Students to begin digital assessments with new secure iPad program

Kristian Steele, Staff Reporter

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     As part of Bishop Noll’s 1:1 iPad implementation, the school intends to adopt a mostly paperless curriculum. So far, many students and teachers have opted to create and complete digital assignments  on the iPad; however, most assessments are still completed on pa- per. Next semester, this will change as teachers begin testing on a program called Exam Soft. This program, which locks students into the app on the iPad so that they can’t access other apps or the internet, gives students the oppor- tunity to test directly off the iPads.
One huge advantage of testing on this program is that it makes high school students familiar with the type of testing they’d see at the college level. According to the ExamSoft website, more than 1,300 colleges and universi- ties use this program for their assess- ments and it is used by 48 out of 50 state bar exams. Additionally, the pro- gram also gives instructors a lot of data on student performance and students will have the ability to have immediate scores.
According to technology coach, Ms. Marisa Renwald, “it will be a big change for those classes who still test on pa- per.” The majority of the teachers have been giving assessments on Google Forms and locking students in, so most students should already have a feel of what digital testing will be like. But ac- cording to Renwald, “There’s always a mental learning curve when we change from paper to technology, so I think we all just need to get in the correct mindset.”
Teachers will create exams through an online portal. Once complete, the stu- dents are alerted that the test or quiz is available to download. Then there will be a code given to download and take the test. Students are then locked in to the program and WiFi will be discon- nected. After students finish, WiFi will reconnect on its own and they can up- load the file back to the instructor. Some teachers have been beta test- ing it this month with some classes. The rest of the teaching staff will go through training early next semester. Students will begin digital testing by late January and early February.