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DataLink Connect Frequently Asked Questions

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Click on one of the topics below to expand OR  

videolink  Visit our Learning Center to view online video tutorials.

 

Getting Started with DataLink Connect

Before you can use DataLink to scan forms you’ll need to perform a few installation steps.
  • Install the appropriate USB Driver.  Windows instructions are in the Installing USB Drivers - Windows Help file entry.
    OSX instructions are in the Installing USB Drivers - OSX Help file entry.
     
  • Connect the scanner to your computer using a USB cable.
     
  • Plug the power supply into an outlet and connect it to your scanner and start DataLink Connect.
TestScoringButton
Test Scoring - Places the scanner and DataLink Connect in Test Scoring Mode.
Data Collection Button
Data Collection - Places the scanner and DataLink Connect in Data Collection Mode.
Start/Pause - Starts and pauses operation of your attached BenchMark, DataLink 3000 or Sekonic scanner.
ExcelExportButton
Excel Export- Allows quick access to the available Excel exports. Including the complete results shown in the Results Grid.
KeyScannerButton
Key Scanner - Transmits a key that has been loaded into DataLink Connect to the attached scanner.
GradebookExportButton
Gradebook Export - Allows you to quickly export the results to the gradebook of your choice.
ReportsButton
Reports - The reports button brings up the reports window, allowing you to print reports, create PDF's or export results to Excel.

Installing USB Drivers

In order to connect DataLink to your scanner you will need to first install USB drivers. 

To start the driver installation select Help, USB Drivers... from the main menu. When you see the following window click the appropriate button to begin the installation. 

missing usb driver

DataLink will close when you install the USB drivers. After installing the drivers connect your scanner to your computer and restart DataLink.

Please Note: Because these are kernel mode drivers you will need the administrator’s password to complete the installation.

Troubleshooting Scanner Connection Issues

If your scanner won’t connect please try the following steps to try to resolve your problem.  If you have not installed the appropriate USB driver for your scanner please do so now by following the instructions in the previous section.
Please follow these steps to try to connect your scanner to your computer.  1) Check to make sure that the scanner is powered on and connected to the computer by a USB cable.
2) Press the
 Reset Options button on the scanner until the LCD reads “Ready”. 
3) Quit and Restart DataLink.
Avoid USB Hubs
At times USB hubs have caused connection problems. If you can’t connect and are using a USB hub please connect the USB cable directly between the scanner and your computer.

Troubleshooting Scanning Issues


If your test form is rejected read the scanner’s LCD screen. If the LCD display shows:
  • “Timing Marks not Detected,” try feeding in the test form again. This happens usually if you did not feed in the test form correctly. If the test form continues to be rejected, check that you are using a test form compatible with your scanner.
  • “Side Already Keyed,” check if you have mistakenly marked the test form as a key. This error will not happen in Data Collection mode.
  • “PAPER SKEW …… Insert again, or push NEXT button to bypass error,” try scanning in the test form again or push the “NEXT DISPLAY” button to ignore the error and scan in your next test form.

Troubleshooting Web Connection Issues

If you are having problems connecting to Apperson's web services you can test your web proxy by clicking the Proxy Test... button in the Contact Supportwindow.

ProxyTestInProgress

After the test is completed you'll be shown the results. If you need to modify the proxy settings you can do so in the Preferences, Proxy pane.
ProxyTestCompleted

Proxy If your network requires a proxy in order to connect to the internet enter your proxy settings here. 

 
 

Using DataLink Connect

Batch Reporting allows you to define a set of reports and then print or save them using a single click.
BatchReportEditor
You can define a new Batch Report by selecting Batch Report Profiles from the File, Batch Reports menu item. 

To Create a New Batch Report:

Click the Add New button
Enter the name for your Batch Report in the Create New Batch Profile dialog. 
Click OK to save or Cancel to Cancel.
Select from the available reports and click the >> button to add them to the Selected column.
Choose the destination. You can have the files saved as PDF's or send them directly to the printer by selecting the appropriate option. 

