As an OWL System Administrator, you may be asking 'What group do I use when I'm creating users?' Should a certain person be an Instructor? a Rater? a Proctor? all three? This article will help you make that selection and explain why it is important.
What Is An OWL Group?
The user's interface and their interaction with the test management system is very different depending on what group you assign. As you move through the testing life cycle – creating tests, delivering tests, taking tests, rating tests, reporting results – OWL adapts to accommodate the specific user's needs at each stage. In other words, the user interface is limited to the menus and functions necessary to complete the tasks specific to their role. In the simplest case, a one-time test taker will only have access to the assignment for which they are registered. When they use a one-time code to log into the system, they will be launched directly into the assignment associated with that code. On the other hand, a Rater who has been assigned a blind pool of test responses to evaluate, will be presented with an interface that allows them to view a response from the blind pool. As a System Administrator, you are seeing all available functions, options and permissions for your domain. As you would undoubtedly agree, not all users should have such unfettered access.
Why Are Groups Important?
Because an individual may fill several roles in your organization, OWL can accommodate them by allowing you to select multiple groups for a user. For example, often teachers are also raters for other classes. In this case, both groups are checked for their OWL account. This feature may tempt you to assign each person on your team as many functions as possible; however, we caution against this approach. Correctly defining a user's group is one of the best ways to ensure data integrity, maintain test security, and encourage user success.
Data Integrity – The structure of your OWL domain is an important consideration for reporting and long term management of the assessment cycle for your organization. The way you setup your OWL domain will help facilitate reporting. Having one person ultimately responsible for establishing classes and users is the best way to establish an organized approach. For users who employ data integration, it becomes an even more important to ensure that user id's are established in a correct and compatible way.
Test Security – An important function of the users' group assignment is to define what modules of the software they can access. It also refines that user's permissions or ability to create and edit content within those modules. For example, an Instructor can only modify the content that they create or that has been shared with them. They can also only assign tests to and review results of classes that include them on the roster.
User Success – The OWL Test Management System looks very different to a user based upon their group assignment. We have simplified the interface as much as possible to the limits of the user’s access. Giving a novice user access to superfluous menus can confuse them and impede their adoption of the new technology.
Need More Help?
Our suggestion is to create a separate account for yourself using each one of the roles. This way you will know exactly what your users are seeing when they ask you a question. It is also a great way to test that your assignments are functioning in the way you intend.