Saturday, 29 October 2016

Setup solution: Chromebooks for exams

The JCQ (UK) requires that if a student has exams access arrangements to use a laptop, then it should not have access to the internet. With Chromebooks there's a variety of ways in getting round this normally using a kiosk app. It's still a little bit of a grey area though, and although you can completely restrict access to other websites and apps, a lot of the solutions still required using an online app, site or tool.

The amazing Dean Stokes came up with a great solution in this blog post, but many of the schools that I work with wanted something that simply existed on the device that could be printed immediately. There are a few Chrome App notepads that have offline editing mode, but a lot required a sign in and none seemed fully fit for purpose.

I then remembered, that you can launch a simple, editable html file with a URL. No need for a web connection. No sign in. Simple.

Copy this into a new tab to see: data:text/html, <html contenteditable>

So what I've come up with is really simple to use solution that will easily meet the needs of examiners, exams officers and students. Here is a setup guide and a video (6 minutes) below:

The setup guide includes 2 other versions with a bit of formatting and input fields that you may find useful. If you have a basic knowledge of html, you could customise your exam session however you wanted!
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  1. Great solution Oli. I'll pass it onto a number of schools that been asking for exactly this requirement. I had a go at this myself a few months back but hit a brick wall trying to use an app for the editing. The HTML solution is very elegant and could be taken in a number of directions. Wish I'd thought of it myself!

  2. Hi there, looking for a solution like this. How does the save work? I'd be concerned about someone losing all their work mid-exam.

  3. Hi Oli, hitting a bit of a problem (which I also noticed in your video): the Google Admin Console does not allow you to save using those particular html codes in the 'startup' and 'blacklist exception' fields as it complains that they're not actual html links? Is there something I'm missing? Thanks, Steve

  4. Hi, here is a purpose built solution for this issue

    100% locked down Chromebooks, with exams converted to Docs and integrated with Google Classroom.

  5. I can't set the Homepage URL because Google says it's an invalid URL. HELP!