To Run a Batch Report

Select the batch report by name from the File, Batch Reportsmenu item. 
To create a test key using a form follow these steps.
CreateKeywithForm
Using the same form that will be used to administer the test bubble in the "Key" bubble. Fill in the bubbles next to the correct responses on the key.
NumberedWindow
With DataLink connected to your scanner and in Test Scoring mode scan the key using your scanner. The correct responses will be shown in DataLink's blue key row.
1. Test Scoring button is pressed
2. Blue 'Key' row showing the data from the key that was scanned
3. The green circle and scanner model are shown here when connected
 
When you are finished save the key. To do this select Save Key... from DataLink's File menu.
The Key Creator Window can be used to create test keys for use in DataLink Connect.  To view the Key Creator Window select Create Key…, from the File menu.
CreateKeyForm Numbered
Sections on the Key Creator Window
1) Form Number - Select the form number that you will use for the exam here. 
2) Multiple Key Selection - If the form you'll be using supports multiple keys you may add them here. 
3) Key Properties - The maximum number of questions and the response format are shown here. 
4) Exam Properties - Basic exam information can be entered here. 
5) Correct Responses - The correct responses can be entered and edited here. Responses are limited to entries that are valid for the currently selected form. 
6) Import from CSV - Allows you to import correct responses from a CSV file. The file must be formatted according to the CSV Key File specifications
7) Save to File - Saves the current key to an APXK file for use later. 
8) Send to Grid - Sends the current key to the Scanner Results Grid.

Saving a Test Key

After scanning a test you can save the key for use later. Keys created in DataLink 4 are cross platform -
If you create a key on a Macintosh it can be read and used on a Windows computer.
stacks image 95
Before saving the test key enter information about the test being scored with this key in the Test Properties Window. This will make it easier for you to find the key later as the fields are indexed in Spotlight. 
To view the Test Properties window select Test Properties... from the Sessionmenu. 
Sections in the Key Properties Window
 
1. Test/Key Information - Information about the test or key is shown here. Data entered here is printed on the reports generated by DataLink
Tests Scanned - Because this is a key this will be zero

Test Name - Enter the name of the test here. This will be used as the default value in reports created for tests scored with this key.

Test Date - The date the key was scanned is displayed here. You can edit this value.

Instructor Name - Enter the name of the instructor here. This will be used as the default instructor name in reports created for tests scored with this key.
 
2. Key Information - This is general information about the key. Additionally, you can control how tests are scanned by your scanner. 

Number of Questions - The number of questions on the key is shown here.

Number of Keys - The number of keys is shown here. Most forms only have a single key. 

Verify - When checked the correct response will be printed next to incorrectly bubbled in questions on the form. This is the same as marking the Verify box on the paper key.

Rescore - When checked the tally of correct responses will be printed in the Rescore box on the test forms as they are scanned. This is the same as marking the Rescore box on the paper key.

Scoring Mode - The scoring mode used for this test key is shown here.

Grade Scale - The currently selected grade scale is shown here. Edits made here are saved with the test key. 
 
3. Key Security - Information about the key security is shown here. 

Prevent Editing Keys- When checked other users of this key can not modify the correct response values of the key. 

Prevent Editing Responses - When checked other users can not modify the responses that have been received from the scanner. 
Note: If you are the owner of the key you can edit the correct response values and test results of any test scored with this key. In order for this feature to work the test key must be loaded on a different copy of DataLink.
 
4. File Information - Information about the key file is shown here.

Date Created - The date the file was created is shown here. 

Data Last Modified - The date the test key was last modified is displayed here. 

File Name - The name of the file is shown here. 
To Save the Key select FileSave Key from the menu. A default name composed of the Test Name, Instructor Name and Test Date will be suggested. Use the suggested name or enter your own.  The saved key can be shared with other so that they can administer and score the same test.

Loading a Saved Key

 
To load a saved key select Load Key... from the File menu.
If the scanner is connected to your computer the key will be transmitted to it so that you can begin scoring tests immediately.
Key Mapping allows you to define the Standards and Correct Responses from one key to another. This allows you to view reports given on forms with multiple keys as if they were scored using a single key. This is only available for use with forms that contain a Key Code.
To view the Key Mapping window select Key Mapping from the Session menu item. This option is ONLY available if you are using a test form that supports multiple keys.
 
 
KeyMapping
Controls on the Key Mapping Window
1) Key to Map - Select the key that you want to map all of the other keys to. If you're using Groups and Standards or Subtests you'll want to use the key that has these aligned. 
2) Add new mapped key - Click this button to add a new mapped key. 
3) Question Number - The number of the question is shown here.
4) Mapped Key and Correct Responses - The mapped key and the correct responses are shown here. 
5) Mapping (One column per mapped key) - The mapping for the key is shown in this column. To change the question mapping select the question from the drop down. In the example shown question #5 on key B is the same as question #1 on key A.

 

 

 

Clicking the Gradebook export button will initiate a Gradebook Export. During the transfer the scores from the currently scanned tests are copied to your Gradebook application. Before using this feature you should set the Gradebook Export format in the Preferences Gradebook pane.

  • To Transfer Results to Your Gradebook

     
    After scoring your tests in DataLink click the Gradebook Transfer button to begin transferring data.
    Information specific to each export can be found on the Gradebook Export help page

Setting your Preferences 

OptionsResultsGrid
The Results Grid pane allows you to choose which data to show and how you want the Student Name to be formatted.
 
