iPads for Assessment: Guided Access

For “high stakes” assessments delivered on the iPad, test publishers might include in their delivery system the following features:

a) require that the iPad be in “guided access mode”;

b) require the examinee or “test taker” to enter a password (presumably provided by the on-site proctor);

c) enforce a “test window” to preclude use of test materials outside of some reasonably bounded time (before or after the exam period); and

d) log every item view and item choice action by the test taker.

Collecting and storing this data with the test results for subsequent forensic and other (item performance, etc) analysis supports additional types of assessment program integrity management.

While there is no “API” to drop the iPad into “guided access mode”, it is easy enough to insure, when the test delivery app begins, that this has been done.   My code looks like this:

isGuidedAccessBOOL = UIAccessibilityIsGuidedAccessEnabled();
if (!isGuidedAccessBOOL) {
  UIAlertView *alertNOHS = [[UIAlertView alloc]
            initWithTitle:@”High Stakes Warning!”
               message:[NSString stringWithFormat:@”Guided Access NOT enabled; No Access to HS Tests!”]
[alertNOHS show];

This warning, and then not showing any assessments flagged for “high stakes” as available to the user (but leaving such things as study materials, diagnostics and quizes available), along with other measures described above (e.g. proctor-provided “unlock” code, enforcing a test window and comprehensive assessment event logging) provides a reasonable approach to locking down an iPad-delivered exam in a proctored environment.

(A future post will include a prototype screen shot of the “Roving Proctor” app to allow a an individual proctor to roam multiple classrooms or a large area while keeping an “eye” on students not presently in line-of-site.)

Documentation on Guided access: https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/#documentation/UIKit/Reference/UIKitFunctionReference/Reference/reference.html%23//apple_ref/c/func/UIAccessibilityIsGuidedAccessEnabled

2 Comments on “iPads for Assessment: Guided Access”

  1. […] post provides an alternative to the earlier post about using Guided Access (in iOS) to provide some level of security in a test delivery app. It has […]

  2. A great, and related, answer on StackOverflow — how to enable notification of a change in GA state. See http://stackoverflow.com/questions/12663481/detect-or-react-to-guided-access

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