click to cancel the request and return to the login page]. Verify the test session includes the correct tests and add additional tests, if necessary.
  4. Once all students are waiting for approval, approve these students in the same manner used during the operational assessments.

Step 4: Sound and Video Check

Camera Check

The following steps are new for students who have tested in the past. Students should follow the TE’s instruction and not move ahead.

  1. The student completes the Audio/Video Checks screen by selecting the I agree to grant the browser permission to access the camera checkbox. If the student’s web browser uses a pop-up message to confirm that the student allows the program to use the camera and microphone, the student should select the [Allow] button.
  2. The student’s camera should turn on and display the student’s image on the screen (figure 7). The student can complete the video check by selecting the [I see myself] button.

    Audio/Video Checks screen with permission box checked, a student on camera, and the I see myself button displayed

    Figure 7. “Camera Check” section of the Audio/Video Checks page

Recording Device Check

The “Recording Device Check” section of the Audio/Video Checks page (i.e., screen) appears if a student has the speech-to-text setting or is testing remotely. On this screen, the student’s voice is recorded, and the student verifies that the recorded audio is heard. A student can only use the speech-to-text resource within a supported secure browser.

Students take the following steps to check their microphones in the “Recording Device Check” section (figure 8):

  1. The student selects the [Recording] microphone [Microphone icon] icon and speaks to record.
  2. The student selects the [Stop] square [Stop recording button] icon to stop recording.
  3. The student selects the [Play] arrow [Playback button] icon to listen to the student’s recorded audio.
    1. If the student’s recorded audio is clearly audible, the student selects [I heard my audio]. A green check appears at the upper-right corner of the panel and the student can proceed.
    2. If the student’s recorded audio is not clearly audible, the student selects [I did not hear my recording] to open the Problem Recording Audio panel.
      • If the student still cannot hear the student’s recorded audio clearly, the student can select [Try Again] to return to “Recording Device Check” and retry.
      • The student can select [Select New Recording Device]—which only appears for students testing on computers or tablets with multiple recording devices—to open the Recording Input Device Selection panel and select a different recording device.
  4. If the student’s web browser asks for permission for the microphone to be used, the student should select the [Allow] button.

    Recording Device Check page.

    Figure 8. “Recording Device Check” section of the Audio/Video Checks page

If the student can hear the recording, the student selects the [I heard my recording] button.

Audio/Video Check

The next section of the Audio/Video Checks screen is the “Sound and Video Playback Check” section (figure 9).

Sound and Video Playback Check screen.

Figure 9. “Sound and Video Playback Check” section of the Audio/Video Checks screen

To check audio and video settings:

  1. The student plays the video and listens to the audio by selecting the [Play] arrow [Play icon] icon.
  2. Depending on the sound and video quality, the student does one of the following:
    1. If the student can see the video and hear the sound, the student selects [I could play the video and sound]. A green check appears at the upper-right corner of the panel and the Instructions and Help page appears.
    2. If the student cannot see the video and hear the sound, the student selects [I could not play the video or sound]. The Audio/Video Playback Problem panel appears, giving students two options:
      • A student can select [Try Again] to return to “Sound and Video Playback Check.”
      • A student can select [Log Out]. Either troubleshoot the device and headphones or move the student to another device with working audio and video.

Text-to-Speech Check

The final check is for the “Text-to-Speech Sound Check”section(figure 10) of the Audio/Video Checks screen. All students have text-to-speech turned on for broadcast messages from the TE. Please note that this does not turn on the text-to-speech designated support for questions unless it has been assigned in TOMS prior to testing.

Text-to-Speech Sound Check page.

