Hosted Test software for online testing and assessments, test authoring software, create online testsDo-it-yourself test authoring tool, administration and scoring softwareWe can do-it-all-for-you or collaborate with you on your testing and assessment projectsTest systems integration and outsourcing including test development, administration, hosting and data interfaces to your LMSProvide the testing application to your customers or employees under your own private label as if it were your software
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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Here are answers to the questions most frequently asked by visitors. If you have a question that we haven't addressed, please email Customer Service. We'll respond usually on the same day; always by the next business day.


Creating Tests

 

How long does it take to get a test or assessment online?

Your test can be created and launched as quickly as within a few minutes.

Using our step-by-step, form-based application, you can quickly enter your questions and answer options, choose your layout preferences, and configure your test with your logo, images and instructions. Preview your test in test mode, then activate your test instantly or schedule it for later activation. Post an open link to your test on your web site or Intranet, or upload your student or members list, and send personalized email invitations. For even more options, call us to discuss automation and integration with your online registration process, distance learning application, or certification program.

 

You have ultimate control over your test project; there is no need to wait for anyone. You can do-it-yourself with grace and simplicity, or ask our team of experts for help with any aspect of your project. If you hire us to do some of the work for you, we'll setup your test, design your questionnaire and deliver it to you for your online review within 3 business days for most tests. If you're in a bind, we'll save the day.

 

How do I instruct students (or invite members) to take my test?

When your test is ready to launch, you can post a link or banner on any web page or Intranet. It can be a static page or a page launched upon the completion of a training course or registration process. Or you can use our automated email invitation feature and distribute a personalized invitation to your list with just one click.

 

Can I test my test prior to making it active?

Yes. At any time during the authoring and design process you can preview and test your test. Use this feature to check for content, style, usability, and the proper working of various navigation controls, data constraints, required answers, user messages and optional links to supporting material, documents, or multimedia.

 

How many questions can I include per test?

As many as you need. With Hosted Test™ you can ask an unlimited number of questions - and offer an unlimited number of answer options - choosing from our varied list of question types. For more information, please read more about our product features.

 

Do you support conditional skips and branching?

Absolutely. Use our skipping/branching feature to display subsets of questions based on specific answers to a previous question, or bypass portions of your test altogether. You can also use conditional branching to screen participants for various attributes or responses to previous questions, provide a selection of different subject matters, or offer essay topics based on student preference.

 

Can I run multi-page tests?

Yes. The flexibility of Hosted Test™ allows you to display your entire test on one page, or break up your test on multiple pages. You can specify how many questions you would like to display per page, or take control and put your page breaks in manually. Furthermore, questions can be segmented into sections or chapters, allowing a logical flow to long and complex tests.

 

Can I add my own logo and other images to my test? Can I make my test appear to be part of my web site, or retain my organization's color scheme, style and branding?

Yes. You can add logos and thumbnails, even Flash and .AVI files, in a variety of places on your test pages. You can add a watermark or background texture, and include images or other media as part of your questions and answers. You can customize the text of messages and prompts, and tailor the borders, fonts, colors and other attributes to achieve just the right look and feel. You can even replace the default command buttons with your own words or special images you design.

 

Our custom branding and private-labeling features can get even more extensive, advanced and detailed for academic institutions, resellers and larger organizations. Please email Customer Service for more information.

 

Can I create the same test in different languages?

Yes. Our application supports multi-lingual tests, even in languages with double-byte characters such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and others. Simply copy your test and edit in the language you need.

You can universally code your international tests to integrate your answer data for analysis across all languages and versions.

 

And, of course, even command buttons, images, message text and instructions can be customized for each language.

 

Is there a way to completely remove the "HostedTest.com" name from my test URL? Can I use my own domain name?

Yes. You have several options for invisibility or autonomy.

 

One option is to set up (or we can set up for you) a framed page and place the test within the frame. When you invite people to take your test, you include the link to the frame page rather than the system-generated URL. None of your test respondents will know you are using a third party host "behind the scenes."

 

If you choose this option, your webmaster will need to allocate space on your server and design the frame page. Or, we can design and host the page for you at a very reasonable cost. Please contact Customer Service to reach our friendly technical support team.

