Downloadable PDF version of the technical documentation
The performance of PAT Online ultimately depends on the quality of the school’s connection to the internet. Pods of computers and/or large, school-wide networks can compromise the reliability of individual computer connections. We recommend that schools monitor how effectively PAT Online works within their own IT environment, and gauge the optimum group size which will enable effective use of the site at any particular time.
If a computer fails to load a page correctly, this can sometimes be corrected by reloading the page. Click on BACK and then NEXT on the question panel or press CONTROL-R on the keyboard. You will sometimes need to repeat this action.
Page loading times will usually improve when a test is repeated with a second group of students. This is because the computer retains graphics used by the previous user. Improved loading times do, however, depend on the cache settings for the computer and network.
Screen Size and Resolution
The screen size and resolution does affect the way PAT Online is displayed. Small screens and low resolutions mean students have to do more scrolling to read the questions. We recommend a screen size of at least 14 inches and a resolution no lower than 800 by 600 pixels. PAT Online has been trialled successfully with these minimum standards.
PAT Online requires computers to use either the Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox browser. Please note that at this stage, the Safari browser is not supported. If your school is using Macintosh computers, you can download Firefox free from the internet.
Browser security settings
Disabling the Browser’s Automatic Password Feature
We recommend you turn off the browser feature that enables passwords to be remembered. If left on, it can be annoying when different students use the same computer to do the test at different times.
To turn it off in Internet Explorer, go to the Tools menu, select Internet Options then the Content tab. Click on the Settings button for AutoComplete and make sure the “Prompt me to save passwords” box is not ticked.
For Firefox, go to the Tools menu and select Options. Click on the Privacy menu then the Passwords tab. Make sure the “Remember password” box is not ticked.
PAT Online does not allow a student to stop the test part way through and resume at another time. Once they have started the test, a student must proceed to the end. If the computer fails or interruption is inevitable, the student will need to log in again using a different name identifier, and recommence the test. The student’s original, unfinished record must be deleted by using the data entry page in the NZCERMarking website. The data entry page can also be used to edit the student’s name on the finished record.
Finishing the test
Students have a set time to complete the test. The computer will report when the time is up, but will not automatically end the test. It is up to the teacher to ask any students who haven’t completed the test to finish the session. They must click on NEXT until they get to the Overview page, then on FINISH THE TEST and CONFIRM.