Technical requirements

ACER's online assessment and reporting system is a web-based platform that does not require you to install any software. The minimum technical requirements to access and effectively utilise the system are described below, along with troubleshooting tips.

The following topics are covered in this article:

To avoid or minimise problems, please ensure that your technical infrastructure (including network, devices and browsers) meets or exceeds these requirements.

Computers and devices

Minimum browser resolution: 1024 width × 768 height

The system is compatible with the following computers and devices:

  • Desktop PC
  • Laptop PC
  • Apple Mac
  • Google Chromebook
  • iPad and other tablet device with minimum 10” display.

iPads and other tablet devices must also meet the minimum browser resolution (above) and be held in landscape orientation.

If the above requirements are not met, users may experience display issues.

Internet and network

The recommended DSL or cable Internet connection bandwidth should provide 256 kilobytes per second (KB/s) per concurrent test-taking user. For example, a group of 30 users will require 30 x 256 KB/s = 7.68MB/s.

Note that the speed of the network connection will fluctuate according to the number of concurrent users. Please ensure that the network connection will adequately support the required number of students testing simultaneously.

The following domains must be whitelisted/permitted by the network firewall or security settings:

  • acer.org/
  • acer.edu.au/
  • delivery.acer.edu.au/
  • delivery2.acer.edu.au/

Wireless internet connections

Response/loading times may increase if large numbers of users are sharing a single wireless internet connection, even when the overall network speed is sufficient.

If this negatively affects your use of the online assessments, it may be necessary to reduce the number of students on the wireless connection by staggering assessment times, or by using a combination of wireless and cabled internet connections.

Web browsers

The latest version of the following web browsers are compatible:

  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox
  • Safari

Browser exam

ACER’s automated browser exam is intended to help quickly identify potential issues that may affect your ability to administer the online assessments.

Browser exam URL: https://oars.acer.edu.au/browserexam/#/

The browser exam provides diagnostic information specific to the time the page is accessed and to the network, device and browser used. It is recommended that you run the browser exam from a student computer or device. Note that the recommendations provided are based on your internet bandwidth at the time the browser exam is run.

Browser settings and features

Cookies and JavaScript must be enabled within students’ browsers in order to administer ACER’s online assessments. This can be done from within the browser's Settings or Options menu.

The platform does not ‘lock’ the browser or restrict access to other websites, nor does it block the use of browser extensions or plug-ins that may assist students in responding to test questions.

Students’ screens should be monitored by a teacher as part of test invigilation.

Troubleshooting

Follow the simple troubleshooting steps below to quickly resolve some common problems, such as slow response times, display or functionality issues. These may work individually or in combination, so it is important to try all of the steps if problems persist.

  • Run the browser exam on the student’s device to immediately identify possible causes of the problem.
  • End the session (https://oars.acer.edu.au/logout) and log in again.
  • Perform a ‘hard refresh’ of the browser.
    • Windows: CTRL + F5
    • Mac/Apple: CMD ⌘ + SHIFT + R
  • Clear browser cache, close the browser and re-open.
    • Windows: CTRL + SHIFT + DEL
    • Mac/Apple: CMD ⌘ + SHIFT + DEL
    • Or open the browser Settings or Options menu and select Clear browsing data/history.
  • Enable cookies from the browser Settings or Options menu.
  • Load the page in a different web browser.
  • Load the page on a different device.
  • Shut down and restart the device.
  • Reduce the number of students testing simultaneously, especially if sharing a single wireless internet connection.
  • Stagger student logins to reduce the connection load on the network. (The bandwidth required for the student login process is greater than that required to administer the tests.)

 

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