Wednesday, 18 July 2012

QTI @ CAA 2012 / new Uniqurate release

Last week's participation in the 2012 International Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) Conference was a great success for all of the QTI projects. QTI was clearly positioned front and centre throughout the conference, with stream A on Wednesday almost exclusively devoted to it. The closing speaker, Paul Bailey of JISC, went out of his way to stress the importance of QTI and open standards within the field of electronic assessment, and to talk about JISC's commitment to this area of research.

The conference was preceded by a QTI Workshop on the Monday, which was most productive, particularly from the perspective of Uniqurate in that it allowed us to get some new faces using the application - and exposed some new bugs! Consequently, a new version of Uniqurate has been released today that addresses the following bugs:

  • Adding an image into a question causes invalid XML to be generated
  • Using IE causes invalid XML to be generated (regardless of images!)
  • Inconsistent behaviour of watermarked input fields - sometimes the watermark remained when you tried to type into the field, meaning that what you got was a mismash of what you wanted and the watermark text

The version of UQ released today addresses these issues and represents quite a significant change under the hood, which should hopefully resolve any remaining inconsistencies across browsers in the XML that gets produced. As a bonus, while I had the image insertion code open, I also added the ability to not only add an image from a URL on the public internet, but also to push an image from your local hard disk and have it bundled as part of the eventual question content package. (This itself meant a big change under the hood with respect to the way the app handled content package manifests, but you end users don't care about that!)

Upcoming work will probably be to add a component that gets the student to place/drag items into a correct order - this seemed to get some appreciative nods for a "next up" suggestion, but if you have any other ideas, particularly if they're cross disciplinary in nature, fire them at me!

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