DigitalDesk FAQ'S

Below you’ll find answers to commonly asked support questions and other inquiries you might have. We also invite you to visit our troubleshooting guide with answers to the top support questions or to visit our Community with step-by-step guidance and resources based on role.



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Frequently Asked Questions

DigitalDesk supports all Opscan™ and iNSIGHT™ scanners manufactured by Scantron. We are an authorized reseller of these scanners and can provide significant savings when purchased with a DigitalDesk solution.


Re-runs are easily performed by opening up the desired exam and then just scanning the sheets again. This is possible because the exam information is stored in a database. Faculty can also modify keys and automatically re-score student exams without having to request a re-scan from testing services.


DigitalDesk will create the form definition currently in use at your institution. We also offer other forms that eliminate the need for maintaining inventory of multiple forms, usually at a significant savings compared to the current forms in use. There is no limit to the number of forms that can be used in DigitalDesk. Additional forms added to your institution scan form applications require programming to support. Forms may be rejected for missing items in the scanner control module. We have a Spec Codes field that can be used for various purposes.



Faculty can define multiple correct responses for exam items. Students are only allowed to select a single correct response.


The number of choices is based on the scan form being used. Generally, forms are defined as A-E or A-J.


Essay questions can be included on the form as well. Obviously, faculty must subjectively grade the score for those items and the resulting points earned may be bubbled in on the form.


The DigitalDesk scanner control module allows for form rejection based on marking errors and missing field information. Those default options are set in settings. However, during the scanning session, the operator can turn those features on and off.


If students select multiple choices their entire form may be rejected or the just the item is not scored.


Demographic information is required. If a student fails to mark both name and identification number, then the form will be rejected. If the student selected one or the other where there is some identifiable student information then the form may be accepted.


DigitalDesk processes millions of form each year accurately. On occasion, the scanner may pickup stray marks, erasures or other marks that will pass incorrect data to the application. In these instances, the operator has the option of rejecting the form, making the correction and re-scanning the form. Faculty also has access to the scan sheet data and may make those corrections electronically. Scantron scanners are used in hundreds of thousands applications, providing accurate data.


Exam processing efficiency is constrained by multiple factors, ie. scanner speed, client computer speed, network speed and database server speed, and uncontrollable events such as scanning errors including paper jams, skewed sheets and marking errors. If the recommended infrastructure configuration is followed (see previous section Deployment, Availability and Performance, sub paragraph Infrastructure), DigitalDesk is able to process at speeds equal to the processing speed of the scanner. It should also be considered that because DigitalDesk is a single process solution, it significantly improves upon the multi-process solution that is currently employed. See demonstration of real-time scanning at a DigitalDesk customer at http://www.digitaldeskinc.com/solutions/datacentral.


DigitalDesk supports unlimited number answer keys. Certain scan forms contain version ID’s that can be marked by students and read by the scanning application eliminating the need to sort by version. Scan forms that do not have the version ID field require sorting prior to scanning. Faculty can pre-bubble multiple correct response. Item weights can be assigned pre and post scanning. Faculty can assign by range or individually. Negative points can be assigned to distractors if the item is scoring is defined as Partial Point. Point values can be up to 2 decimal places. At this time, keys are scanned or entered into InstructorTools web application.


DigitalDesk produces several standard reports. In addition, we can produce custom reports for import into LMS grade books or specialized reports for learning objectives. The following is a list of our standard reports. Please see http://www.digitaldeskinc.com/solutions/reports for samples of each report.


Exam Analysis – a comprehensive report showing, High/Low/Mean/Median/Standard/Chronbach’s Alpha. In addition, for each item, a Point Bi-serial number is generated and a distractor analysis is provided.


Academic integrity checks – The detailed exam analysis report provides a distractor analysis that assists in item integrity and validity.


Statistical analysis – A score frequency report may be produced by section or a section comparison.


Cumulative reporting - Roster reports are by class. Exam Analysis is cumulative. Score Frequency distribution is by section or comparative by section. A custom report can be generated to create a cumulative report.


There is not an essay box score per-se. However, non-objective points earned are calculated and added to the total score. A custom report can be created to present the non-objective component separately.


Error Report – The desktop client and the InstructorTools web page both show, by student sheet, the errors encountered on the form, such as multiple marks, missed item, etc. Faculty can preview those errors and compare with student sheets.