To Change the Results Columns: You can add columns to the results grid by checking the box next to the column name. Not all columns are supported on all forms or scanners. 

Please Note: The column order cannot be changed.

Name Format: You can change the way that the students name is displayed using the Name Format control. 
Lock Header Columns: Checking this box will lock the grid's header columns as the results are scrolled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OptionsScoring
The Scoring tab allows you to set the default value for correct, incorrect and blank responses for tests scored on this copy of DataLink. The default values are:

If the question is

 
 
Correct
Incorrect
Blank

The points awarded are...

1
0
0
 
 
Note: If you want to change the values for just a particular test, you can do this by clicking Scanner in the menu bar, thenTest Scoring, and then clicking the Scoring button in the new window that appears.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OptionsGrid
The Grid Options allows you to set the cell and text colors of results displayed in the Scanner Results Grid. The following settings can be changed.
Key: This controls the color of the cell that displays the key(s).
Header: This controls the color of cells that display the student name, ID number, scores and other 'header' type information. 
Correct Response: The correct response setting controls how the correct responses are displayed in the Scanner Results Grid.
Incorrect Response: This controls the color of cells that contain incorrect responses.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OptionsGradebooks
In the Gradebook tab you are able to select the Gradebook software you use. The setting here controls the formatting of the data that’s exported when you click the Gradebook export button on the main toolbar. 
 
 
If your Gradebook is not listed please email or call us and we’ll do what we can to add it.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OptionsOther
The Other tab lets you set preferences that didn’t fit anywhere else. 
The Instructor Name textbox allows you to enter the default Instructor for every test scored on this copy of DataLink. This is used in the reports and by some Gradebooks. If you need to override this for a particular test you can do so in the Test Properties window.
Start Mode: Select the default start mode for your copy of DataLink Connect from the drop-down list. 
Clicking the Clear Student Database button will remove ALL of the names from the student database. You will be asked to confirm this action as it cannot be undone.
Verify ID Numbers: Checking this box will cause the scanner to verify that an ID Number exists in the student database before accepting the form. Forms that contain ID numbers that are not found in the student database are physically rejected by the scanner. 
Log Scanner Data: Checking this box will cause DataLink to log commands sent between the scanner and the software. 
Use file compression: When checked DataLink will compress the APXT files that it creates. 
Auto-scroll to end: When checked DataLink will automatically scroll to show the last scanned record. 
Show the Apperson Prep toolbar button: When checked the Apperson Prep toolbar button will be shown
 
Note: To change the instructor’s name for a single test, click Scanner in the menu bar, click Test Properties and edit the Instructor Name field after scanning a test.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the Student Database

window studentdatabase



The Student Database window allows you to manage the entries in your student database. Entries made here are used to populate the Student Name column in the Scanner Results Grid. To view the window select Student Database from the File menu. 
  • To add a student click the Add Student button and enter the students name and ID number. You will find detailed instructions for manually adding students in the Manually Adding Students help entry.
  • To delete a student select the row that you want to delete by clicking once and press the Delete Student button.
  • To export all of your students to a file that you can import later click the Export button. Instructions for exporting students can be found in the Exporting Students entry.
  • To import students from a CSV file click the Import Students button and select the file containing the student names. Detailed instructions for importing students can be found in the How to Import Students help entry.
  • To delete all students from the student database use the Clear Student Database button in the Other Preferences pane.

 

 

 

Click the Add Student button in the toolbar.
A blank record for you to edit appears at the end of the Student Database as shown below.
Addingastudenttothedatabase 
Enter the student’s ID Number and First and Last Names in the new row. Pressing the Tab button will move from one column to the next. 

Note: Click the Add Students button to add another student.



If you want to import many students at one time see the  How To mporting Students help entry.

Select the student entry that you want to delete by clicking on it.
Click the Delete Student button in the toolbar.
A dialog window pops confirming that you want to delete the student. Click the Delete Student button to proceed. 
window studentdatabase deletestudent
The student has now been removed from the Student Database.

Note: You can delete all of the students from you student database using the Clear Student Database button in the Other Preferences window.

If the Student Database window isn’t already open, click File on the main menu then Student Database to open it.
Click the Export button on the toolbar.
In the Finder window enter the name of the file and choose a location to save it. 

You can re-import this file into DataLink by following the instructions in theImporting Studentshelp entry. The file can be shared by different users if a common student database is desired.

DataLink allows bulk importing of students into the Student Database using a properly formatted CSV file. Follow the steps below to import student names.


Click the Import Students button on the Student Database window’s toolbar.
Select the file containing the list of students. 
importcsv 1

Note: This file will usually have an extension of CSV but this is not necessary.



