Using the Testing Shell to automate the delivery of the Accuplacer Placement Tests has been an extremely useful and powerful system. The system performs the following tasks:
- Gathers a student’s personal info and stores it into a local database
- Asks a series of background questions used by Institutional Research for their reports. These background question responses are also stored in a local database.
- Automatically logs into the Accuplacer website and loads their site with the already entered personal data. Tests are are then presented to the student.
- After completing the exams, their results are obtained and loaded into the local database.
- A printout is generated that displays the student’s results and provides course advising suggestions.
Without such a shell program, it would be very hard to manually administer testing especially to a room of 10 or more students.
Configuring Internet Explorer 11
To achieve this level of automation, Internet Explorer 11 needs to be configured properly. The standard IE 11 configuration is not compatible with the shell.
Here’s what must be done:
- Disable any and all Internet Explorer Add ons. It’s important to have every CPU cycle dedicated to the delivery of the placement test.
- Very Important: ALLOW POPUPS!
- Very Important: Disable Protected Mode on all Security Zones. This includes “Internet”, “Intranet”, and “Trusted Sites”. See Security Zone Image for more help with this.
- Very Important: Set the Security Levels for each Security Zone to their lowest levels. See Security Zone Image for more help with this.
- Try not to run any antivirus software. Remember to improve the testing experience every CPU cycle needs to be dedicated to testing and not any background scanning and such that antivirus programs do.
Security Zone Image
Please remember that an improperly configured Internet Explorer 11 will cause the shell to not function and will cause extreme angst on the part of both staff and prospective students. It presents STCC in a bad light since, after all, we are supposed to be a technical school.