Alpha list by Name or Student number – The roster report shows student scores alphabetically. A CSV file can be generated and sorted by ID as well.


Grade Assignments by point value – The standard reports give both points earned as well as percent grade.


Individual student feedback – The student score report includes basic exam information such as student name, faculty name, course description, regular points earned, bonus points earned and percent grade. In addition, faculty can choose to show item missed, students response to item missed and correct response


Raw vs. Weighted Scores – Reports generated show points earned and percent grade. The Answer Key analysis report shows item point value weighting.


Custom Reports – DigitalDesk will produce custom reports for a fee. Alternatively, DigitalDesk can provide a view to the results table that can be used to produce custom reports.



At the conclusion of a scanning session, a notification can be sent directly to faculty that the job was completed. Faculty has the option to send student reports to students by clicking a button reading “Release student score reports”. The optional student report engine will process those reports automatically.


Features in the end user portal (InstructorTools™)


Operating systems, browsers and devices – DigitalDesk client software runs on Windows 7 through 10. The InstructorTools web application runs on Windows Server 2008 – 2012 in IIS. Most browsers support InstructorTools. We have tested it with Safari, Chrome, IE, Edge, and Firefox. It also runs in the browsers of mobile devices using IOS and Android.


Access to processed exams are controlled by login using either the local DigitalDesk authentication scheme or the single-sign on authentication employed at the institution such as CAS, Shibboleth or LDAP/Active Directory. User accounts are related to processed exams, which are filtered in the presentation layer. Owners of exams can assign TA’s to work with exams. For security and FERPA reasons, the TA relationship with a section is limited to the current semester. At the conclusion of a semester, the TA relationship automatically is terminated.


DigitalDesk API – DigitalDesk does not have any API’s for third party integration.


SIS, Identity Management – DigitalDesk utilizes data from the Student information system utilized on campus. The data is either supplied via CSV files or direct access to views. This process is generally automated and runs during the night. Some schools run additional updates throughout the day to keep enrollment, student and instructor data closer to real-time. DigitalDesk supports CAS, Shibboleth and LDAP/Active Directory for Identity management. In the event that a non-supported identity management system is utilized, DigitalDesk will customize the login to work with the desired solution.


Non-your institution affiliated tests – DigitalDesk creates non-associated course (CTC 001), section and enrollment records, which allow for non-your institution exams to be scored.


Automated Account and Course Creation – Because DigitalDesk uses data supplied from the SIS employed; it is not necessary to create courses or accounts. This method maintains integrity of the data. Course data can be cross-listed (merged sections). You have the option of selecting the entire cross-listed section or the subsections when setting up a test making the need for unmerging sections unnecessary.


Single Sign-On solutions - DigitalDesk supports CAS, Shibboleth and LDAP/Active Directory for Identity management. In the event that a non-supported identity management system is utilized, DigitalDesk will customize the login to work with the desired solution


Training - DigitalDesk provides 1 day of on-site training at no cost during the time of installation. Additional on-site training is provided at $2,500 per day for a class of 15 and individual on-site training is provided at $150 per hour. There is a PDF file with basic instructions on setting up exams and scoring. A trained operator should perform regular, on-going training. In the event that an on-site training is required, DigitalDesk will do so at the above-mentioned training rates. Other options are available via WebEx at a reduced rate.


Support – Unlimited annual technical support is offered. Customers can call 24/7. Additionally, customers can log a support request on our website at http://www.digitaldeskinc.com/home/support. The submitted request will be processed as soon as possible, generally within an hour. Most support requests are processed through WebEx which hosts voice, video and chat. DigitalDesk provides customization at the rate of $175 per hour. Most requested feature enhancements that benefit the entire DigitalDesk customer base are not charged.


Software/Hardware maintenance – DigitalDesk continues to enhance the feature sets of its solutions. Bug fixes are handled as quickly as possible. Updated solutions are pushed to the client installations at an agreed upon time. Because DigitalDesk does not supply hardware to the institution, all hardware maintenance is the responsibility of client.


Upgrade Cycle – Feature enhancements are scheduled on a quarterly basis. The next version will be available for select clients in January 2017. DigitalDesk works with local users and IT support personnel to manage the upgrade. Many institutions provide a VPN solution and grant access to the database server for schema changes and support.


