Issue Chasing and Profile
The technical members of the QTI-IPS team have been examining the specification and documentation in minute detail, attempting to tease out any anomalies which could get in the way of interoperability. We are finding that we need to separate the issues which are strictly QTI from those that are implementation-oriented. Sometimes this is quite tricky, as the representation of intentions in a question is not easily separated from its rendered form.
Updated versions of some of the renderers are now on the support site virtual machine, a copy of which is visible at http://cloud.niallbarr.me.uk/ - see later in this post.
We’ve just had a very positive meeting in Paris with the IMS QTI Working Group. We discussed many things about the specification and documentation and a list of elements for the Main Profile was suggested. Lively discussion revealed that there are many interpretations of the term “profile”, depending on who is talking! There are, in fact a number of profiles under construction, so the requirement for more than one profile to be described, implemented by more than one set of tools and demonstrated is sure to be fulfilled.
The QTI-IPS project is now moving into the support stage of its activity, beginning with yesterday’s Roadshow at Strathclyde University. We had a full day – a very busy day – in which we
- Looked at the reasons for using standards for educational resources, particularly questions and tests,
- Showed some sample questions and tests which take e-assessment a good bit further than the normal MCQ-MAQ-text input,
- Demoed lots of tools for rendering, editing and converting questions and tests, and had participants trying them out in a long and lively hands-on session,
- Discussed the issues around QTI and uptake
Altogether, it was a very useful meeting, certainly from our point of view, and the feedback from delegates was generally very positive, but coloured by the financial constraints within HE and FE.
The second of these Roadshows will be the pre-conference workshop at the CAA conference in Southampton on July 4th, see http://jisc.cetis.ac.uk/events/.
The website is taking shape in the virtual machine, and is visible at http://cloud.niallbarr.me.uk/.
Currently it has
- Two of the renderers – MathAssessEngine and JAssess – available for trial runs of questions,
- A Moodle instance which will soon have a course with sample tests for different disciplines,
- A link to the Eqiat question editor, developed at the University of Southampton under the EASiHE project
- SToMP II, a QTI 2.1 implementation written in PHP,
- QTItalk interactive QTI 2.1 documentation,
- QTICat which can take a set of questions and report on which renderers are able to run them,
- Links to more editors, with a bit of info about what they do best,
- Links to conversion tools – these will convert batches of questions at the same time,
- A growing library of examples of items and tests, demonstrating the specification - we still have to annotate these...
- The FAQ collection – currently under construction,
- Repositories – Minibix
Mailing Lists and Forums
The best places to ask questions about QTI are the mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org and on the IMS Forum. Members of the team are keeping an eye on these lists and taking an active part in responding to queries.