Figure 10. “Text-to-Speech Sound Check” section of the Audio/Video Checks page

To check text-to-speech functionality:

  1. The student selects the [TTS Speaker] speaker [Speaker icon] icon and listens to the audio.

    • If the voice is clearly audible, the student selects [I heard the voice]. A green check appears at the upper-right corner of the panel and the student can proceed.
    • If the voice is not clearly audible, the student adjusts the settings using the sliders and selects the [TTS Speaker] icon again.
    • If after selecting the [TTS Speaker] icon twice the student still cannot hear the voice clearly, the student selects [I did not hear the voice] and closes the secure browser. Work with the student to adjust audio or headset settings (for more information, refer to the subsection Audio File Troubleshooting Checklist). The student can sign in again when the issue is resolved.
    • To continue without testing text-to-speech, the student selects [Skip TTS Check].

Step 5: Viewing Test Instructions and Starting the Test

The Instructions and Help page (i.e., screen) is the last step of the sign-in process (refer to figure 11). A student may review this page to understand how to navigate the test and use test tools.

The Instructions and Help Page with buttons to View Test Settings and View Help Guide with the Begin Test Now button indicated.

Figure 11. Instructions and Help page

To proceed and begin the test, complete the following step:

  1. After reviewing this page, the student selects [Begin Test Now]. The test opportunity officially begins or resumes.

Practicing Using the Remote Widget

Once in the assessment, a small circle with the student’s own image appears in the lower-right corner of the student’s screen. This allows a student to view what is being shown to the TE. If the student selects the circle, the remote widget expands and offers other tools (figure 12).

Remote widget displaying what messages between the student or test administrator or examiner look like

Figure 12. Remote widget

Test out the different tools in the communication widget with students.

Screen Share

Use the screen share feature to view a student’s screen during the test session. This is a one-way feature that only TEs can initiate by selecting the [screen share] icon. The student needs to grant the TE permission by selecting the [I agree] box and [Allow] button on the widget. Once the student grants permission, a red dotted line appears around the student’s screen indicating that the TE can now see the screen.

Refer to the TE Shares the Screen for the Writing Domain subsection for information about using this feature.

Messaging Tool

If a student selects the [raise hand] hand icon, the student’s information moves to the top of the page under the “Tests with potential issues” section of the Test Administrator Interface. Select the [lower hand] hand icon, individually message the student, or enter into a video and audio chat with the student. The student is not able to interact with the assessment when the widget is expanded. The widget must be minimized for the student to return to the assessment.

Chat Tool

The student may also select the [messages] speech bubble icon to send an individual chat message to the TE. A student with unread messages remains in the “Tests without issues” section of the Test Administrator Interface but has a red [Message] icon in the student’s information column.

Ending the Practice Session

Once students are comfortable with the tools, they should select the [Pause] button at the top left of the screen (indicated in figure 13). Students then select [Yes] to leave the assessment.

Top-left corner of screen with the Back, Next, Save, and Pause buttons; the Pause button is indicated.

Figure 13. [Pause] button

Once all students have paused their assessments, select the [Stop] button to end the test session. Logging off the Test Administrator Interface is now possible.

Facilitating the Second Practice Session

After a student has had a chance to enter an assessment while in a video meeting, the student should try to log on using the standard secure browser application on the device. This practice session can occur on the same day as the first session or on another day.

All students should have the secure browser installed on their device prior to beginning a second practice session. Educators should confirm with the school’s technology coordinator that all students have the supported version of the secure browser installed. A student using a personal device can follow the instructions on the Secure Browsers web page to download the application.

Because the secure browser does not function when other applications are running, students cannot be in a video meeting while the secure browser is running.

To assist students with this logon, start a video meeting with students and provide the test session ID. Students then need to leave the meeting and close any running applications.

To begin, a student should open the secure browser and then enter the student’s first name, SSID, and provided test session ID before following the same steps used when logging on with the TE in the first practice session.

Approve the students and admit them into the assessment after they have logged on successfully. As students enter the assessment, they also appear on screen in a section of the Test Administrator Interface.

Keep the video meeting open in case a student is unable to enter the assessment. A student can reenter the video meeting for technical assistance or to ask questions.

How Often Should Students Practice?

Each class is different. Students should practice logging on and becoming familiar with the communication tools until they are comfortable with the testing interface. This allows students to concentrate on the operational assessments during the actual testing window and not get distracted by the resources and tools available for use.