Wednesday, 23 May 2012

iPads and Secure Online Testing

After a week of investigation and deliberation I came to the conclusion that an app and a case was the only viable solution. Other people where coming up with some frankly odd solutions including purchasing 200 laptops that faculty could book and having them moved from room to room as needed. Changing an Independent Learning Centre that we have at the college into a testing centre and so on.  

The general problem with doing any testing on an iPad is the lock down functionality will not work with the iPad. Every app has to be approved by Apple before it’s added to the app store I've been reading up on this process and it's a very complicated problem. From what I have been reading Apple will not allow any app to disable the home button or have it interact with an app as we require.  

So this leaves a very big gap in the security. The solution I have found is to use a Kiosk App AVD Browse or something similar that locks the software side and then with a special/bespoke case you can block the home button. Something like this iPad enclosures “With the Evolve iPad case, one can decide to have access to the iPad buttons or not by simply adding the custom inserts upon assembly.” It would be a little expensive the App is 7.99 US$ then we would need to have the cases or even have them made but it is possible. There will be other ideas and developments but unless Apple change their minds about the home button a case that blocks the home button is the only solution I can see.  

The ideas that I have thought off and that are mentioned above or that other people have suggested to me are all a; unfeasible b; logistically impossible c; technically impossible d; more expensive or e; all of the reasons mentioned. So that leaves two other alternatives the first to use paper based exams or just do the tests in a none locked-down iPad.  

So what are people’s thoughts?