Pearson and the TestNav team are proud to introduce TestNav Extension Support that provides students with direct access to familiar, assistive technology (AT) tools during high-stakes, online assessments.

Due to test security requirements, students and educators previously experienced challenges to accessing AT tools such as Speech-To-Text and Word Prediction.

”We wanted to provide a secure and simple way for students to use the tools they were already using day-to-day,” said James Setaro, Pearson Director of Engineering.

Driven to overcome the barriers to using AT extensions on secured tests, Pearson partnered with Google and AT vendors, Don Johnston and Texthelp.

Through this partnership, Don Johnston proposed a proof-of-concept that TestNav developed into support for extensions.

As a result, teachers no longer need to set up multiple devices for students who need access to AT while testing. The teacher or proctor can simply select applicable AT extensions while helping students sign into their tests. Most importantly, TestNav’s support for AT extensions provides a more secure testing environment that strengthens fairness in assessment for students who rely on assistive technologies.

The TestNav development team has begun a pilot that implements TestNav Extension Support in practice tests.

Pearson plans to launch Speech-To-Text and Word Prediction extensions for TestNav on Mac, Windows, and Chrome OS by the fall of 2020. The TestNav development team continues to work with AT vendors to progressively offer extensions for additional AT tools. Pearson will release a technical bulletin with any necessary instruction before the official launch.