Software Configuration

This topic describes how to configure the operating systems and web browsers that support the operations necessary for the computer-based, in-person testing administered via the secure browser. Note that software configuration requirements support a secure, online testing environment, which is a state in which a device is restricted from accessing prohibited computer applications (local or internet-based) or copying or sharing test data. The purposes of this environment are to maintain test security and provide a stable testing experience for students across multiple platforms.

For students to access online tests, each student testing device needs CAI’s secure browser installed on it. The secure browser is CAI’s customized web browser designed to keep tests secure by locking down the student desktop and preventing the student from accessing anything except the test. Unlike conventional web browsers, the secure browser displays the student application in full-screen mode with no user interface to the browser itself. It has no back button, next button, refresh button, or URL bar. Students open the secure browser and are taken exactly where they need to go.

Optimal Installation Scenario for Secure Browsers

The “Secure Browser” subtopic for each operating system topic in Operating System Configuration describes several scenarios for installing the secure browser. However, it is strongly recommended that the secure browser be installed locally on each students’ testing device rather than on a shared network drive from which students would run the secure browser as this will compromise the stability and performance of the secure browser, especially during peak testing times. Running the secure browser on a shared network drive creates competition among the students’ clients for two resources: LAN bandwidth and shared disk drive input and output. This performance impact can be avoided by installing the secure browser locally on each device. Additionally, running the secure browser from a shared location also creates security risks.

Configuring Commercially Available Web Browsers

This subtopic describes how to configure commercially available browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge) that support the operations necessary for student online testing.

Preventing Auto Update on Device Operating Systems Used for Test Operations

Delaying Firefox Web Browser Updates

Quality assurance tests are conducted on the most recent Firefox web browser versions for each system except the student testing site, which requires the secure browser. Users should wait before installing new versions of Firefox, which could impact system performance. Delaying updates allows users time to review changes and verify each system works correctly with the new version.

To disable auto updates in Firefox:

  • MenuSettings ➔ “Firefox Updates” ➔ “Allow Firefox to” ➔ Select Check for updates but let you choose to install them.

Keyboard Navigation on the Tool Menu Using a Safari Browser

Unlike other browsers, students cannot use Safari to navigate to the Tool menu using standard methods on practice and training tests. To enable access the Tool menu using Safari, check the Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage box in the “Accessibility” section of the Safari Advanced preferences, as shown in figure 1.

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Select Preferences from the Safari menu.
  3. Select the [Advanced] button to open the Advanced window (figure 1).

    Safari Advanced preferences window with an arrow pointing to the 'Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage' option

    Figure 1. Safari Advanced preferences

  4. Check the Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage box to enable keyboard use on the Tool menu in practice tests.

Configuring Network Settings for Online Testing with the Secure Browser

LAN settings on testing devices should be set to automatically detect network settings.

Windows Devices

To set LAN settings to auto detect on Windows devices:

  1. Access “Internet Options.” One way to do this is to navigate to Control PanelNetwork and Sharing CenterInternet Options.
  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, select the [Connections] tab.
  3. Select the [LAN Settings] button.
  4. Check the Automatically detect settings box.
  5. Select [OK] to close the LAN Settings dialog box.
  6. Select [OK] to close the Internet Options dialog box.
  7. Close the Control Panel.

macOS Devices

To set LAN settings to auto detect on macOS devices:

  1. Choose the Apple menu ➔ System Preferences.
  2. Select [Network].
  3. Select [Ethernet] for wired connections or [WiFi] for wireless connections.
  4. Select [Advanced].
  5. Select the [Proxies] tab.
  6. Check the Auto Proxy Discovery box.
  7. Select [OK] to close the dialog box.
  8. Select [Apply] to close the Network dialog box.
  9. Close System Preferences.

Linux Devices

To set LAN settings to auto detect on Linux devices:

  1. Open System Settings.
  2. Open Network.
  3. Select Network Proxy.
  4. From the Method drop-down list, select None.
  5. Select X to close the Network dialog box.

Installing CloudReady on PCs and Macs

CloudReady is a reduced-feature operating system, built on the same technology as Chrome OS, that runs on devices with limited resources. If the school or LEA has older devices that do not run newer versions of Windows or macOS, consider installing CloudReady on those devices. This installation can postpone or prevent a costly hardware upgrade. Google Management licenses are required to deploy the secure browser kiosk application.

Refer to the NeverWare website for information about CloudReady and installation instructions.

Configurations for Testing Students Using Accessibility Resources

For information about configuring operating systems and software for testing with accessibility resources, including braille, TTS and the NeoSpeech voice pack, and permissive mode, refer to the Configuring Selected System and Third-Party Accessibility Resources topic of the CAASPP and ELPAC Accessibility Guide for Online Testing