Use Chromebooks for Student Assessments

Student taking an exam on a Chromebook

Chromebooks are a secure platform for administering student assessments, and when setup properly, these devices meet K-12 education testing standards. With Chromebooks, you can disable students’ access to browse the web during an exam in addition to disabling external storage, screenshots, and the ability to print.

Both PARCC (see TestNav) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment consortia have verified that Chromebooks meet hardware and operating system requirements for online student assessments.

Setup

Assessments can be delivered on Chromebooks in any of these three ways:

  • Scenario 1: The exam is delivered on Chromebooks set up as a "Single App Kiosk". In this method, the testing provider creates the exam as a Chrome kiosk app, and this exam app runs in a full screen mode.
  • Scenario 2: A testing provider sets up a new domain specifically for taking the test, and the student takes the assessment on the provider-issued account.
  • Scenario 3: A school delivers the test through Public Session Kiosks.

Pre-requirements:

  1. Get Chrome management for each Chrome device.
  2. Enroll each device in your school’s domain.

With each method, the administrator can configure the device for secure student testing.

Scenario 1: School sets up Chromebook to run as a Single App Kiosk running the exam app

Requirement: You need to have the exam available as a Chrome kiosk app. For more information, see Tutorial: Create a Chrome kiosk app.
  1. Go to Chrome Management > Device Settings > Kiosk Settings > Single App Kiosk, select Allow Single App Kiosk for devices in the organizational unit you select.
  2. Click Manage Kiosk Applications. In the dialog that appears select the exam kiosk app you want to use. You can search for it on the Chrome Web Store, or manually install it if you have the app ID and URL by selecting Specify a Custom App.
  3. Make sure the devices you want to administer the exam with are under the organizational unit you select for the kiosk app.

Auto-Login Setting for a Kiosk App

  • If Auto-Login to Kiosk App is not configured, then the student will see a menu of kiosk apps in the system tray on the login screen. The student needs to select the appropriate kiosk app to launch it in order to take the test. After the test is complete, the student can exit the kiosk app and log back into a user session.
  • If Auto-Login to Kiosk App is configured, when the device next boots, it will immediately load the kiosk app.

For help setting up Kiosk Settings, see Manage device settings.

Scenario 2: Testing provider sets up student accounts for assessment

Steps for the provider:

  1. The testing provider creates a separate domain, owned by the provider.
  2. The provider creates student accounts.
  3. Under Chrome Management > User Settings, set the following:
    Setting How to configure
    Allowed Apps and Extensions Under Allowed Apps and Extensions, select Block all apps and extensions except the ones I allow.
    Incognito Mode Select Disallow Incognito Mode.
    Screenshot Select Disable Screenshot.
    URL Blocking Set up a URL Blacklist to block all URLs with a wildcard (*). And set a URL Blacklist Exception for the assessment URL and any other tools the student is allowed access. Learn more.
    Printing Select Disable printing.
    External Storage Devices Select Disallow external storage devices.

    See Chrome policies for users for more details on each setting.

Steps for the school’s IT administrator:

  1. Sign in to the school’s Admin console used to manage the students’ Chromebooks.
  2. Go to Chrome Management > Device Settings and select the organizational unit your students' devices are in.
  3. Under User Data select Erase all local user data to erase the student's data from the device when they sign out. This is recommended for accounts specifically made for testing.
  4. (Optional step) Under Sign-in Restriction, enter “*@assessmentdomain.com” to Restrict sign-in to list of users. This will restrict those who can sign in to the device as only belonging to the assessment domain. Learn more.

Steps for the student:

  1. Sign in to the Chromebook using the credentials given by the provider.
  2. Take the test.
  3. Sign out once the test is complete. On signing out, the device is wiped.

More security information:

In addition to Chrome’s native management capabilities listed above, some assessment providers may also choose to deploy their own Chrome Extensions to add additional controls, such as tools to verify who’s logged into the device and additional reporting.

Scenario 3: School sets up Public Sessions with student devices

This requires the school to have Chrome devices enrolled in their domain.

  1. In the Admin console, put the students taking the assessment into their own organizational unit (OU).
  2. Configure a student’s device for public sessions by placing it into the OU for Public Sessions (see step 6 in Public Sessions help article).
  3. Under Chrome Management > Public Session Settings, set the following:
    Setting How to configure
    Maximum User Session Length Set the Maximum User Session Length for the amount of time you’re allowing for the exam. This setting is optional, as many assessments or exam proctors will monitor the length of time a student has to take the exam.
    Logout on Idle after Change the Logout on Idle after time to at least 15 minutes, as the default is set to 5 minutes.
    Allowed Apps and Extensions Under Allowed Apps and Extensions, select Block all apps and extensions except the ones I allow.
    Incognito Mode Select Disallow Incognito Mode.
    Screenshot Select Disable Screenshot.
    URL Blocking Set up a URL Blacklist to block all URLs with a wildcard (*). And set a URL Blacklist Exception for the assessment URL and any other tools the student is allowed access. Learn more.
    Printing Select Disable printing.
    External Storage Devices Select Disallow external storage devices.

    See Manage Public Sessions and Chrome policies for users for more details on each setting.

  4. Under Chrome Management > User settings, for the organizational unit for the student’s regular account, put the assessment URL in the URL Blacklist.
  5. Have students sign in under the Public Session to take the test.
  6. When the student is finished with the exam and exits the Public Session, the session is wiped from the device.

Resources