IELTS Results Service Integration

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as a language of communication. It uses a nine-band scale to clearly identify levels of proficiency, from non-user (band score 1) through expert (band score 9). Cambridge English is piloting a program with some institutions to allow IELTS results to be automatically imported into Slate via the IELTS Results Service API. This article outlines the necessary steps to configure this process within Slate.

Configurations

IELTS scores can be imported into Slate using an API call that is configured as a Source Format. In order to automatically fetch the data via the API, you will need the Client ID and Client Secret, which can be provided to you within your Cambridge Assessment Developer Portal.  If you have not done so already, register for the API with the IELTS Results Service API Registration Form.  

A Cambridge Assessment Developer Portal account will be created for you or the technical contact who you designate at your institution, and after that set-up is complete, the API credentials are generated.  You or the designated technical contact will receive an email from IELTS after each of these steps to notify you of the progress and provide direction on the next action to take. 

  Note

The IELTS Results Service API Registration Form includes questions about the way Slate stores and manages data. Answer these questions with the following:

  • Q: How will your system store the IELTS result data?
    • A: All data in Slate is stored in encrypted databases on encrypted filesystems in secure datacenters, using 256-bit AES encryption.
  • Q: Have you or your external system provider had any regulatory action for information incidents or breaches?
    • A: No.
  • Q: If your system is provided by a third party will the external system provider be sharing IELTS Results data?
    • A: No.

If you have any questions about how to access your institution's Client ID and Client Secret, contact Cambridge English using the IELTS Results Service Support Request Form, and select "I'm having difficulty enabling API integration with my institution's management system, e.g., CRM."

Note: Cambridge English renews your Client ID and Secret every 12 months, so the authorization header in the source format must be updated annually.

IELTS Test Type

The test type stores the score results.

  1. Select Database on the top navigation bar and select Slate Template Library.
  2. Add the IELTS test type. No changes should be made to the test type.
Source Format

This Source Format automatically fetches score results shared with your institution.

  1. Select Database on the top navigation bar and select Source Format Library.
  2. Add the IELTS Results Service (JSON) Source Format.
  3. Select Edit. The IELTS Results Service dialog appears.
  4. Select the Import Automation tab.

  5. Leave the Import Remote Server setting as is.
  6. Add the authorization header to the HTTP Headers box according to the following: 
    • Perform a base 64 encoding on the Client ID and Client Secret values provided by Cambridge English. You can use a website such as https://www.base64encode.org/ to get the base-64 encoded value by pasting in the Client ID and the Client Secret values, separated by a full colon.

    • Add the authorization header using the format: <t name="Authorization">Basic {{base-64 encoded value}}</t>

      Note: The base-64 encoded value wraps to the next line; however, there is a single space between the word Basic and this value.

  7. Override the Last Remote Server Fetch setting to be the approximate date of the last IELTS scores that were imported into Slate. By default, all currently valid IELTS scores released to your institution will be sent during the first fetch. Overriding this value will limit the fetch to just those since the last import.
    • Click the Override link

    • Enter the confirmation message. Note: This is case-sensitive.

  8. In the Last Remote Server Fetch field, enter the approximate timestamp that the source format should send to IELTS to restrict the data that is retrieved during the first data fetch.
    Note: The timestamp should be in the UTC timezone in the format: yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ss (for example, 2019-09-29T00:00:00)

  9. Select Save to update the configurations.
  10. Configure the Remap settings for the Format Definition. Many items have been pre-mapped. As always, feel free to customize how the data will be imported.
    • Some institutions may wish to only accept IELTS scores from the Academic module. If you choose to prevent the General module scores from importing into Slate, you may map the Module source field to the Custom: Skip Import destination.

    • On the Value Mappings page, map General Training to Skip Import to prevent these tests from importing. If your institution has not yet received data with this value, you may use the Append Values link to add this value as an option to map.

  11. Set the Remap Active flag to Active on the Source Format once you are finished mapping the Source Format. This will run the import using the Remap settings configured above for all files uploaded on or after the Remap As Of Date value.
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