FAQ

FQ_iconReview these Frequently Asked Questions for answers to common questions about users, internet bandwidth, device characteristics and more.

 

What is NJTRAx?

NJTRAx is an interactive database developed to assist New Jersey districts and schools in assessing their technology readiness for online assessments as well as for digital learning.

How do I get started?

When accessing NJTRAx, we recommend that you always begin at http://njdigitallearning.org. This will take you to the NJ Digital Learning and Assessment Portal. By accessing NJTRAx through this portal, you will stay up to date with important new developments posted on the site. On the portal, you will find links to NJTRAx and to resources and support.

How do I get an account for NJTRAx?

Users who have access to the PARCC TRT were given accounts in NJTRAx. The PARCC Coordinator and PARCC IT Contact person identified in the County-District-School (CDS) application on Homeroom (http://homeroom.state.nj.us/) were also given accounts. Please contact one of these people for access to NJTRAx. If you are one of these people and you did not receive an email from the Metiri Group regarding your log in credentials, please check your spam folder for the email. Otherwise, please email parcctrt@doe.state.nj.us for assistance. Be sure to include your district name and county-district code in the support request email.

I get a message that says I have “bad credentials.” What should I do?

A “bad credentials” error occurs when the username or password that you have entered cannot be found in the user database. Check to see that you have entered each properly. If your username is incorrect, contact the “Master User” in your district to verify the username. If you are the Master User, contact NJTRAx technical support for verification at If the problem is a forgotten password, click the link labeled, “Forgot Password?” to have a link emailed to you where you may change your password.

I am getting an error when I try to login to NJTRAx. What can I do?

As with most Web-based database applications, different browsers may interpret the code behind the application differently. If you are having problems logging in to NJTRAx other than “bad credentials” or forgotten passwords (see the FAQ’s for these), try a different browser. The only browser that seems to display erratic behavior in NJTRAx is Internet Explorer. The most consistent browsers are Firefox, Chrome and Safari. If you have any issues with your browser, please contact NJTRAx technical support.

How do I create a new user?

To create a new user simply go to your user list in the Data Editor using the User menu at the top left.

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Click the “Add new” button at top right of the User List

Complete the user record. The top portion of the record is fairly straightforward. Enter the username, email, password, etc.

 

In the Associations section at the bottom, click the “Add New” button next to any organization or organizations with which you wish to associate this user. You will only see organizations for which you have Master User rights.

You will need to decide whether, for the organization you are adding, the user should have read/write access and whether the user should be a “Master User.” Again, Master Users can create new users at their own level and below.

Click “Update and Close” to save the user name.

Notify the new user of the log in credentials to be used.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DELETE BUTTON ON THE USER RECORD DELETES THE USER!

What are the different user roles in NJTRAx?

Users can be created and associated with organizations at any of these two levels of NJTRAx, District and School. In this hierarchy, assigning a user to an organization at any level automatically gives them access to the level or levels below. For example, creating a user and assigning them as a District level user gives that user access to all schools in the district as well.

There are three types of users that might be assigned.

  1. Read only users – Read only users, as the name implies, can see the data in NJTRAx for the schools and districts to which they are assigned but cannot add to or edit those data. This user type is useful for district leaders who want to remain apprised of the status of NJTRAx data but may not be involved in editing that data.
  2. Read/Write users – These users can view and edit NJTRAx data for the organizations with whom they are associated. Creating a read/write District level user gives that user read/write access to the schools in that district as well.
  3. Master Users – Master Users are users that, in addition to being read/write users, can also create new users at their organizational level or below.

How do I edit a user in NJTRAx?

To edit a user in NJTRAx, simply go to the user list as described above and click on the username of the user you wish to edit. Upon completing the edits, click “Update and Close.” The most common edits you will make involve changing a user’s Associations with a district and/or school.

associationsTo remove an association from a user, simply click the checkbox in the column labeled “Delete” in the Associations section then Update the record.

 

DO NOT USE THE DELETE BUTTON TO DELETE ASSOCIATIONS! The Delete button deletes the entire user!

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How do I delete users?

To delete a user in NJTRAx, simply go to the user list as described above and click on the username of the user you wish to delete. At the bottom of the user record, click the red Delete button.delete

Where did the NJTRAx data for my school or district come from?

