Do you ever need to be able to limit users to a single application reliably and securely? Or you have a display computer which you want to limit to a single application (eg an information booth PC)? One of the features of Windows 8 that will be useful for education customers is Kiosk, or Assigned Access, mode.

In education, two typical examples would be to lock a computer to a single application:

  • During a controlled assessment, run an assessment app, and stop students using other applications, or going off to Internet websites to look up answers.
  • Setup an information screen in reception/elsewhere, locked to a institution information app, an interactive campus map, or timetable app

To setup a Windows 8 computer in Assigned Access mode, what you do is setup a dedicated user profile, login and install the app, change the user settings to ‘Assigned Access’, and then choose the app they can run. Then, whenever the machine is logged in with that user, it will go straight into the app – with no option to run anything else. If you’re running an information kiosk, it’s the same idea, with the machine always logged in.

I want to setup a Windows 8 computer locked to an assessment app

imageLet’s say I want to run the SolveIT app (see the screenshot on the right), which tests students’ 21st Century skills, such as their ability to problem solve using communication and collaboration with other users.

The SolveIT app provides a mechanism for students to communicate and chat within the test, and is able to use the logs from the conversation to assess the students’ collaboration level. So we don’t want to allow students to have a separate IM conversation in Lync, because the app won’t assess it. So we’ll want to lock them to only running SolveIT. (For more on SolveIT, see Janison’s blog post)

Steps to setup a Windows 8 computer locked to a single app

My colleagues in Canada have documented the twelve step process to setup Assigned Access mode, and they are fairly straightforward. For the full instructions, take a look at their blog post below

Learn MoreRead the instructions to setup Assigned Access mode