Click the Open button.
The students will now be uploaded into the Student Database.

CSV File Format Specification


The format for a student record is ID Number, First Name and Last Name as shown below. Each student record should appear on its own line in the file. Column headers are not used in the import file. If you happen to import a file with column headers you can delete the imported row in the Student Database window.

345678,Brittany,Shieh
123456,Don,Clark
234567,Adam,Argo

Note: You must format your CSV file as shown above to import the student names.

You can create this file using the Text Edit application or by exporting a student roster from Excel or any other application that can create a text file. If you open the file in Text Edit it should look similar to this:

importcsv 2

How To Questions

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Combining scanning sessions allows you to group tests together so that you can review the overall results of a group of students. This is useful in cases where the same test is given to different classes and you would like to view statistics for all of the classes at one time. 

To combine scanning sessions follow these steps

  1. Open the Combine Scanning Sessions window by selecting Combine Sessions from the File menu.
  2. Add files to the session by clicking the Add File or Add Folder button
  3. To immediately work with the combined results click the Export to Grid button, to work with them later click Export to File.

 

You can scale student scores or assign grades to tests scored with your scanner using the Scaled Score feature of DataLink. The scaled values appear in the Scaled Score column in the Scanner Results Grid.

Scaled Scores convert the Score value into a letter or numeric grade. Note that the Score is used not the Percent correct.

pasted graphic2

You can export data from DataLink in the following different ways.

Export the data shown in the Scanner Results Grid to an Excel or text file using the Results Export button.

 

Export data to a specified gradebook format using the Gradebook Export button

KeyScannerButton Clicking the Key Scanner button will transmit the currently loaded key to the connected scanner. Doing this allows you to eliminate the paper key which allows you to use the same test in different locations or at different times.

 

 Save data for later review with DataLink using the Save menu item.

  • In the DataLink menu bar, click the File menu, and then click Save.
  • In the Save Scanning Session window, enter a new name for the Test Session in the text box next to the “Save as” label.
  • Click the Save button.
  • DataLink saves the Test Session in a default location.
  • To designate where you want to save the Test Session, either click the down arrow button next to your Test Session’s name text box and navigate to the decided location, or select the location from the drop-down list next to the “Where” label.
  • If a message pops up indication that you already have an existing Test Session with the same name in the designated location, you can click the Replace button to replace this existing Test Session or you can click Cancel and save in a different location or name the Test Session to something else to not have the same message pop up.
  • Your Data has now been saved.

To save using a different name use the Save As menu item.

 

DataLink allows bulk importing of students into the Student Database using a properly formatted CSV file. Follow the steps below to import student names.


Click the Import Students button on the Student Database window’s toolbar.
Select the file containing the list of students. 
importcsv

Note: This file will usually have an extension of CSV but this is not necessary.



Click the Open button.
The students will now be uploaded into the Student Database.

CSV File Format Specification


The format for a student record is ID Number, First Name and Last Name as shown below. Each student record should appear on its own line in the file. Column headers are not used in the import file. If you happen to import a file with column headers you can delete the imported row in the Student Database window.

345678,Brittany,Shieh
123456,Don,Clark
234567,Adam,Argo

Note: You must format your CSV file as shown above to import the student names.

You can create this file using the Text Edit application or by exporting a student roster from Excel or any other application that can create a text file. If you open the file in Text Edit it should look similar to this:

Click the Add Student button in the toolbar.
A blank record for you to edit appears at the end of the Student Database as shown below.
Addingastudenttothedatabase 
Enter the student’s ID Number and First and Last Names in the new row. Pressing the Tab button will move from one column to the next. 

Note: Click the Add Students button to add another student.

When a name or ID Number is updated in the Results Grid the changes are saved in both the current scanning session and in the Student Database. 

To Edit or Enter a Name or ID Number

Step 1 - Double-Click the cell that you want to edit or enter data into, when the cell is ready to accept data the focus ring will be shown. In the image below we are entering a Student Name. 
filling in a blank entry

Step 2 - Type the name of the student into the Student Name field to update the results and the Student Database. 
entering janice hill

When entering or editing data in these fields keep the following rules in mind.

In order to enter a Student Name there must be an entry in the Student ID field. If there is not a Student ID entry for the test record the Student Name field will be read only and will not accept input. 

The Student Name should be entered with the first name separated from last name by a space. Like this:

George Washington

You can also enter student names using the ‘LastName, Firstname’ format where the student’s last name is separated from the first by a comma and a space.

When you edit or enter names in the Scanner Results Grid the values are entered or updated in the Student Database. This should make entering and correcting student names as simple as possible.

 

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