N4L offers schools free internet health checks ahead of online exams

(Last Updated On: August 11, 2020)

Starting this week, Network for Learning (N4L) is carrying out free school internet health checks to ensure students can have the best and safest digital exam experience.

NZQA – Rongotai College – Familiarisation for Digital Exams. Photo by Mark Coote/

In partnership with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), N4L is preparing for more than 300 schools to take up the free offer to assess their exam room internet speeds and security, determine if there are any ‘dead spots’ without connectivity, and check that their wireless equipment can cope with the extra demand in the exam areas.

The checks are designed to minimise disruption during the exam period and keep students safe online and focused on their exam material. N4L will also suggest ways schools can stop students from reaching non-authorised websites and prevent outside intruders from tampering with their systems.

Helpdesk support

This is the second year N4L has offered the pre-exam health checks while also supporting schools throughout the exam period with its helpdesk. Orewa College was among 140 schools assessed last year and Deputy Principal Sue McCarthny has signed up again for a 2020 checkup. 

“These assessments give our school the assurance we need that there will be no unexpected surprises during the exam period,” says Ms McCarthny, who expects around 700 of her students to sit at least 17 online exams in November.

“I was really impressed how thoroughly N4L checks all the exam rooms, and in doing so they picked up a few shortfalls which could have led to an issue during exams that we weren’t prepared for. They also suggested improvements we could make and explained the benefits and risks in a way that helped us make informed decisions on what we should do to better prepare for online exams.”

Two-thirds of the NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) exams can now be delivered digitally in 2020.


© INTERFACE Magazine, August 2020

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