One of the problems was that UQ seemed to be turning into three discrete sub-applications:
- The "Friendly" WYSIWYG drag-and-drop mode, targeted at those who just want to create e-assessment content and have no QTI expertise - or inclination to acquire it!
- The "Intermediate" mode, for pre-existing content that couldn't readily be crammed into UQ's "Friendly" mode, enabling these novice users to alter the human-readable aspects and make changes to a question's context;
- The "Expert" mode, for the old hands at QTI who find the support mechanisms of the other two modes confining and obtrusive.
Given that it's a fairly quiet period, with little coming from the client institutions in terms of new components, I thought I'd use the time to address this splintering of the app. This is doubly important with CAA coming up, particularly with our pre-conference workshop where we'll have new
victims users exposed to UQ. I believe it's important that the journey that an application requires of a user is logical, and can be followed by those of all levels of expertise.
UQ now opens up with an initial landing/menu page, which invites the user to create or load new content:
Depending on the content, the user will be seamlessly routed to the best mode for them. If they're creating a new question or editing an existing UQ one, then clicking the Edit icon will take them to the "Friendly" mode. However, if the question was authored outside of UQ, it will offer them the "Intermediate" mode:
There have also been a lot of changes "under the hood". Most significant of these is the ability to support foreign characters, which will be invaluable for some of our colleagues on QTI-PET...
...although it's all Greek to me :-)
We've also got a new component, the simple text response (i.e. the student types some text, and it's either wrong, or right). Simple is the operative word, but it's a fairly elementary and basic component that - bottom line - is going to be expected by end users even if it's so basic they don't think of articulating it as a requirement!