The initial data in NJTRAx were imported from the NJ Broadband Survey and the PARCC Technology Readiness Tool (PARCC/TRT).

How do I determine my Internet Bandwidth at the district level?

The short answer to this question is to ask your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Be sure to ask them for your minimum guaranteed bandwidth. Some cable companies, for example, will provide a contract for 20 Mbps (Megabits per second), but allow access to a bit more bandwidth if their network is quiet. Your estimate should be conservative.

How do I determine the percentage of Internet Bandwidth that is used for normal, everyday traffic?

To begin, know that it is virtually impossible to perfectly calculate the level of use of IP bandwidth at any level. There are many factors that impact your use at any given time, some beyond your control. But even though IP bandwidth use is an estimate, we want to give the best estimate that we can. The more data your estimate is based upon, the better. Here are several strategies arranged from Bad to Good to Better.

  • Bad. Guess.
  • Good. Sit down at a few devices in schools in the district during core instructional periods when use is similar to the levels it might be when testing is taking place and run a speed test. The speed test that the NJTRAx team recommends is SchoolSpeedTest at http://www.schoolspeedtest.org/ from EducationSuperHighway. Calculate the mean download speed available during these periods. Measurements will vary but the more tests you do, the more likely the available bandwidth estimate will be closer to reality. If you subtract the bandwidth available from the total bandwidth for the district, this will give you the bandwidth currently used. Calculate the percentage of your total district bandwidth that this available bandwidth represents (see the NJTRAx Quick Start Guide for specifics) and you will have a decent estimate.
  • Better. If either you or your ISP has network monitoring software in place, estimates from this software, particularly mean usage calculated during core instructional periods over a number of days, will give you a far better estimate.

How do I determine the percentage of IP Bandwidth in use in my school?

Determining the percentage of IP bandwidth available to your school can be tricky. Here are a few approaches labeled Bad, Good and Better.

  • Bad. Guess.
  • Good. If your district does not throttle or apportion bandwidth to schools, use the district percentage of use as the school percentage of use.
  • Good. If you have a fixed amount of bandwidth for the school, sit down at a few devices in testing locations in the school during core instructional periods when use is similar to the levels it might be when testing is taking place and run a speed test. The speed test that the NJTRAx team recommends is SchoolSpeedTest at http://www.schoolspeedtest.org/ from EducationSuperHighway. Calculate the mean download speed available during these periods. Measurements will vary but the more tests you do, the more likely the available bandwidth estimate will be closer to reality. If you subtract the bandwidth available from the total bandwidth for the school, this will give you the bandwidth in use in your school. Calculate the percentage of your total school bandwidth that this available bandwidth represents (see the NJTRAx Quick Start Guide for specifics) and you will have a decent estimate. If the district does not throttle or apportion bandwidth, then the percentage of bandwidth calculated at the district level should be applied to each building.
  • Better. If either you or your district has network monitoring software in place, estimates from this software, particularly mean usage calculated during core instructional periods over a number of days, will give you a far better estimate.

If the district plans to shape network traffic during the assessment window by limiting access to the network and/or by allocating a specific amount of bandwidth for assessment devices, can these projected network figures be used instead of using current network figures?

As long as the district is confident that the projected network figures represent the reality of the network during the assessment window, then using these figures would be acceptable.

What are WAP Capacity and WAP Readiness?

One bottleneck that has occurred for many schools in states that were early adopters of computer-based testing was caused by overcrowding of wireless access points or WAPs. In NJTRAx, we look at wireless access point readiness at each location where testing will take place, even if that location is a laptop or cart. The capacity of a WAP is the number of users that it can support without a degradation of performance. These can vary from 10 or 15 for an old Apple Airport, for example, to 500 on one of the new high capacity WAPs on the market. Most WAPs currently in use in schools can support about 30 users, and that is the default in NJTRAx. If you’re not sure of the capacity of your WAPs, ask your network administrator. If the district does not have a network administrator, check the technical specifications for the brand and model of WAP that you have in the building. WAP Readiness is determined by looking at the number of testing devices in any location and then comparing that to the number and capacity of the WAPs available to that location. If WAPs are shared, the capacity claimed should be shared as well. If you need further help, please send an email to parcctrt@doe.state.nj.us.

