TO:  Missouri District and District Technology Coordinators
FROM: DRC Customer Support
Date:  September 16, 2020

RE: Annual DRC ACCESS Technology Updates

Each year, DRC releases annual updates for the DRC INSIGHT Online Learning System which includes documentation, user guides, and installation links. This email provides an overview of the technology updates as well as requirements to prepare for the 20-21 ACCESS and WIDA Online Screener administrations.  

DRC INSIGHT Secure Application
The DRC INSIGHT Secure Application is the secure web-browser testing interface installed on each testing device.  For the 2020-2021 administrations, you need to ensure that the application is installed or updated on every student testing device using version 11 prior to testing.  Installers for the DRC INSIGHT Secure Application can be found on WIDA AMS under My Applications > General Information > Technology Downloads.  

If DRC INSIGHT Secure Application is already installed on a Mac or Windows device, you will be prompted for an update upon launch.  If it is already installed on an iPad, the apps will update automatically if they are set to auto update in the COS.

For detailed information regarding the DRC INSIGHT Secure Application, please review the Technology User Guide located in WIDA AMS under My Applications > General Information > Documents.

DRC INSIGHT Network Connectivity
All testing computers should have access to the internet and be able to access the DRC servers.  Each testing program uses its own URLs to communicate from the DRC INSIGHT Software to the DRC Servers.  You will need to allow access the URLs shown below, in the  content filtering systems or other proxy/firewall software that you use locally.  Note: The URLs bolded are new and need to be added to the allow-list of URLs.    This information can also be found in the System Requirements and Testing Information section of the Technology User Guide located in WIDA AMS under My Applications > General Information > Documents.
Central Office Services (formerly known as Device Toolkit)
Central Office Services (COS) is an application that allows you to install, configure, and manage your online testing environment from a central location.  The complete COS application includes a number of functional components including the COS Service Device (COS-SD) Software for Content Management and Content Hosting. The COS application has been updated to improve usability and accessibility as well as include all of the steps for creating a New COS configuration in one window.  These changes have no impact on the pre-existing configurations and testing devices within the site.

 The COS installation steps have changed from the previous year. To install the COS-SD Software (version 4.X), log into WIDA AMS and select My Applications > General Information > Technology Downloads and click the Central Office Services (COS) Installer icons for the relevant platform(s).

Additionally, for the 2020-2021 school year, the following administrations will need to be checked and downloaded under Content Management for each active COS Configuration in COS.  

EWD372 - Sample Item
EWD904 - WIDA ACCESS for ELLs
EWD908 - WIDA Screener Assessment

Detailed information for how to configure, install, manage, and troubleshoot the COS-Service Device, please review the Technology User Guide located in WIDA AMS under My Applications > General Information > Documents. 

System Requirements - COS Service Device CPU Benchmark Ratings
DRC recently enhanced and simplified the processor specifications for COS Service Devices and for testing devices.  DRC now expresses the specifications in terms of a Central Processing Unit (CPU) benchmark rating that assesses overall processor performance.  Prior to this the CPU specifications listed a single Intel processor with a comment of “or equivalent” without any context of that processor’s performance. So it was very difficult to determine what was equivalent.

The CPU benchmark ratings used for the CPU specifications are created by an independent third party, PassMark Software, that uses special software to test and gauge CPU performance benchmarks in a standardized way. The resulting ratings make it easier to understand differences in CPU performance and to set device processing standards.

It is important to note that the device specifications for test devices and COS Service Devices have not changed or increased through the use of CPU benchmark rating. The processors used in 2019-20 System Requirements were used to determine the CPU benchmark ratings in this document. DRC has not changed the system specification for either the testing devices or the COS Service Devices in the 2020-21 academic year.  You do not need to purchase new hardware to meet the specifications.

DRC INSIGHT Portal / WIDA AMS
To assist you with management of the assessments, your WIDA AMS user account has been updated with the current school year. You will also see the updated administration in the drop-down menus within the application.  If there are accounts in your district that need to be updated or inactivated in WIDA AMS for the upcoming year, it is the responsibility of the District Test Coordinator to make these changes.  For details on managing user accounts, please reference the WIDA Assessment Management System (WIDA AMS) User Guide located in WIDA AMS under My Applications > General Information > Documents.  

WIDA Website
The WIDA Secure Portal also provides several training courses, webinar opportunities, and video tutorials for administering tests.  If you need access to the WIDA Secure Portal, please contact help@wida.us or call 1-866-276-7735.

Additional Resources
In advance of administering ACCESS for ELLs online tests or WIDA Online Screener, you will need to review these resources.
  • A new COS Online Help will is available for use and reference.  The COS Online Help contains several topics describing how to use COS.  It is also linked and available in the Technology User Guide found in WIDA AMS under My Applications > General Information > Documents.
  • Review the Technology Readiness Checklist for WIDA Online Assessments located in WIDA AMS under My Applications > General Information > Documents. This document provides Technology Coordinators a timeline and activities to prepare the technology for administering the online test.
  • Review the Supported System Requirements for ACCESS for ELLs and Screener located in WIDA AMS under My Applications > General Information > Documents.  
  • Review the ACCESS for ELLs Headset Specifications located in WIDA AMS under My Applications > General Information > Documents for administering the Speaking test.  
  • View the Test Demo (videos) and Test Practice (interactive items) in DRC INSIGHT.  This is an important step to ensure the headset components are working properly.
  • Attend or watch the recordings of the Technology Coordinator webinars located in the Download Library on the WIDA Secure Portal.  
  • If your district is transitioning to Windows 10 devices, please read the instructions in the Technology User Guide on how to disable the Game Bar prior to testing with DRC INSIGHT.  The TUG can be found in WIDA AMS under My Applications > General Information > Documents.
Please contact DRC Customer Support with any questions at WIDA@DataRecognitionCorp.com or call 1-855-787-9615.