Installation Process – Prior to the local, onsite installation, DigitalDesk works with local IT and data personnel to install the database engine and configure IIS on the supplied VM servers. Data sets will be tested for integrity and usability. An onsite, three day installation/training session will be schedule where the desktop client software is installed and tested and staff is trained. It will be important for your institution to have IT personnel available with administrator rights during the onsite installation process.


No. You can set weights for specific questions and InstructorTools will distribute the remaining points evenly among the other questions. Questions can be worth a fraction of a point.


No, these fields are not required although they help filter out unneeded questions.


The default template for all questions in Item Management is Objective. You will have to change certain questions to Essay/Short Answer manually.


Go to the first page in the Exam section and click on the file/folder symbol to find your exam. Make the necessary changes and Publish it again. This will update the exam.


Go to Rescore and find your exam. Click the box next to Add Bonus Points and click Individual (to give points to specific students) or All (to give points to the entire class). Then enter the number of points you wish to add into the empty field.


Results Data allows you to modify and correct the students' answer sheets. If needed, you can change reassign a sheet to a different student.


The Answer Keys section allows you to modify exam questions, changing which answers are correct or making them bonus/extra credit questions.


This can be caused by many things. An error message at the top of the screen should indicate what the problem is, but check all of your items too. Usually an item is missing question text or valid answers (Multiple Select requires at least two), the number of objective and non-objective questions is wrong, a question may not be allowed by the scan form, or the total points for the exam is more than what was set in Scoring Options.


This usually means a faculty member teaching the same course created this question, and made it shareable with other faculty members.


Your instructor can toggle whether students are able to revisit questions or not. An option for "Mark For Review" should be available if you are allowed to revisit questions.


Your instructor can release student scores at their discretion. Contact them if you have any questions.


No. Once you start the exam, you must see it through to its completion.


The exam may be a proctored exam, as indicated on the exam card. This means you will need to take the exam in-class while supervised by the instructor or a TA, remotely via technology like Proctorio® or ProctorU®, or at your university’s Testing Center. If it is Unproctored but the button does not show up, contact your instructor.


This is an option controlled by the instructor, and can be enabled or disabled at their discretion.


Reviewing exams is an option controlled by the instructor, and can be enabled or disabled at their discretion.


DigitalDesk supports a wide variety of filetypes, but if your filetype is not supported, please contact your instructor.


InstructorTools has options to scramble both the question sequence and the order of the questions. Exams can also be proctored remotely, Allowing you to monitor what a student does on an exam. WebAssess also keeps track of mouse moovementn so if a student ever navigates away from the exam window, the exam is closed immediately.


Questions can be Regular, Replacement Bonus, and Extra Bonus. Answers can be Multiple Choice, Multiple Select, or Essay/Short Answer. Multiple Choice questions can have partially-correct answers, which award less-than full points if chosen, and/or multiple correct answers. Multiple Select questions can have their answers be Required, meaning all correct options must be selected in order to get points.


No. On the New Exam Review page there is an option at the bottom to print your exam, which will download a PDF of your exam to your computer. You may then print this out and give it as a pen-and-paper test to students.


In the Reports section You can download graphs and analyses related to score distribution, student performance, answer key analysis, etc, all of which can be downloaded as a .zip file.


Faculty have access to the My Class section, where they can send messages to students, create, grade, and delete assignments, manage proctored exams, and add/delete questions from the question bank.


Administrators can go into Settings where they can send system-wide messages (or to individual recipients), review the changes to exams, activity history, and scanning errors, add and delete test aids, manage database storage, roll semesters, add/delete system users, and view activity reports.


WebAssess currently supports HTML/XML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, Ruby, Python, Java, C, C#, and C++.


Faculty can see the class average for the classes they are teaching, the grade distribution for each class, and their currently active exams.


Administrators can see the number of exams given by each college, how many exams are given by each course in that college, and all the exams processed through the system.


Students can view their grade average, the percentage of exams and assignments they've completed/need to complete, the class average versus their average, and their exam and assignment scores.


DigitalDesk will create the form definition currently in use at your institution. We also offer other forms that eliminate the need for maintaining inventory of multiple forms, usually at a significant savings compared to the current forms in use. There is no limit to the number of forms that can be used in DigitalDesk. Additional forms added to your institution scan form applications require programming to support. Forms may be rejected for missing items in the scanner control module. We have a Spec Codes field that can be used for various purposes..



Faculty can define multiple correct responses for exam items. Students are only allowed to select a single correct response.