Avant PLACE Assessment Technology Guide

Avant PLACE Docs

Overview

Avant provides web-based language assessments that include one or more of the following elements: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. This document provides technical information relative to computers and networks to help prepare for using one or more of the following assessments and/or instructional tools: Avant STAMP 4S, Avant STAMP 4Se, Avant PLACE, Avant Spanish Heritage Language (SHL) Test, Avant Arabic Proficiency Test (APT), Avant ClassPak.

Note: Ensure this information is distributed to both your network administrator, as well as the person who is responsible for preparation and setup of computers in your lab or testing area.

Networking Requirements

The following section pertains specifically to network setup for the locations where testing will occur.

Client Bandwidth and Domain Names

200 Kbps of available bandwidth per test taker is recommended. Firewalls, Proxy Servers and Content Filters need to be set to NOT proxy, filter or block the Avant domain names on the ports listed below. All inbound and outbound traffic for the applicable domain names shown below must be whitelisted. If your system does not allow whitelisting of domain names, please contact us at support@avantassessment.com.

Your organization's Primary Contact for the Avant Assessment testing will contact the IT department with additional information about which of our products (Avant STAMP 4S, Avant STAMP 4Se, Avant PLACE, Avant Spanish Heritage Language Test (SHL), Avant Arabic Proficiency Test (APT), Avant ClassPak) will be used, and the timeline for testing.

Avant STAMP 4S and Avant STAMP 4Se

  • (TCP 80, 443, 1935) *.avantassessment.com
  • (TCP 80, 443) d2joq6qoyszh6j.cloudfront.net

Avant PLACE

  • (TCP 80, 443, 1935) *.avantassessment.com
  • (TCP 80, 443) d2joq6qoyszh6j.cloudfront.net

Avant APT (Arabic Proficiency Test)

All inbound and outbound traffic for the applicable domain names shown below must be whitelisted. If your system does not allow whitelisting of domain names, please contact us at support@avantassessment.com.

The APT requires inbound and outbound HTTP/HTTPS (TCP 80, 443,1935) for the following domains:

  • *.avantassessment.com (This is our primary application domain)
  • *.google.com (For fonts, analytics and possibly some scripts)
  • *.cloudfront.net (We deliver static files more efficiently to customers using Amazon’s CloudFront service)
  • *.s3.amazonaws.com (For storing audio responses and listening items)
  • ajax.aspnetcdn.com (We load common JavaScript libraries from here)
  • ajax.googleapis.com (We load common JavaScript libraries from here)
  • ssl.google-analytics.com (We use this to track usage data)
  • fonts.googleapis.com (We load common fonts from here)

Avant SHL ( Spanish Heritage Language Test )

  • (TCP 80, 443, 1935) *.avantassessment.com
  • (TCP 80, 443) d2joq6qoyszh6j.cloudfront.net

Avant ClassPak:

  • (TCP 80, 443) classpak.net
  • (TCP 80, 443) quizpak.net
  • (TCP 443, 1935) rtmp1.onlinells.com, rtmp2.onlinells.com

Testing Equipment Preparation

The following information pertains to setup of the computers that will be used for testing.

Supported Browsers

  • Windows - Internet Explorer 9+, Chrome 5+, Safari 4+
  • Mac - Safari 4+, Chrome 5+
  • ChromeOS – Chrome 5+

Additional Requirements

  • Required Equipment: PC, Mac, Chromebook, headset with microphone, keyboard and mouse.

    Chrome browser users: Please note that there is a security feature in Chrome that may block access to the headset microphone used in the Avant Listening and Speaking sections. Please have students click on the “allow” button at the top of the page to activate the headset microphone, so that it will record. If the “allow” button is not clicked, the headset microphone check will fail and the listening and recording sections will not function properly. For more information, please see: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/2693767?p=ib_access_cam_mic&rd=1
  • Pop-ups need to be enabled
  • The selected browser must be set to allow cookies AND allow a Flash plugin to allow connections to outside servers
  • Flash version must be the newest version available.
  • Ensure that computers are not affected by power saving, screen saver, or shutdown processes that may affect test taking
  • Activate the appropriate languages for testing in the corresponding language assessments (Arabic, Chinese or Japanese)

Headset Guidelines

All of Avant´s tests include a Speaking section. Some tests also include a Listening section. For ease of use, we recommend that USB headsets with microphones be used for both of those sections. Other headset and microphone options may work, but may require more preparation and setup.

Headsets need to be plugged in before starting the test and test takers should be instructed on how to use the in-line controls on the headsets (if equipped with them).

Character Activation

Special letter or character-based input activation is required on computers that test takers will use for writing with special input systems. For example, Arabic, Chinese and Japanese all require special systems to be activated in order to write into the text entry fields in the test. For more information, see the Writing Input Guide.

Troubleshooting Recording Issues

All of Avant’s tests include a Speaking section, which relies considerably on both your network resources and workstation setup.

If test takers are unable to record, have “choppy” recordings, or get the “low mic level” messages, try the following:

  • Make sure to use a supported browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Safari)
  • Make sure the headset was plugged in before starting the test
  • Go to the Adobe Flash Player Settings Box and ensure that "Allow" has been selected
  • Make sure that pop-ups are not blocked
  • Refresh/reload the page
  • Check to see if you can record sound in a different application on the computer
  • If using a wireless connection, switch to a wired connection
  • Make sure you have the most recent version of Flash Player
  • Check to see if you have adequate bandwidth
  • If students log in to student accounts on the computers, make sure that the student account for logging into the computer does not have restrictions that would affect recording
  • If only one or two test takers are affected, try a different headset or a different computer

“Netstream” errors may require the assistance of a network administrator to:

  • Windows - Internet Explorer 9+, Chrome 5+, Safari 4+
  • Ensure that access to Avant’s Flash servers is not being blocked (content filter/proxy)
  • Ensure adequate bandwidth for the number of test takers (200 Kbps of available bandwidth per test taker is recommended)

Updated July 2016

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