TechnologyWe Designed Nextera to Keep Technology Out of the Way of a Good Test Experience
Test day is not the time for distractions. That’s doubly true when students are testing online — and the test delivery platform is drawing unnecessary attention to itself with a confusing interface, a glitch-filled performance, or worse — a system crash. Nextera®, our next-generation, online assessment delivery platform, both high-tech and low-key in all the best ways, is designed to anticipate issues and activate solutions to deliver an uneventful testing experience.
To eliminate system overload worries, we built Nextera to support many multiples of the total maximum number of estimated users logged in at any given time. And to hold us to that standard, credible third parties regularly perform load testing to verify Nextera’s capacity.
As an additional boost to Nextera’s scalability, we give each client dedicated space to keep each client’s students separated from each other — eliminating potential issues when test schedules overlap.
Protection Against Connectivity Issues and Data Loss
Your students’ test responses are too important to leave to chance on your local network. They’re also too important to be left to the sudden loss of internet connectivity. That’s why during testing, we store student data in real time on whatever device they are using to take the test. In the event of an internet failure, the student simply continues testing offline without interruption — and their answers automatically upload to our database when the internet connection is restored. As an added safeguard, we use local caching built right into each student’s secure browser applications to continue testing uninterrupted even when there are internet interruptions.
Preemptive Measures Against Cyber-Attacks
While cyber-attacks are not 100 percent avoidable, Nextera’s sophisticated distributed security architecture immediately detects and avoids most of them. In the rare event that there is an attack on your school’s network, internet access can be shut down without interrupting students’ testing. They can continue to test offline, and when safe internet connectivity is restored, Nextera will automatically upload their responses to our database.
Superior User Experience
Nextera features a multi-tiered, role-based design that allows each user access to the tools appropriate for their role. We built both the Nexteral Admin portal and the Student Testing portal on the results of educator surveys and student focus groups, and we continually refine Nextera based on user feedback. Our goal is to make our technology seamless and invisible, so educators and administrators can make quick work of setup and students can focus on the test without being distracted by the technology that powers it.
Combining cutting-edge technology insights with decades of test delivery success into an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, Nextera’s end-to-end assessment platform integrates a content management system, student test interface, administrative portal, and hand-scoring capabilities.
Nextera offers an advanced testing interface with a wide range of item types, student testing tools, and accommodations, including technology-enhanced item types that integrate directly into our scoring applications.
- Includes practice tests to train students and teachers on the use of all tools and interactions
- Features a bank of 26 technology-enhanced items types, as well as a unique audio item type that allows students to respond with, and be scored on, recorded voice responses
- Supports testing on such mobile devices as Chromebook, iPads, and Windows-based tablets
- Incorporates a multi-tiered, role-based design for powerful administrative capabilities that allows each user access to the tools appropriate for their role, from setting up test windows, monitoring assessments in real time, ordering materials, accessing training and running reports.
- Provides easy interoperability and item portability that allows you to import third party items into the system’s item bank and export any item from our item bank into other systems
Using the Nextera Admin portal, educators and administrators can:
- Set up test windows
- Monitor assessments in real time
- Order materials
- Access training
- Run reports
Nextera has been awarded the APIP v1 Content Package Conformance and the APIP v1 Delivery Conformance by the QTI (Question and Test Interoperability)/APIP (Accessible Protocol) Alliance, a subgroup of the IMS Global Learning Consortium. Questar was the first company in the educational assessment industry to have applied for and received both ISM APIP certifications for the system’s number of student accommodations and its level of compatibility with third-party test items.