 

Another option is to register your own test domain name and use it as a virtual URL. This is a very exciting option, as you can personalize your test URL to your organization. For example, a company named ABC, Inc. could register ABCTest.com, and send participants to http://www.ABCTest.com/taketest.asp, etc.

 

There is a small setup charge and hosting fee for this option, and we will do all the work for you, including registering the domain name, if desired. Please contact Customer Service for more information about these options and services.

 

What if we want to be invisible? Can you co-brand the test and/or serve as a "third party administrator" or "independent testing organization"?

Yes. We can send the test on your behalf and function as a third party administrator or independent testing organization. In the same way we can make ourselves invisible and transparent, we can also do the opposite make YOU invisible and anonymous. We can provide all administrative, technical and even call center (phone and email) support.

 

If you prefer to be visible yet emphasize the fact you are working in partnership with an independent testing organization, we can co-brand the test with both our logos, reinforcing the fact that your company has partnered with an unbiased service provider conducting the test in conjunction with you.

You tell us how you want your test to appear, how and when you want it delivered, how you want it supported. We'll administer your project, and you'll be the hero.


Grade Book, Reporting and Data Analysis

 

Can I view my results and scores in real-time?

Yes. You can monitor the status of your tests online from your computer anytime, anywhere, with easy-to-read, canned and configurable grade books, reports and online views of your data. Optionally, simply export the data directly into Microsoft® Excel, Access, XML or interface with accessible learning management systems as frequently as you need to update it.

 

Do you create custom reports and data analysis? What about presentation materials?

Yes. Our team of experts in Microsof® Excel, Access, PowerPoint and web development can create beautiful, effective, and highly-customized reports, analysis and presentation materials based on your exact specifications. If you aren't sure what you want or need, give us a call. We can point you in the right direction and offer cost effective suggestions that you'll be thrilled with. Let us take the design burden from your shoulders and provide meaningful options ranging from low-cost, bare necessities for tight budgets, to high-end, ad-hoc, web-based data mining and presentation systems for very large projects and organizations.

 

Can I analyze my data directly, by going straight to the underlying database tables and storage mechanisms (e.g., client/server, ODBC, SQL, et al) using another reporting, charting, statistical analysis or presentation software?

We offer dedicated database and dedicated server plans that will provide these capabilities to varying degrees, depending on your needs. Without any downloading, you can connect directly to your data with software such as Microsoft® Access, Crystal Reports, Cognos or Oracle tools, and others, and run online, ad-hoc queries and reports in real-time.

 

Can we get our data out of your database and into ours using automated processes?

Yes. We have API's, code fragments and libraries that help us create custom data transfer programs very efficiently for you. Dedicated server customer can leverage your own team of programmers, data management and conversion tools, and create scheduled processes or triggers to move information from your hosted test database to virtually any other systems environment.

 

We can also work with you to design custom data marts for the most user-friendly ad-hoc reporting environments available to you, your clients and other end-users. Please contact Customer Service to reach our friendly technical support team.


System Requirements, Application Architecture and Security

 

Are there any specific operating system or browser requirements for Hosted Test? What do you estimate is the percent of the Internet population that has systems compatible with Hosted Test?

For designing and creating tests, we recommend Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 and above and Netscape 7.0 and above. Both PC and Mac are supported. (No client-side downloads, plug-ins or applets are required.)

 

For taking tests, we support virtually every browser that can support the most basic HTML and JavaScript. Both PC and Mac are supported. (No client-side downloads, plug-ins or applets are required.)

 

The population compatible with our system when taking tests is estimated at 99.8%.

 

Does Java or any other software get downloaded to my computer?

No, never. Hosted Test™ requires no Java, no downloads, no installations, no applets. We have been extra careful to design our applications to run 100% over the web, without any special configurations or files on your (or your end-user's) computer.

 

Hostedware® applications will never cause your computer to crash, never spread a virus, and you'll never have to worry about corrupting your computer's setup, configuration or network files.

 

And, those participants who may still be using older equipment or outdated web browsers won't be denied access, and won't be asked to download big (and slow) software programs, before taking your test.

 

Can your service support high volumes of test participants and email invitations?

Yes. Hosted Test™ can manage thousands of simultaneous test participants at one single time. We have documented peaks of 1,000+ simultaneous users, and in all of these cases, server and resource utilization were still at low levels. We have also managed custom web polls where invitations were broadcast nationally on television and received thousands of "hits" in a very short period of time and our servers did not suffer any degradation in performance.

