Triton Data Collection System


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A complete description of Triton, a clicker based data collection system designed for large scale assessments and evaluations.

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Triton Data Collection System

  1. 1. Traditionally, two methods exist for test administration: paper and computer-based testing. Paper is scalable and cost effective, but requires manual security checkpoints and a validation process. Public evidence of test irregularities on a broad scale in as many as a dozen locations across the country has eroded confidence in paper-based testing results, heightening concerns over test security. Computer-based testing addresses some of the concerns, but is limited by scalability, cost constraints and network reliability. Several states that have already implemented computer- based tests have incurred widespread technical failures and interruptions, invalidating tests results and creating apprehension over infrastructure preparedness. Turning Technologies, the acknowledged leader in audience and student response systems, identified the growing need for a data collection system that addresses reliability and security concerns, and bridges the gap between paper and computer-based testing. The company conducted extensive research prioritizing the many issues plaguing traditional testing environments, including security violations, scanning errors, prolonged waiting periods for results and a desire to “go green.” In addition, it was apparent that institutions were struggling to adapt facilities and find funding to implement reliable computer-based testing systems. Turning Technologies has spent more than two years researching, field-testing and working with partners to adapt the company’s patented data collection protocols to create a system that applies the best of paper and computer-based testing, while improving the reliability of both methods. Leveraging existing technology, Turning Technologies embarked on the development of the Triton Data Collection System to resolve recognized testing issues. Triton is designed to meet market needs from everyday formative assessments through enterprise-wide standardized exams, evaluations and certification testing. What is Triton Data Collection System? Triton from Turning Technologies is a highly secure, low to no bandwidth data collection system that combines the front-end ease of paper testing with the back-end ease of computer-based testing. Utilizing current test booklets, participants enter and submit test answers via ResponseCard NXT clicker with Turning’s patented, secure radio frequency (RF) data transfer technology. The Proctor Application is stored on a single, USB Triton Receiver for simple plug and play technology, eliminating the need for IT setup. Collected data is backed up and stored in three locations, including a central administration Triton Web portal that manages all testing elements. The system replaces paper bubble sheets with ResponseCard NXT clickers, offering immediate data collection via a secure, closed radio frequency network. Triton provides the ability to control the test environment, delivering test security, standardization of test administration and on-demand results.
  2. 2. Triton offers the following benefits: Reliability Triton creates a secure sub-network that does not require an internet connection for test administration, ideal for low to no bandwidth environments. Since the system performs without reliance on an external network or internet availability, potential interruptions due to inadequate bandwidth or network instability are eliminated. With the replacement of bubble answer sheets, Triton provides advantages over the reliability of paper testing commonly affected by scan read errors, multiple marks and paper misalignment during processing. In its history of usage, Triton has experienced a 100% success rate in data collection and transfer with 100% accuracy of item response data. No participant data has ever been lost. Both proctors and participants provided positive endorsements of the solution and comparability studies revealed no statistical difference between paper testing and clicker testing. Security Triton contains multiple layers of security designed to never lose or compromise collected data. Response data is encrypted at all points and is backed up on the ResponseCard NXT clicker, the Triton Receiver and the Triton Web portal. All ResponseCard NXT clickers and Triton Receivers have a unique device ID that is both visibly printed on the device as well as stored electronically to maximize traceability of data. The final data set is available on Triton Web for secure and electronic scoring or transfer to third party systems. All participant responses and proctor actions are time stamped and irregularity reports can be provided to ensure authentic results without manipulation. Triton uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to ensure the security of the testing data. AES is a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) specification for the encryption of electronic data and is recognized as the industry standard for encryption. The system is also designed to operate and follow regulations involving student record data (FERPA) and commercial best practices with regards to the safeguard and transfer of personally identifiable information. Turning Technologies supports current security best practices and engages in qualified external audits to ensure intellectual property is secure. Cost Savings Triton can significantly reduce the cost of testing per participant and maximize the use of the ResponseCard NXT clicker. Triton is a solution significantly more cost effective than a paper-based answer sheet system. Replacing bubble sheets with Triton greatly reduces setup and post-test processing time, while eliminating processing errors. According to a study conducted by The Assessment Solution Group, delivering a typical 22 item paper‐based exam scored with a scanner costs over $1.50 per exam (assuming labor costs are $15 per hour). Given typical higher education students take five classes per semester where one final and one evaluation are administered (10 bubble sheets total), it can cost an institution with 10,000 students over $150,000 per semester on paper-based tests and evaluations.
