Jul 20, 2016
The following communication was developed to help school and district Technology Coordinators prepare for and administer the 2016-2017 PARCC assessments. Monthly technology updates will include technology information, implementation resources, hot topics, and troubleshooting guidance. Previous Technology Bulletins are stored at http://parcc.pearson.com/bulletins/. The next communication is tentatively scheduled for August 24, 2016.
Important Update: PARCC Technology Requirements
The PARCC Technology Guidelines have been updated in preparation for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 test administrations. Pearson also maintains a product support page for TestNav 8; however, the PARCC Technology Guidelines are the official requirements for PARCC. Below is a list of the changes that are detailed in the newest version of the PARCC Technology Guidelines.
- Added support for Firefox 45 Extended Support Release (ESR) 32-bit
- Added support for Windows touchscreen devices on the TestNav Desktop app
- Updated Content Filter/Firewall Requirements. Additional white-list URLs:
- Updated iPad 2 recommendations
- Updated device readiness recommendations – No longer using SystemCheck
- Updated ProctorCache software
- ChromeOS requirements updated to versions 50+
- iOS requirements updated to iOS versions 9.3+
- Linux requirements updated to Fedora 24 and Ubuntu 16.04
- Removed operating system support for Mac OS X 10.8 and below
- Removed operating system support for Windows 8.0
- Removed browser support for Internet Explorer 11
- Removed browser support for Safari
- Removed browser support for non-ESR versions of Firefox
- Students using assistive technology, such as screen readers, will be required to use browser-based testing during Fall Block 2016 testing. This does not include accessibility features and accommodations, such as text-to-speech or American sign-language, which can continue to be used in the TestNav apps. Pearson is working to support assistive technology in the TestNav Desktop app prior to Spring 2017 testing.
- The Firefox 45 ESR 32-bit (Extended Support Release) browser will be the only supported browser for 2016-2017 test administrations. For instructions and additional information please visit: https://support.assessment.pearson.com/x/6wNgAQ
- Windows 8.1 is still supported, only Windows 8.0 is being removed from the support matrix.
Software Installs: ProctorCache and TestNav App Version Updates
In August, new versions of ProctorCache, TestNav Desktop, and the mobile TestNav apps will be released. These version updates will be required for 2016-2017 testing.
Key updates are being made to the ProctorCache software and the iOS TestNav app. The updated ProctorCache software will allow administrators to precache test content in PearsonAccessnext without requiring the Java plug-in. This means the Google Chrome browser can be used to precache test content, and users will see fewer pop-ups in PearsonAccessnext when performing this action. Additional information regarding the iOS TestNav App can be found below, in the next topic of this bulletin.
iOS TestNav App Updates (Automatic Assessment Configuration & Microphone Use)
An updated iOS TestNav app will be released in August, and two important changes will take effect. Please review the Pearson Technical Bulletin (Upcoming Changes to Testing on iOS) regarding how the changes listed below will impact your school and the appropriate next steps.
- Apple introduced Automatic Assessment Configuration (AAC) with iOS 9.3.2, which affects the setup and sign-in processes for assessments that require kiosk mode. This new feature eliminates the need for Guided Access Mode or other administrative methods of locking down iPads. The TestNav app will now control when the testing device locks by prompting students during their sign-in process. The testing device will automatically unlock when the student either completes the test or logs out of TestNav.
- Pearson has added an “Enable Microphone Permission” prompt in the updated TestNav app for iOS, which appears when you start TestNav for the first time following the update. This is a one-time task, but is required. TestNav will persistently prompt users to enable permission to “use” the microphone prior to navigating to a Sign In page. Follow the on-screen directions to enable the microphone.
What resources are available?
Technical User Guides and Training Modules are the best sources for information:
- PARCC Resource Home Page: http://parcc.pearson.com/
- PARCC Manuals: http://avocet.pearson.com/PARCC/Home#news
- PARCC Web-based Training Modules: https://parcc.tms.pearson.com/
- PARCC Technology Crosswalk: http://avocet.pearson.com/PARCC/Home - 14673
- PARCC TestNav Expected Behaviors: http://avocet.pearson.com/PARCC/Home#15087
What are the technical requirements and where are the setup instructions?
The TestNav 8 system requirements and the technology setup instructions are all available below:
- System Requirements: https://support.assessment.pearson.com/x/HwYcAQ
- Technology Setup: https://parcc.pearson.com/technology-setup/
PARCC Support Center
If you have questions regarding the administration of the PARCC assessments, please contact Pearson’s PARCC Customer Support Center: 1-888-493-9888 (open Monday through Friday, 5:30am to 6:30pm CST) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For state policy questions, please contact your state PARCC contact.