 

From a technical perspective, the architecture of Hosted Test™ is such that users are "connected" to the server and database only at the moment in which data is delivered to their browser (when a page is opened or refreshed), or at the moment when data is saved to the database (when the user submits the page). Each connection is open and closed dynamically, and lasts only for fraction of a second. This architecture significantly reduces the possibility of ever having too many concurrent users.

 

If the customer decides to use the built-in invitation system, Hosted Test™ will deliver, in batches over a short period of time (usually less than 24 hours), all of the desired number of email invitations.

 

And Hostedware® software applications are built to scale. As our volume increases, so does our capacity. We strive to stay ahead of the growth and anticipate future needs, which we have been doing successfully since we began operations in 1999. Our service level agreement outlines our commitment to satisfactory performance and response times. Please review for more information.

 

Does Hosted Test support images, audio files, and video objects? Are their any limits on file sizes? Does Hosted Test support image protection (so images can not be "Saved As")?

Hosted Test™ supports all browser-supported images, documents and file types (.jpg, .bmp, .gif, .pdf, .tiff, .png, .xls, .doc, .ppt, etc.), audio files (.wav, .mp3, etc.), and video (.avi, Flash, etc.) within the test form and/or by using hyperlinks to supporting material.

 

There are no theoretical limitations on the file size or type, as long as standard web browsers can handle them. If files are hosted by us, we charge modest hosting fees depending on the size of the files and the duration of the project.

Using special commands, you can hide the name of the files to prevent test participants from saving them (Save As…).

 

Can Hosted Test handle other types of questionnaires besides tests?

Our customers use our online survey applications Hosted Survey™ and Hosted Poll™ to collect online data in a number of specialized ways: web polls, virtual voting booths, contests and sweepstakes, employee applications, online registrations, information gathering, and more.

 

In addition, our programmers are here to add new features, functionality, reports and custom data exchanges - just for you - to support all your online data collection needs.

 

How does Hostedware address my security concerns?

Hosted Test™ is completely secure. The website and databases are password protected and hidden safely behind appropriate firewalls. Encryption during data transfer and communication between your computer and our servers is enforced using Secure Socket Layers (SSL).

 

All your data is confidential and owned by you. Hostedware® will never sell nor provide your data to any third party, and never uses it internally or externally for any purpose whatsoever, other than to communicate directly with you about your account, our products and services, and to fulfill our service agreements with you.

 

Your data's safety, security, integrity and privacy is of primary concern to us. It's important data, it's your data, and we protect it for you. Please see our Privacy Statement, Service Level Agreement (SLA), Secure Payment Guarantee, and Customer Agreement for more information.


Advanced Features

 

Does Hosted Test provide or support saved test libraries and templates?

Yes. Hosted Test™ offers a question and answer library (Q&A Library). This is a user-defined library of re-usable answers, answer groups, questions, question groups and templates, where these questions and answers can be shared amongst all tests in a private account. In the case of dedicated database or dedicated server customers, channel partners, and resellers, an additional "global" Q&A Library can be created in the master account, and be made accessible to all sub-accounts.

 

Hosted Test™ offers a user-definable classification system so that components can be categorized by "test type" for easier organization and navigation within the Library.

 

Can email invitations be sent out using my own email system?

You have the option of extracting your respondent email addresses out of your email system and uploading them into Hosted Test™. Then the application will send out email invitations using the respondent or panelist data you provided. Within the application, you can write, edit and manage the message that is delivered, view whether each respondent has completed the test or not, and send out reminder invitations to those who haven't completed the test. Each email is sent out individually (no bulk email with copies or blind copies, cc/bcc), and can be personalized with greeting name and other optional information and customized prompts and text.

 

If you would like to bypass Hosted Test™ and send out the invitations using your own system, a URL link to the test can still be added to the email invitations you create so the user can click on and go directly to the test, and (optionally) enter a secret password or other code. The more programmatic control you have over your email system and respondent data files, the more personalized you can make your email invitations.

 

To help you track who has completed your test, Hosted Test™ also has an option to trigger an automatic confirmation email to a pre-determined recipient, the respondents themselves and/or an email address specified by each respondent (the answer to a test question).

