During the last several months, the DataDirector team has been working on an important enhancement to the platform. Namely, we have been working on improving the size and clarity of equations, symbols, and formulas within the PDF test booklet for item bank assessments. An issue identified during our first round of QA testing delayed the release of this enhancement at the end of August. However, after additional development and testing, we are now ready to release the improvement to equation rendering on September 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm PST.
On Monday, September 24th, your PDF test booklets will display substantial improvementsto the clarity and formatting of items with equations, symbols, and formulas.
This enhancement requires that we load high resolution images of 1200 dpi into the system for each item containing an equation, symbol, or formula. Although the DataDirector team has made progress in optimizing this process, approximately 100,000 items will be affected. The scope of this project will require substantial system bandwidth and hours of processing, and is expected to cause noticeable performance issues for users if it happens at the same time users are also using DataDirector.
To avoid potential issues and ensure the loading of images is completed over the weekend, DataDirector will be placed in maintenance mode from Friday, September 21st at 7:00 pm PST until Monday, September 24th at 4:00 am PST. During this time, the DataDirector team will be on standby to monitor the system and address any potential issues. When you return to school on Monday, the system will be fully functional, with no interruption to your daily use. You will be able to print and administer tests and access all other DataDirector functionality without issue.
Several reminders will be sent during the next week to ensure that you and your district have time to prepare for the extended maintenance window between Friday, September 21st and Monday, September 24th. In the meantime, we have provided several FAQs on the following page for your reference.
We are excited to introduce this important improvement to you, and appreciate your patience as we complete the required conversion process. We look forward to your feedback as you begin using the newly formatted test booklets. Please feel free to contact your Account Manager or the Customer Support team with any questions.
FAQs: Equation Rendering Enhancement
- What will my student test booklet look like after the release? Can I preview the changes?
- Yes! We are excited to share the improvements to the clarity of the test booklet. You can compare a current test booklet to a preview test booklet featuring the enhancement on www.RiversideonDemand.com. Remember to print each test booklet. Because the new changes use high resolution vector graphics, the scope of the changes cannot be viewed on your computer screen. The updates to equations, formulas, and symbols are best viewed in a printed PDF.
- How can I know for sure that the system will be unaffected when I return to school the morning of September 24th?
- The equation rendering enhancement has been thoroughly tested by the DataDirector QA team. In addition, we will invite a select group of customers to participate in User Acceptance Testing (UAT). These users will be invited to test the functionality of the new enhancement in a copy of their DataDirector site, prior to release. If the feature does not meet user expectations, it will not be released.
- In addition, the entire DataDirector team is on standby throughout the weekend to ensure that any issues that arise are immediately addressed.
- Will these changes affect how long my PDF test booklet takes to generate?
- No, your PDF test booklet will still generate in the same amount of time. The system has been optimized to quickly generate PDF booklets containing high resolution graphics.
- How will the improved clarity of equations, formulas, and symbols affect online testing?
- Online testing will not be affected. The system will house two image files for each item containing an equation, formula, or symbol: one low resolution image used for online testing, and one high resolution vector graphic for PDF generation. The low resolution image will continue to be used in online testing to ensure that each item generates quickly without interrupting the testing process.
- Will the improvement of equations, formulas, and symbols be applied to all of my old tests as well as new tests?
- Yes, both new and old assessments will reflect this new improvement.