OWL Blog

Eliminating "exclusive control" of the Microphone

Some Windows users have recently encountered instances where applications, such as Skype, may default to taking "exclusive control" of the computer's microphone. This can interfere with the OWL Test Management System's ability to capture recorded responses. This step has been added to the System Check Troubleshooting recommendations, but we also want to highlight it here because it is a new consideration.

This behavior can be disabled for the Test Taker's Windows operating system by doing the following:

  1. Go to Windows Settings, by clicking the gear from the start menu
  2. Select the System settings
  3. Select Sound from the left menu
  4. Click Device properties under Input
  5. Click on the Advanced tab
  6. Uncheck the boxes under Exclusive Mode





Other Considerations for Preparing Test Takers

Step 1: Be Sure the Computer is Ready

First and foremost, students should prepare their system for taking their OWL Test. Most importantly, they should close or disable all other programs especially those that might capture their microphone. Then the test taker should start with a fresh browsing session.  

 Pretest Checklist

 Getting Started Video



Step 2: Successfully Complete the System Check

Test takers MUST successfully complete an system check of their microphone and speakers. If this cannot be accomplished the System Check Troubleshooting steps should be followed.


 System Check Troubleshooting