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Nov 15, 2017
13 min read
Devices used for assessments must have the ability to lock itself to the assessment app. It must be able to refrain the test takers from switching between apps, invalidating test results, accessing features such as Spell-check, Dictionary Lookup, Auto-Correct, Smart Punctuation and so on. The necessary requirements can be met with the help of methods such as,
Take a quick look at the table to understand the requirements for each of the methods.
|Features||Single App Mode||Autonomous Single App Mode||Guided Access Mode||Assessment mode (Automatic Assessment Configuration)|
|Do devices require an MDM to be installed in it?||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Do devices require Supervision?||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Is app support necessary for the implementation?||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Do devices require additional restrictions during setup?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|How to Exit from the mode?||Requires an MDM/Apple Configurator2||Requires an MDM/Apple Configurator2||Enter the exit passcode/Drain device battery completely and reboot after connecting to power.||App releases itself after the user signs out/Drain device battery completely and reboot after connecting to power|
|Typical Scenario||Customer interaction with kiosk||Patients check in with the doctor||Focus a child’s attention to a single app.||Students taking summative tests|
These methods are quite simple, yet it can be challenging to narrow them down to your requirements. This is a quick guide to learn and evaluate Single App Mode vs Autonomous Single App Mode vs Guided Access Mode vs Automatic Assessment Configuration. Here is a brief description of each of the assessment methods.
Single app mode (SAM) is a feature that locks devices to a single app and let users focus their devices to perform some specific task. The selected app automatically launches itself and runs in the foreground.
Single App Mode can be enabled by either one of the following methods:
Apple Configurator is an application developed by Apple Inc. that allows administrators of business and educational organizations to configure profiles and settings on iPads and iPhones by using a USB connection. It is not a scalable option. To enable and disable single app mode using configurator the devices have to be physically connected to the Mac which is a mundane and time-consuming process. This makes it a poor choice for devices in different locations.
You can connect your device to a Mac, use Apple Configurator to place your iOS/iPadOS device in supervised mode, and follow the below steps to enable the single app mode.
Under “Accessibility Shortcut”, allow/disallow the following options:
MDM Software allows administrators to enable Single app mode over the air across multiple devices simultaneously. Administrators can enable single app mode remotely at the beginning of the assessment and disable it after the assessment has completed.
You can enforce restrictions by enabling/disabling features including,
You can also choose what can be done when the user triple clicks the home button by enabling/disabling the User Enabled options including,
Suppose that the iPad battery drains completely and the device shuts down. When rebooted, a device that ran in single app mode will re-launch the app and continue running in the same mode.
Once you have completed the steps, your device(s) will enter the single app mode.
You can disable kiosk in 2 ways:
Let’s take a look at how Hexnode MDM makes this work easy for you. Hexnode MDM supports several methods to exit from a kiosk.
This method is ideal if your device isn’t connected to any networks.
Autonomous Single App mode allows an app to lock itself into Single App Mode and release itself from this mode. The device will be locked down to the app when the user signs into the app and released only when the user signs out of the app. No other features are available for user access. Since the session is started and stopped locally on the device, it does not necessarily require an internet connection. The developed iOS apps must be coded to make the API calls in order to support Autonomous Single App Mode.
Once you have completed the steps, your device(s) will enter the Autonomous Single App Mode.
Guided Access Mode is an accessibility feature that allows a user to manually limit a device to a single app. It restricts users from switching between apps, accidentally exiting the app, or returning to the home screens. You can hand over your device without having to worry about another user prying on your personal information. This accessibility feature proves to be useful in different realms such as education, businesses, research, restaurants, etc.
There are two methods to end your guided access session.
Before you start a session,
To end a session, Tap the Home button once and then use your touch id.
Click on the home button thrice and then enter the Guided Access Passcode.
If the user tries to exit the session, a message is displayed to the user informing him to tap the home button three times to exit. If you forget your guided access passcode, wait for the device battery to drain completely. Once you reboot the device after connecting to power, you’ll be redirected to your home screen.
Guided Access requires each device to be configured manually. Also, it does not provide support for restrictions such as Spell-Check, Auto-Correction, Dictionary-Lookup etc. Hence, it is not recommended for summative assessments. Another major drawback is that it can be easily tweaked by triple-tapping the home/side button and guessing the guided access PIN.
Assessment mode (formerly known as Automatic Assessment Configuration (AAC)) enables apps to automatically lock and configure iPads for assessments. It allows assessment developers to build apps that will lock an iPad to single app and invoke restrictions once the user logs in. The feature is also supported on macOS Catalina 10.15.4 or later.
Suppose that you wish to give students a test. You have to restrict students from changing device settings, switching between apps and from using built-in features like Dictionary Definition Lookup, Auto Correct, Spell Checker, Sharing, Predictive Keyboard etc. This requires the iPad to be locked down to a single assessment app.
Assessment mode (Automatic Assessment Configuration) is one of the favored methods for executing assessments on iPad as it does not require any manual interference in configuration or management.
The assessment restrictions enforced by Assessment mode in iOS include
For further protection, you can separately disable other features including Voice Control, VoiceOver, and emoji keyboard which are not automatically disabled by the Assessment mode.
It is advised to ensure that your assessment app provides support for Assessment mode (Automatic Assessment Configuration) by checking with the assessment provider.
You can also configure your iPad for assessment using any of the methods mentioned below:
A Configuration profile is an xml file that enables users to set restrictions for devices. With configuration profiles, administrators can enable additional assessment restrictions including grammar check, shared text, etc. A configuration profile contains settings for wi-fi, Web Clip, email, LDAP, VPN. If you have a large number of devices to deploy, creating a configuration profile would be an ideal option for high stakes assessment activities.