Pacific Metrics Develops Next-Generation Delivery Platform for Online Assessments

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Announcing the Release of ORCA Connect

Assessment and Technology Providers

Pacific Metrics Corporation

ORCA Connect, provides the most reliable, highest-performing system available in the marketplace.

Pacific Metrics Corporation (http://www.pacificmetrics.com), a leading provider of online assessment solutions, announces the release of ORCA™ Connect, the latest innovation in online delivery platforms. ORCA Connect compensates for Internet connectivity issues that can affect standard online assessment delivery systems and alleviates concerns about the possibility of losing test data when Internet connections have been lost. ORCA Connect provides a rich user experience that supports formats ranging from simple text to interactive elements such as Flash.

Unlike ordinary browser-based systems, ORCA Connect operates in three modalities: connected, disconnected, and checkpoint. When ORCA Connect is connected to the network, it operates normally, communicating test responses through the server. If the network becomes disconnected for an extended period, the platform caches the test responses and delivers them once the network is restored. The checkpoint mode is enabled when the test administration is interrupted (a brief disconnection). In this mode, ORCA Connect begins recording test responses as soon as it detects an interruption and restarts the test administration when the connection is restored. Pacific Metrics’ ORCA Connect works seamlessly in both on- and off-line environments, ensuring that assessment data remain secure under all administrative conditions, even during a network failure, guaranteeing a consistent testing experience.

The benefits of ORCA Connect include:

  •     Reduced Network Traffic

The ORCA Connect platform supports a 90% reduction in data sent to servers which improves system performance.

  •     Fail-Safe Delivery

Through the use of three operating modalities, the risk of data loss is significantly diminished.

  •     Richer User Experience

A user-friendly toolkit creates a rich, appealing user interface that allows for the use of animation, 3D graphics, and interactive components.

  •     Higher Performance and Scale

Less strain on the servers allows for more simultaneous users.

The ORCA Connect platform is currently being used for an enhanced assessment grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Pacific Metrics, in partnership with a four-state consortium led by North Carolina, is studying the feasibility, reliability, and validity of assessments that consist entirely of constructed-response mathematics items that are scored by an automated scoring system. This grant supports State activities designed to improve academic assessments beyond the requirements found in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001.

“We are innovators in the development of assessment technology, and our new platform, ORCA Connect, provides the most reliable, highest-performing system available in the marketplace. ORCA Connect opens up a world of options for our customers, making possible the development and use of innovative products and solutions” says Bob Guerin, Executive Vice President and CFO of Pacific Metrics.

ORCA Connect can be customized to meet the delivery needs of any assessment program and can be integrated with Pacific Metrics’ other ground-breaking solutions from the Online Remoting Customizable Assessment (ORCA™) family of integrated assessment products. In addition, ORCA Connect can be used with TruScore™, an automated scoring system that scores constructed-response items faster, and at a lower cost than traditional hand scoring. For more information about ORCA Connect or any of Pacific Metrics’ assessment solutions, email info@pacificmetrics.com or call (831) 646-6400.

About Pacific Metrics
Pacific Metrics Corporation creates lasting improvements to the assessment and learning environment through the thoughtful use of technology. Headquartered in Monterey, California, Pacific Metrics provides specialized psychometric software and sophisticated online systems to state departments of education and to organizations that develop, administer, and score large-scale assessments. The company has achieved recognition for its technical work and for being a leading force in the development of innovative, customized, web-based systems. For more information, visit http://www.pacificmetrics.com.

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Stella Gibbs
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