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Diploma exam system crashes; thousands of Alberta students affected
2015-01-23 04:57:02点击:
摘要: EDMONTON — Students from across the province slated to write their English Language Arts diploma online suffered a set-back due to a server malfunction Tuesday morning. The system that went down is called QuestA+. Its described as “a secure Alberta Education portal that connects students to their online diploma exams.” According to a spokesperson with Alberta Education, roughly one-third of the 25,100 students registered for Tuesdays exam were set to use the QuestA+ system. Thats ...

EDMONTON — Students from across the province slated to write their English Language Arts diploma online suffered a set-back due to a server malfunction Tuesday morning.

The system that went down is called QuestA+. Its described as “a secure Alberta Education portal that connects students to their online diploma exams.”


According to a spokesperson with Alberta Education, roughly one-third of the 25,100 students registered for Tuesdays exam were set to use the QuestA+ system. Thats an increase of about 15 per cent over last year.

“The increased load caused the server to crash and schools to lose access across the province,” said Tamara Magnan on behalf of Alberta Education.

She added that students who lost writing time during their exam were given extra time to complete the exam. Some school officials, however, are concerned about the validity of the tests now.

“We really believe that the technology issues today really changed the testing conditions. It was not a fair environment,” said Lori Nagy, spokesperson for Edmonton Catholic Schools.

Nagy added that at one school, “staff really had a difficult time knowing how to proceed” when the system went down. So students were still writing five-and-a-half hours after the start of the exam.

Diplomas are worth 50 per cent of a students final mark; the other 50 per cent is the school-awarded mark. Edmonton Catholic Schools has requested that Alberta Education use the higher of the two marks because of Tuesdays glitch.

READ MORE: Alberta school boards vote to reduce value of diploma exams

“It was a very frustrating morning for students who were already anxious writing the diploma exam and then having the system fail several times. Thats why we do believe our students could be penalized and it could affect their final mark,” Nagy said.

The server outage affected 260 students in three Edmonton Catholic high schools and up to 1,500 students in Edmonton Public Schools. Calgarys Catholic school system was hit hardest, though, with up to 2,000 students having to write their exams the old-fashioned way.

Alberta students are scheduled to write their Social Studies diplomas on Wednesday. Conversations are still underway between Alberta Education and the various school districts. But for now, it appears as though Calgary students will not be using the QuestA+ system for the exam.

“We were informed by Alberta Education that they are confident there wont be any server issues for tomorrows Social Studies exams because Calgary Board of Education students have been taken off the QuestA+ system,” said Raquel Maurier with Edmonton Public Schools. “So that will reduce the volume/traffic on the server.”

UPDATE: On Wednesday, an Alberta Education spokesperson said “the Social Studies exam using QuestA+ ran smoothly,” and it is not expecting any more issues.  

© Shaw Media, 2015


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