Whitelisting Enables Access to External Applications

As a part of the latest update of the WISEflow platform, whitelisting of external online resources was enabled within the LockDown browser. This allows for new uses of WISEflow in several different kinds of exams, including computer science, maths and economics, while keeping the integrity of the secure protocols of the exam intact.

While this seems to be a minuscule change or a small feature, it can mean a major impact on the way you can construct your digital exams. It makes it possible to support and rethink the way you create exams today. It removes some of the prior limitations and enables the use of digital exams in some of the educational niches, where digitisation used to be a challenge due to specific demands in the creation of exams.

 

Choose Your Preferred Application

Through whitelisting, WISEflow now supports access to a wide array of external sources and tools – for example, online code editors. Instead of being limited to a fixed code editor in the FLOWlock browser, whitelisting enables you to choose the exact code editor you want. Whether it is Codechef, Ace or another online code editor is your choice. This allows educational institutions to customise exams that require code writing to their preferences, instead of providing a “one size fits all” solution.

Students just access the whitelisted resource and it opens in another tab – everything still takes place within the LockDown browser.

The students then write their code in the editor, copy it and embed it into their FLOWlock exam by using the code setting in the FLOWlock editor. By enabling access to an online code editor, the students are also able to compile their code, making sure it is working as intended. If preferred, it is also an option to install a specific code editor locally (or any other program you would like to make part of the exam) and enable access to that through the institutions website instead.

 

The Caveat: Third-Party Applications Entail Risks

Whitelisting also enables you to give access to applications like Excel Online. This can be a major advantage to students in certain exams, as it provides them with a familiar interface and allows them to utilise many of their skills within Excel, acquired during their education, within the exam situation.

But whitelisting external applications always entails a risk, as we cannot guarantee the same security we provide within the FLOWlock browser to be kept by these third-party applications. As an example, Excel Online is a platform designed for cooperation, which means it has built-in functionalities to share and work together with others from within the domain of the application. These functionalities may be unwanted in the exam situation.  As such, enabling access to third-party online applications should always be done with caution.

If you want to maintain the high security that the FLOWlock browser provides, it is possible to install the software you need within a virtual environment on your own network and whitelist the URL to access this environment. This way, you can control the virtual space surrounding the application, effectively stopping students from progressing further than that environment.

 

How to Whitelist Online Resources

As a very quick guide, here is a video illustrating how you whitelist a specific online resource for your chosen exam flow:

 

For an in-depth picture-by-picture description of the whitelisting process, visit our Knowledge base-article.

 

How to Use a Whitelisted Resource

For this example, we have chosen a code editor – CodeSandbox.

First, click the resource in the right pane in the FLOWlock browser window:

Whitelisting in WISEflow

The chosen resource opens in a new tab.

You are now able to write code with the assistance of the functionalities of the chosen code editor.

WISEflow Whitelisting

Write your code and copy it.

Go back to WISEflow and choose ‘code block’ from the drop-down menu of the text editor.

Paste your code in.

 

 

 

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