  3. 3. Computer-based testing has put pressure on technology personnel and budgets to provide the hardware and environments required for secure and reliable testing. Investments potentially include internal network and external pipeline capacity upgrades, computer station availability, onsite caching servers, lab space and even air conditioning upgrades to handle the increased heat created by a large number of computers running simultaneously. Beyond hardware, software requirements ranging from testing software to firewall upgrades must be implemented to ensure continuous connections are maintained during testing. A Triton implementation can achieve the consistently reliable results required at a fraction of the cost. ResponseCard NXT clickers are compatible with Triton and Turning Technologies existing polling solutions for everyday assessments and interactive presentations. Features such as “offline and online” testing modes and an instantly secure network created with a plug and play, USB Triton Receiver has proven that high quality solutions can come at reasonable costs. Simple Triton is an easy-to-use system for both proctors and participants. The Proctor Application runs from the plug and play, USB Triton Receiver and works on common Windows and Mac operating systems. No software installation is required. After logging in to the software, proctors administer tests with simple prompts to open, start, stop and save. Participants enter answer selections using the ResponseCard NXT clicker. The ResponseCard NXT is a familiar device in which answers are submitted with a press of a button. Participants can easily navigate between questions, change answers and are alerted to unanswered questions. Testing anxiety is reduced with clear test navigation tools and notifications. “Response saved” or “updated” verification messaging means no worries about erasures being misread when scoring. Participants also feel at ease with ResponseCard NXT clickers, often having used the same devices in everyday learning environments. Triton standardizes the testing process for an efficient, effective, concurrent testing environment. Institutions can access publisher assessments or self-created exams can be used. Advanced testing functionality includes:  Supports multiple test versions and multiple question types.  Notifies users of skipped questions with direct link back to skipped questions.  Timer can be displayed on the ResponseCard NXT with “pencils down” stop functionality.  Research-tested clicker navigation for an intuitive, easy-to-use device interface. Independent research shows participants had a strong preference using the ResponseCard clicker method over traditional paper or computer-based testing.
  4. 4. Who is doing it? Turning Technologies’ testing history with Triton expands nationally and includes hundreds of sites with thousands of participants, across multiple markets and states. The overwhelmingly positive experience has solidified the market need for the Turning Technologies’ Triton Data Collection System. The system is a tested solution providing encrypted digital answer submission, redundant backup and immediacy of data transmission, all while being easy-to-use for the participants and proctors. Results indicated:  Proctors are prepared in less than 15 minutes  Participants are prepared in less than 5 minutes by means of a practice exam  100% success rate in data collection and transfer  100% accuracy of item response data  Over 2 million responses captured and submitted for scoring  Users preferred test administration using Triton 3.5 times more than computer-based testing and 9 times more than paper-based testing “Triton allows schools to move students to digitized testing, removes the cost of scanning and utilizes an everyday classroom tool. Triton also eliminates erasure and test security concerns. Schools are looking for cost effective ways to collect various test data and Triton is a viable solution.” - Wendy Zdeb-Roper Executive Director Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals How does it work? Triton Data Collection System is comprised of three components: Triton Web, Triton Receiver with Proctor Application, and the ResponseCard NXT clicker. Triton Web is the starting point for the system where administrators can create custom testing environments including participants, proctors, tests and rules associated with the tests. Test Blueprints allow complete flexibility to include various question types, test versioning and timer options. Scheduling for a classroom, course or program is completed in a few simple clicks. After data is uploaded, Triton Web results are available for viewing and/or easily transferred to third party systems for additional reporting options. Triton Receiver creates a secure sub-network that does not require an internet connection for test administration. The proctor software is preloaded on the USB receiver and utilizes plug and play functionality to run from a PC or Mac computer without installation. Software automatically runs a diagnostic on
  5. 5. the host computer, confirming it is test ready without lengthy processes to prepare computer stations. Triton’s Proctor Application utilizes an intuitive user interface designed to get proctors up and running in 15 minutes or less. The Proctor Application can help train participants by taking a short practice quiz to teach ResponseCard NXT functionality in a few minutes. The practice quiz is a built-in feature of the Proctor Application and has a companion video available. ResponseCard NXT is used by participants to answer test questions. Participant responses are backed up on the ResponseCard and each response is sent to the Triton Receiver via secure radio frequency technology. If an internet connection is available, the data is sent to Triton Web for reporting and is ready for transfer to a third party system. If no connection is available, the data is securely stored and will be uploaded when internet is available. Exams can be scored in two ways:  Tests locally created or containing answer keys can be scored in the system.  Publisher tests are transferred to the publisher for scoring. ResponseCard NXT is a dual performance clicker preloaded with software that enables the device to be used year-round with other Turning Technologies solutions for both formative and summative assessments. Testing Method Comparability While Triton Data Collection System provides an alternative method of testing, comparability studies have verified that there is no statistical difference in results compared to paper-based testing.
  6. 6. Differentiators Triton solves many common issues plaguing traditional testing methods, offering the following differentiating features:  Patented RF technology works in low to no bandwidth environments - internet accessibility is not required for testing.  Triton Web manages participants, proctors, sites and all of test creation and data.  No software installation necessary and no IT setup required.  Digital answer submission eliminates cost and hassle of bubble sheet collection and scanning.  Item response data is encrypted and secure from the point of answer submission until scoring is complete.  Promotes efficiency with on-demand data scoring and reporting within system.  Simple import/export of data and the ability to integrate with any third party system. When every response counts, you can count on Turning Technologies. More Information Turning Technologies is currently exploring additional partnerships and collaborative efforts related to Triton. If you are interested in learning more, please request a meeting. More information can be found at