 

Can we trigger a test and communicate the respondent's ID to the test in a way that does not require participant intervention?

Yes. The respondent's ID is embedded in the test URL delivered individually to each respondent, using the Hosted Test™ built in email invitation functionality (or programmatically from your own email system). The respondent simply clicks on the link (URL) and opens their private test without any intervention. The respondent's ID is stored with the test record.

 

Does Hosted Test provide the ability to program and control participant access? For example, optionally preventing backup, optionally requiring usernames and passwords, locking out IP addresses, preventing taking the test more than once, allowing taking the test until a specified score is achieved, and/or defining start/stop dates and times.

Hosted Test™ has controls for requiring participants to enter a code and password to enter a test. Start and end dates automatically allow or prevent respondents from completing the test if outside specific date/time parameters. Re-entry and related options can control whether a respondent can leave and re-enter the test, go back and forward within a test, and if re-entering, to which point the respondent will return within the test upon re-entry, and whether the test-taker can re-enter after the final page has been submitted. These options also cover whether a student can retake the test until they receive a passing grade, and even control the duration of time that must elapse before allowing the student to take the exam over.

 

Tests can be easily configured to permit only one test response per IP address, and/or to permit only one test response per computer. The browser menus can be turned on or off to control navigation, printing, copy/paste and other features.

 

Can Hosted Test take into account additional parameters? For example, parameters included into the test URL, participant demographic details coming from a panelist database, prior online behavior, or responses to a previous test. Can these parameters have an effect on the questions asked?

Hosted Test™ has built-in interfaces to accept query-strings, hidden form fields posted from an external web page or calling program, and an interface to accept data from cookies.

 

Some of these advanced features (API) to handle these alternative sources of data into the test may require some custom "back-door" configuration in each instance to implement, and we may charge a nominal setup fee for each instance, depending on the complexity of the requirements.

 

In addition, Hosted Test™ offers user-defined respondent fields, for tests where the participant list is known and uploaded into the system. This user-defined demographic data can be used in data analysis to compare results and scores from different demographic groups or other attributes.

 

The Hosted Test™ API allows students or participants to be created "on the fly," generated from a previous registration, signup or login process, and user-defined demographic data can be passed to the test automatically (with no additional setup on our end).

 

As a consulting firm who conducts evaluations, tests and assessments for our clients, can we license Hosted Test, and use the software application, with our clients, as if it were our own system?

Yes. Hosted Test™ offers the capability for your firm to completely brand and private-label not only each individual test, but also the entire test application and database. This is a significant benefit of using Hostedware applications. Hosted Test can easily become "ABC Test."

 

Hostedware's patent-pending application architecture is designed such that the text, images and prompts are "separated" from the code and database in editable configuration files. This means that with very little effort, your firm can customize your version of "Hosted Test" so that Hostedware will be completely invisible to you and your clients - not just for the tests, but also when the end user logs in to their account, uses the application to access their questionnaires, runs reports, downloads data, etc.

 

Your firm can start with its own custom URL (this can be a "sub-domain" such as tests.abc.com, or a unique "top-level" domain name, such as abc-test.com). Your firm could then customize the graphics, menu names and colors, text and prompts within the entire application - with relative ease.

 

For example, your business may use language unique to your company. Perhaps in your business you don't use the word "respondent" but rather use "student" or "employee." Or perhaps you don't use the phrase "Q&A Library" but use the phrase "Question Bank." By simply changing a few variables in the configuration files, the new language will appear throughout the application. This is true for text, prompts, buttons, links, images, menu items, error messages, even fonts and colors, etc.

 

Your firm can then open "accounts" for each client using your branded, private-label version of the Hosted Test application. You can then assign your clients access to their personal account within your system, and let them use your custom version of the application, view their content, data and reports. Hostedware manages the infrastructure and provides help desk support, and you're free to focus on your core business, your services, and your client relationships.


My Account, Pricing and Optional Services

 

How do you charge?

Your account allows you to create unlimited tests with unlimited questions and answers. We charge for usage by asking you to purchase packages of responses. A "response" is the equivalent of a completed, or partially completed, test by one participant. You purchase and commit to responses in advance, and we dynamically allocate database storage, access, and other resources based on your anticipated responses. The more responses you purchase in advance, the lower the per-response price.