I have a rating of “6″ (Not Ready) in Network Readiness, yet I have plenty of bandwidth at my school. What’s going on?

A School Network Readiness Rating of 6 for a school that seems to have sufficient bandwidth for testing is almost always a sign that one or more of the Test Locations has insufficient Wireless Access Point (WAP) capacity to support the devices at that location that connect wirelessly. Check the Test Location List screen for Test Locations where “Is WAP Sufficient” is marked, “No.” (See below) Adding wireless access points to that location, or adding higher capacity access points, may be necessary.

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What is the Testing Window?

The Testing Window is the total number of days that will be dedicated to testing. The Testing Window is hard-coded per PARCC recommendations to 20 days.

\What is a Testing Session?

The Testing Sessions are the total number of periods per day that devices and locations can be dedicated to testing. The number of testing sessions is hard-coded per PARCC recommendations to 2.

What is a Test Sitting?

A Test Sitting refers to a period of time when a student is completing an online assessment session. For the PARCC Performance Based Assessments, the English/Language Arts Assessment requires three sittings and the Mathematics Assessment requires two sittings for a total of five sittings per student.

What’s the most efficient way to edit my NJTRAx data?

The most efficient way to edit your data is to complete edits in the same order as in the NJTRAx Data menu illustrated below. Start at the highest level of data, the district record, then move to your schools, etc. You will also need to review and update school enrollment by first adding a grade and then the enrollment data. It is particularly important that you create your Testing Locations before editing your Devices as one of the tasks most users need to attend to is assigning their devices to the correct location. See the NJTRAx Quick Start Guide for more.

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What can I do if a device characteristic for one of my computers or tablets is not available in the NJTRAx list?

We try to ensure that new device characteristics are added when available, but there are so many makes and models available that a characteristic can slip past us. First, check the technical specifications of your device to ensure that it is correct. If so, use the contact form on NJTRAx.org to send us the device model information and the characteristic that you can’t locate. If it is correct, we will update NJTRAx and respond by email.

I am trying to import my device data and get an error with the school ID.

This is almost always caused by opening the .csv file from which you intent to import in Excel. If you don’t import the .csv into Excel and declare the School ID field to be a text field, Excel will truncate or cut off the leading “0’s.” This will prevent the School ID from matching the ID’s in NJTRAx. A description of this issue and how to overcome it can be found here.

What does it mean if, in the device list, one of the device characteristics is displayed in red?

A device characteristic displayed in red does not meet New Jersey specifications for online testing.

How do I find the device characteristics for my computers or tablets?

In the Device section of the NJTRAx Quick Start Guide you will find complete instructions for locating the device specifications for multiple computer and tablet platforms.

I imported my devices from an inventory file and there is one device per record. Is there any way to combine similar devices at the same location?

Yes. At the bottom left of the Device List screen you will see a dropdown menu that defaults to “Cluster.” The Cluster function allows you to check multiple devices that have all of the same device characteristics and then click, “OK.” NJTRAx will ask you to confirm, and then combine all of the selected devices into a single record. Select the location for the devices, add any missing data fields, and the resulting single record will contain all of your devices for easy editing.

Why can’t I delete a location record?

Device records are attached to a location record. In relational database language, since multiple devices can be attached to a single location, the location record is considered a “parent” to the device record “child.” Well-designed relational databases don’t allow “orphan” records. To delete a location, first create a new location where you can move the devices. Go to the device file and assign the devices to the new location. When all devices are reassigned you will be able to delete the empty location.

I am hitting the Update or Data Entry Cycle Complete button and the record won’t save. What is going on?

The main reason that users can’t save records with Update or Data Entry Cycle complete is that required fields, marked with an asterisk, are missing. NJTRAx does have an alert system that puts up a message pointing at the missing field (a common missing field is the field “Internal Network Utilization”), but the alert system was implemented in HTML 5 and browsers handle it differently. If you can’t Update or mark Data Entry Cycle Complete, drop down the Technical Info tab and look for a field outlined in red or simply check to make sure all required (asterisked) fields are complete. In virtually all situations, this should solve the problem.