When we talk about the Exam ecosystem, it involves multiple processes which are completely defined by the Institutes and may cover one or more from Slot Booking, Admit Card Generation, Reschedule, Score Card, Retake Attempts and so on. The enablement involves Configuration of the Exam Workflow and Partner Configurations. While we know that we have pre-integrated Exam Partners i.e. Wheebox, AoN Cocubes and Mercer Mettl, we have always been working to ensure that these configurations are easy to understand and act on.
In this article, we will quickly touch base with Enablement of Mercer|Mettl Exam Partner for Exam ecosystem.
Understanding the Exam Workflow
The first and preliminary step for Mercer|Mettl Integration is to get a complete understanding of the Exam workflow as expected by the Institute.
Once the requisite approvals are in place, share a copy of the Requirement Gathering Sheet ( Mercr_Mettl Exam Ecosystem Requirements.docx)with the Institute. This comprises questions for the Institute which will help us to understand the Exam Workflow as well as a few questions for Mercer|Mettl which are more around the technical nitty gritties. With necessary information in hand, you may proceed with the next action.
Configure the Exam Workflow
Click on Settings -> Institute Configuration -> Manage Exam Config. You will land on the Manage Exam page as below:
To configure the Exam Workflow for a Form, click on Exam Config button on top right corner and the exam configuration flow will open up. This is the first of the 2 steps involved in the Exam Configuration.
Start with selecting the Form name for which exam has to be configured and under the exam partner, search and select Mercer|Mettl .
Then you will see the Whitelisting options which are only for testing purposes. If there is an IP or email which is whitelisted, the exam ecosystem will be functional only on the respective Machines or for the selected Candidates. Please note that, if the Exam Ecosystem is whitelisted for selected IP(s) or Email(s), the status will be shown as Test Mode in Manage Exam page.
The next set of steps enable us to configure the various steps involved in the Exam Workflow along with associated data points.
Enable Slot Booking : This is to enable the Book Exam Slot button for the eligible Candidates, which will allow the Candidate to SSO to Mercer|Mettl and select his Venue/Date/Time Slot. Clicking to check the same will ask you to enter the Eligibility Start and End Dates which define the duration within which the Exam will be conducted. This information is passed to Mercer|Mettl via Exam Information.
Only Static date is applicable for all pre-integrated vendor partners. The other 2 options do not apply.
#As of now, Mettl does not have a slot booking process. Hence, the slot-booking module can be avoided if needed.
Enable Online Exam : This is to enable the option for the candidate to Take Test directly without any need for the Candidate to book his slot. Here you will be asked to enter the Name of the Button to be shown on the Candidate Dashboard
Receive the Appointment/Slot Details/Enable Admit Card : This will enable the Modify Appointment API on which Mercer|Mettl pushes the Candidates Slot booking details. This is possible only in the case where slot booking is enabled for a particular institute.
Upon checking the enable Admit Card option, you can choose an admit card template which will be visible to the student on their applicant dashboard once the Candidate has scheduled his exam and details received by NPF via Modify Appointment API.
Also, admit card can be configured in document templates where the user can choose document sub -type as 'Admit Card' and it will be visible in the drop down in admit card template dropdown in exam config.
#The modify appointment API is also not used by Mettl as we do not receive any slot booking details from Mettl. So, we can skip this sub-module if needed.
Receive the Candidates Result/Enable Scorecard: This will enable the Result Notifications API which is used by Mercer|Mettl to push the Results of the Candidates. Also, you could configure the Template for the Scorecard which could be downloaded by the Candidates from Student Admission Portal.
Enable Exam Rescheduling : This module allows the Candidates who have scheduled their Exam, to change their Exam Venue or Date or Time any time within the allowed window for Rescheduling. Based on the Institute's requirements, you could define the number of times a candidate can reschedule his exam attempt, Button name to be shown to the Candidates, Time duration before which a candidate is allowed to pay for reschedule and/or Reschedule Exam, define the payment details etc.
***As of now, rescheduling option is not configured or active for vendor Mettl, as we have not received any requirements from Mettl or institutes for the same.
Allow multiple attempts/Retakes : This allows Candidates to take more than one Exam Attempt. Basis Institutes requirement, we can define the conditions when a Candidate is allowed for Retake, Payment to be taken for Retake (if any), Name of button, Time gap between any two attempts etc.
#As of now, we have not received reschedule or retake configuration requests for Mercer|Mettl. Hence, the Re-scheduling and Retake options are optional to configure in this case.
Show Exam Graph : Here you can define all the Exam dispositions which you would like to see in the Exam Attempts dashlet on Admin Dashboard.
Collected by Vendor : Not Applicable
Blocked Actions Status : Not Applicable
Status : This defines if the Exam Ecosystem will be Active or not. The same action could also be performed from the Manage Exam Config Page.
Exam Partner Configuration
- The Assessment Schedule API, Registration API are pre-populated and alreay mentioned in the Exam RGS.
- The three keys that are needed and vary from one client to other, are the Public, Private and Access Keys. Access keys are not provided by Mettl directly. It is available in the client dashboard provided by Mettl. The client can get an access-key from the test link settings in the Mettl dashboard (alphanumeric key at the end of the 'Link to Share')
- You can also generate the access key using this article Generate Aceess key for MErcer | Mettl
- Exam Access key field refers to the field where we have mapped the Exam serie code/Exam name (by creating a disabled form field and populating the same through JS). And then we have to select the same field name in the ‘Exam Access key ‘ Field option
The Test Graded Notification Url remains same for all colleges. You just have to replace the institute id to generate the test graded notification url for that particular college/institute
- Click on the ‘Save Config” option to save the settings. This will also clear all the Static caches and save the settings for exam integration.
The result mapping allows us to populate the results in Application Manager. Once the student is able to SSO to the vendor platform, and completes the exam, the vendor then pushes back the result on the NPF Result API using the JSON/XML sent in the Result Data in Manage Exams
Upon clicking the preview button , in Manage Exam >> Exam Result Data, you can then see the Result JSON/XML
You can then copy the JSON and paste it under the ‘Template Format’ Dialog box. Then Click on the ‘Validate JSON’ button. It will then provide u Sectional and subsection headings for marks obtained for each section and subject
You can then choose to map the fields in JSON with Admin fields, to populate respective Result Data in the selected Admin fields on AM.
In case the Admin field you want is not created, you can create one, by clicking on the create new Admin Field button when a drawer will open as shown below. Once you have created a new admin field and mapped it to the related score heading, you can then save the config and same will be visible in AM. In order to map multiple fields in AM, you can click on the Add more option to create a new field and map it to the result.
NOTE: Result mapping should only be done, after saving the main exam config. Once the student is able to SSO and the result has been fetched on the NPF Result API, only after that should you map the Result JSON.
Implementation Tracker and Sanity Sheet: Once the flow is tested and complete, the concerned SPOC needs to provide a sign-off on the implementation tracker and maintain a weekly data in the sanity sheet to make sure there are no discrepancies.
Implementation Tracker & Sanity Sheet Sample
NOTE: Once the integration is completed, and you are facing any errors while successfully enabling SSO to the vendor portal, please refer to the Exam Ecosystem Debugging Kit for first level debugging. If the case persists, then you may contact the product team to resolve the same.