 

You can purchase responses online by signing up and/or logging in to your account and going to the "My Account" area. You can also purchase responses by check, bank draft, and when approved, by company purchase order. Or, contact us by emailing Customer Service. Include your login name and how many responses you want to purchase.

 

What if I want to outsource my project?

We offer a variety of project support and test administration options and packages. These services include test authoring and setup, respondent management and administration, email invitations and followup, test help desk for your respondents, data downloading, custom scoring, reporting and analysis, data cleanup and other personalized services such as logo design, graphical artwork, content development, data entry, animation and splash page design. Please see Pricing for more information and a description of some of these special service offerings.

 

What if I need to setup a quick demonstration using part of our test to sell my boss (or my client) on using Hostedware for our project? (And what if I need it to be ready by tomorrow?)

If you are under the gun and need ultra-fast assistance setting up a demo for your boss, your client, or your project team, fax us what you have in its current format (draft or final) to (949) 206-1731 ATTN: Customer Service. If an electronic version is available, email to Customer Service. We'll setup the first 10 or 15 questions, plus add your logo and some basic formatting, free of charge, today, or by the next business day.

 

We are always happy to help. We view customer services as a part of our business that supplements our core software products; not the other way around. With that model, we feel we can do more, for less. Many of our customers have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of work we do, and the quality of expertise we deliver, at the reasonable prices we charge. We hope you will be, too!


About Hostedware

 

Who is Hostedware?

Hostedware Corporation, based in Irvine, California, serves the multi-billion dollar research, education and performance improvement markets. A pioneer in these markets, we have developed two leading online software applications - Hosted Test™ and Hosted Survey™. These self-configurable software applications, together with our Customer Services team, provide feature-rich, easy to use, cost effective and dependable solutions that meet the exacting requirements of our customers.

 

What are Hostedware's core applications and services?

Hosted Test™ is a self-configurable, online software tool that provides trainers, hiring managers, educators, and certification specialists the ability to easily design and administer online tests, assessments, practice exams, certification programs and graded homework and self-study aids, and report results, trends and manage grade books in a timely and more automated fashion.

 

Hosted Survey™ is a self-configurable, online software tool that provides organizations, service providers, individuals and consultants with the ability to conduct online market research, web tests, opinion polls, voting mechanisms, evaluations and appraisals, 360 degree feedback reviews, organizational climate tests, web site visitor feedback and other research, and report that data in a timely and organized fashion.

 

This is done at a fraction of the cost and effort previously experienced with traditional paper based systems and expensive ad-hoc, internally-developed web pages. Hostedware® Customer Services include setup and administration options, content development, and customized statistical analysis and reporting packages, as well as web development and infrastructure to support the special needs of our customers.

 

Where is Hostedware's data center? Is it reliable and secure?

Hostedware customers and their clients benefit from the security, reliability and environmental controls of the Hostedware/InteleNet data center in Irvine, CA, USA:

  • Located in a building designed to meet rigorous federal and state building code standards, designed to withstand earthquakes according to zone four (4) specifications, and with extensive fire detection and suppression capabilities.
  • Environmental controls that address heating and cooling, humidity controls and monitored status that notifies our operations staff when conditions fall outside of planned ranges.
  • Conditioned, clean power with redundancy and disaster recovery configuration
  • Full-time monitoring and management of all aspects of the data center, operated from our 24x7 Network Operations Center. The NOC has access to all security operations data and monitors the data center for external and internal security. The data center is staffed 24x7 by Pinkerton security guards.
  • Employs a staff of highly trained IP security engineers with extensive Microsoft, Unix and Linux operating system expertise.
  • Uses industry leading firewalls, such as Cisco PIX, Checkpoint and NetScreen, to protect the data center network.
  • Uses state-of-the-art security software that monitors conditions behind the network firewalls. In the event of any suspicious activity that gets through the firewall, the software identifies the break-in and alerts the NOC.
  • Computer incident response procedure for any computer or network-related incident.
  • Customer-friendly facilities, with work areas, conference rooms, lounges and other accommodations.

 

Have another question?

 

Please email Customer Service We'll respond usually on the same day; always by the next business day.

 

 

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