Frequently Asked Questions about Technology Needed
What do schools need to do technology-wise to get ready for the online assessments?
Each year, schools MUST install the correct, updated secure browser on each computer that students will use to access the online Hawaii Statewide Assessment Program tests based on the operating system. These browsers prevent students from accessing other computer applications while they are taking an assessment. Secure browsers from previous HSAP administrations (e.g., 2021–2022) will not work. Click here for information about installing the updated secure browsers and how to remove the previous browser(s), as well as specific information about hardware, software, and operating system requirements and secure browser installation.
What is the maximum number of students in a school that can connect to the online HSAP at one time?
In general, the performance of the online testing system will depend on a number of factors, including bandwidth, total number of students simultaneously testing, size of test content, secure browser installation, proxy server (if used), and wireless networking solution (if used). As the number of students testing increases, competition for network bandwidth increases. Network bandwidth resembles highway traffic; as the number of cars traveling on a given road increases, the speed of traffic flow decreases.
The optimal number of student workstations supported by a single wireless connection will depend on the type of networking standard being used for the connection. The two most common networking standards are 802.11g (54M bits per second) and the newer and faster standard, 802.11n (300M bits per second). Both the access point, which emits the wireless signal, and the computer’s wireless card, which receives the signal, will use one of these two standards. The recommendations below are based on the standard in use:
- Wireless connections using an 802.11g access point can reliably support a maximum of 20 PC and/or Mac workstations that use wireless cards with either the 802.11g or the 802.11n standard.
- Wireless connections using an 802.11n access point can reliably support a greater number of workstations; however, the make and model of the 802.11n access point will affect the number of additional workstations that the access point can support. Thus, the manufacturer’s documentation should be consulted for verification.
Typically, when all workstations are using an 802.11n wireless card, the 802.11n access point can support approximately 40 computers. In cases where the workstation wireless cards are a mix of both 802.11n and 802.11g, supported connections should not exceed 50 workstations.
How do I download and install the secure browser?
The updated secure browsers, along with installation instructions, are available on the Secure Browsers page. This page also includes information on how to uninstall/remove the previous secure browsers, as well as guidelines for installing the secure browsers over a school network.
Can student monitoring software be used?
Student monitoring software (such as Hapara, etc.) may not be used during testing. This software may run on the student tablets, such as Chromebooks, when the Secure Browser has been launched in Kiosk mode, but the test coordinator, technology coordinator and/or others who may have access to the parent computer may not use these program(s) during testing. Access to students' screens via student monitoring software during testing is considered to be a test security violation.
How do I disable pop-up blockers?
Pop-up blockers must be disabled to access TIDE, the Test Administrator Training Site, the TA Live Site, the Centralized Reporting System, and other related HSAP testing systems. To allow pop-up windows, go to the menu option shown here for each browser:
- Firefox: Tools > Options > Content > uncheck “Block pop-up windows”
- Google Chrome: Menu > Settings > Show advanced settings > Privacy > Content settings > Pop-ups > select “Allow all sites to show pop-ups”
- Safari: Application Menu (Safari) > Block Pop-up Windows (make sure this is unchecked)
What should I do if Internet access to the HSAP testing site is slow and student computers are stalling or timing-out from testing?
If a student’s computer is slow or non-responsive, the student may be moved to another computer that was previously set up as a backup. If all student computers are slow or non-responsive for an extended period of time (more than several minutes), the Test Administrator may pause testing and work with the school’s Technology Coordinator to troubleshoot the school’s network. If the school’s network is stable, the Test Coordinator should reschedule the testing session and contact the HSAP Help Desk (email@example.com or 1-866-648-3712) to report the issue.
Note: The Department of Education recommends that a school’s bandwidth be checked prior to testing and that access to all bandwidth-intensive websites (e.g., Achieve 3000’s KidBiz and TeenBiz) be limited on the school’s network during online HSAP testing.
What happens if the power goes out, a student accidentally switches off the computer, or we have another technology or power problem?
The online HSAP system will not lose data if a student’s Internet connection is interrupted or the computer crashes or experiences a power loss. After the Internet connection and/or power source is re-established, a student may resume testing where he or she left off. Similarly, if classroom-wide access to the Internet goes down or the power goes out, students will have to resume their assessments when the Internet connection and/or power source is fully restored and consistent.
Why are online assessments paused when automatic updates start running?
The secure browser and Test Delivery System ensure the security of the testing environment at all times. When the secure browser detects applications that are triggered by automatic updates, such as Firefox or iTunes, the Test Delivery System will pause the student’s assessment. A number of software programs, including antivirus software, have automatic updates enabled, and these often trigger forbidden application processes during testing.
To prevent students’ tests from being paused, check software settings and determine whether auto-updates are enabled. If they are enabled, you are encouraged to either disable them or schedule them to run outside of school hours.
May iPads and/or other mobile devices be used for testing?
Yes. Mobile secure browsers are now available for iPads and Chromebooks. Further information is available on the Secure Browsers page on the HSAP portal website.
What will happen if Test Administrators and students use netbooks that have screens smaller than 10 inches? (Note: The minimum recommended screen size is 10 inches and the minimum supported resolution is 1024 x 600.)
Individuals using netbooks with smaller screen sizes will still be able to access the online HSAP system but may need to scroll down or across to see the complete screen. Students can also use the zoom tool in the Student Training Test and in the HSAP Secure Browser during assessments to enlarge the content on the screen.
Do we need audio devices for the assessments?
Schools need to provide headphones for students taking the HSA-Alt Assessments, if the student will be taking the assessment within hearing distance of others.
Prior to student testing, the headphones and audio should be checked to ensure that the sound quality and volume settings are appropriate. To check that test audio can be heard, plug in the headphones and then launch the secure browser. On the login screen, click the link to navigate to the Practice and Training Tests. The audio settings can be made by clicking the [Run Diagnostics] link on the Practice and Training Tests login page, then navigating to [Audio Check]. Follow the prompts to complete the audio check. If your audio settings need to be adjusted, make the appropriate changes in the computer’s user interface, and then run the audio check again.