Online Testing Best Practices

This article serves to provide users with some Do's and Don'ts of Online Testing as well as provide some troubleshooting tips for many common issues.


  • At the beginning of the school year, decide if student passwords will be set up manually, imported, using LDAP Single Sign On, or Google Single Sign On.
  • Manage Student Portal Access at least a month prior to a testing window and have a clear plan for how to communicate student usernames and passwords (Hint: try our form letters or labels)
  • Setup your Online Testing Window (Add Roster) before the day of the test and verify student portal access
  • Give students the opportunity to navigate the portal,  try out online testing with a fun or easy test first, so they can learn the platform, and change their temporary password (if necessary).

  • Have a clear plan for how to communicate student usernames and passwords if not using SSO/LDAP  (Hint: try our label maker)

  • Use our Online testing resources


  • Wait until students are signed on to their portals to set up your roster
  • Have the students’ first experience with online testing be a high stakes test
  • Hope that students know their username & password
  • Keep working at it to the point of frustration

For Students Grade 2 and Below:


  • Make sure there is clear communication to teachers in 2nd grade and below on the protocol for teachers reading items to students.

  • If possible have teachers prompt/set passwords for students 2nd grade and below (if no LDAP).

  • Test in as small a group as possible with the teacher leading students through the test.


  • Expect young students to take the test like older students
  • Use a long, complicated default password
  • Bring all students to the computer lab.

Troubleshooting Tips:

Permissions and Configurations

Common Problem: I want to assign/enable a test for online testing and don’t see it as an option.

Solution/Tip: Within an assessment under Administration, you expect to see “Online Testing”.

Check permissions:


Online Testing Administration- YES

Online Testing - Allow use of Locked Browser (if district is using Locked Browser)- YES

Online Testing - Manage Pending Student Requests (if using Activate)- YES

**IF you are a brand new district to Illuminate- Call/Email to verify your online testing configuration has been enabled.

Creating An Assessment

Common Problem: I created an assessment but the students can’t see the questions.

Solution/Tip: If the teacher assigned a manual/hybrid assessment, the students will need a digital copy of the assessment to know how to answer and take the assessment.

See Create a Hybrid Assessment lesson to enable the “Inline Booklet” under the Administration Options for Online Testing.

If the teacher assigned an Itembank assessment, the students will see both items/questions and answer choices accordingly.

Check the assessment type in List Assessments, or when in an assessment under Administration select Online Testing. There is a preview button to see how the assessment displays for students, like taking the test.

Enable/Assign an Assessment for Online Testing

Common Problem: I can’t see students to assign this test to!

Solution/Tip: Not typically for teachers, mostly for non-teacher users such as Admin, sometimes don’t have the same filters as teacher-users (due to permissions) in order to select students accordingly.

Permissions for users who do NOT have a roster, typically include all of the following:

General Permissions- NO

Site Accessibility and Visibility-YES

Enable Viewing of Other Users’ Data-YES

Common Problem: When I am building a roster, there is a banner saying “Media Format: Paper Only”. What does that mean?

Solution/Tip: This warning communicates that the assessment cannot be taken online.

If the assessment is made in the itembank with items that are Technology-Enhanced or not made for paper/pencil support this warning will show up. It will NOT hinder them from trying to administer it online however, just warn them.

Take a look at the assessment type using the “preview mode” to view the items in the assessment. Usually you can see which items would not be able to be taken on a paper/pencil test.

Common Problem: Should I select sections or students if I just want all students?


Option A If a user selects a section then all students within the section, the online roster will be as up to date as rostering is being provided. Meaning the test was assigned yesterday, but Johnny came into the section/class today. Because the section and all students was selected, Johnny is automatically added to the roster.

Option B If a user selects a section and individual students, the roster will only be those selected.

Depending on the testing scenario, Option A is usually the best practice!