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Creating PAT Online tests

January 28th, 2011

Once you have imported your student data, established class groups and created an assessment (see relevant help files for assistance with these steps), you can also set up online testing for PAT: Mathematics or PAT: Reading Vocabulary using the following steps:

  1. From the homepage, select PAT: Mathematics or PAT: Vocabulary. Find the assessment for which you would like to enable online testing and click on the small computer icon under ‘Online Session’.
  2. Click on ‘View’, and then go to the ‘Assessment’ tab. To determine whether students are able to access information about their own assessment result, select the desired option from the ‘Reporting Level’ drop-down menu.
  3. Now go to the ‘Students’ tab. You will see the students listed with a unique password next to each name.
  4. Click on the ‘Print Passwords’ link and this will give you printed pages of the passwords, formatted for ease of cutting into strips and handing to students.
  5. Direct students to www.patonline.org.nz. From here they can enter their own unique password to start the online test.

The assessment ‘Preview Code’ (found next to the computer icon on the ‘Assessment Management’ page) can be used for demonstration purposes. You can put this code into the password box at www.patonline.org.nz at any stage in order to experiment with, or demonstrate, the online testing process. Results entered under the preview code will never be recorded.

At any stage, the teacher or administrator for your school is able to click on the computer icon for an assessment and disable or re-enable student access to the online test.

Technical Information for PAT Online

October 24th, 2008

Downloadable  PDF version of the technical documentation

Internet Connection

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.

Supported browsers

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

It is important that the security settings on the browser allow the use of cookies and Java script.  It is unlikely that these settings have been turned off, unless a user or network administrator has done so purposefully.  We recommend you set security and privacy levels for Internet Explorer to “medium”.

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.

Interruptions

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.