In a typical live-in-the-app assignment, students use Microsoft Office applications to complete a project. A computer then scores their work. Although not a new concept, we wanted to take this feature to the next level by solving common user frustrations. For example, in a typical project, students must download and upload project files. This often creates a problem where students mismanage their files and have to start the entire project again. Some live project systems only support a very specific Microsoft Office version, limiting who can use their systems. Additionally, projects are often a simple task list that does not require critical and creative thinking. While designing Office Pro Live Projects, we wanted to make the learning experience better for your students.
Using Live Project Key Features
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Projects
The current version of TestOut Office Pro Live Projects provides Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint assignments. There are three different projects for each application. Each project covers multiple course sections and increases in complexity.
Support for Multiple Microsoft Office Versions
TestOut Live Projects function on multiple installed versions of Microsoft Office, from Office 2010 SP2 to Office 2019 and Office 365.
One-click Project Launch
A single click within LabSim launches a project file with the correct application. There is no need to download a file to start a project.
Secure Cloud Storage
Clicking Save within the Office application saves a student’s work to the cloud, eliminating the possibility of losing files or progress. This also means that students can work on their projects using any computer that has Microsoft Office installed. They can start a project in class and resume their work at home!
Single-click Scoring and Remediation
Simple one-click assignment submission provides instantaneous scoring and remediation. There is no need to search for and upload a file to score a project.
There are many ways to complete a task within Office applications. We only grade on the final result of student work, allowing for multiple paths to completion (e.g., shortcuts, hot keys) and eliminating incorrect grading based on the method of completion.
In most projects, students have the freedom to personalize projects with their own selection of fonts, colors, and styles while still maintaining accurate grading.
After students submit assignments, instructors and students can review their work.
Live Project files are stored in our Cloud server and students cannot upload locally saved files, so there is no way for them to submit someone else’s work. Each document has a unique and hidden ID that ties student work to their LabSim credentials. When cheating is detected, we notify students, so you don’t need to confront them directly.
What computer systems do Live Projects work on?
Live Projects work on any PC or Mac that has the full version of Office installed, Office 2010 and newer. They do not work with the online version of Office or the app version on Chromebooks and mobile devices.
Can I create a custom exam using Live Projects?
No. Live Projects are provided as a summative assignment at the end of each Office application chapter. These are meant as a stand alone assignment.
How often will TestOut update these projects?
TestOut will evaluate Live Projects to ensure functionality and student success. The projects are changed as needed to ensure excellent student experiences.
Can students or instructors save a project file on a local computer?
Students can save the file on a local computer, but this action will disconnect their live projects from the TestOut Cloud Server. As a result, student work cannot be scored correctly. However, it is safe to save a file on a local computer after their projects are completed and scored.
What happens to the project file if the Internet goes out?
If the Internet goes out, unsaved work will not be saved to the Cloud server. We encourage students to save their work between tasks, so that they can restart the project where they left off. Auto-saving is not currently supported. Students may save a copy to their local computers if they lose connectivity and manually submit projects to TestOut for scoring.
Can students work on a project in multiple sessions?
Yes. Students can start a project, save it, and return on any computer with
Microsoft Office installed and complete the work on their own schedule.
Can students fix mistakes and re-submit after their projects are scored?
No. Students can review the work they have completed, but they must restart a project if they wish to resubmit work.
How will instructors see the completed assignments?
Instructors can select individual student scores from the class gradebook and review the submitted student assignment. This is especially helpful when a score is disputed to evaluate the steps a student performed.
How is student cheating addressed in Live Projects?
All project files are stored on TestOut’s secure cloud servers. Students can not manually upload a document that contains work that they did not complete. Instructors may download student documents and compare them to their classmates.
What happens when Microsoft makes an update to the installed Office version?
Live Projects scoring works on a submitted document, and not a specific completion path. This means that even if Microsoft changes some features, the document will grade accurately. The format of Microsoft Office documents have been stable for many years.