Saturday, 7 July 2012

QTIWorks snapshot 10 has been released

I'm pleased to announce that the 10th snapshot of QTIWorks is now available for you to play with:

This release has been timed squarely to coincide with the CAA conference in Southampton next week and focuses on showcasing QTI, as well as lifting the wraps on some of the functionality that people will use to actually deliver and integrate their assessments.

New look and feel

The first thing you'll notice is a new (albeit rather) minimalist look and feel. This is likely to evolve over time as I'm a terrible graphic designer, but I have to say I do like the font I've chosen. (Yay for Google Web Fonts and CSS @font-face!)

Public demo/showcase area

I have moved all of the functionality that doesn't require a full QTIWorks account into a new "Demos" section, which we'll develop over time as a nice public showcase of QTI. Currently you can do 3 things here:
  • Try out our bundled samples: I've bundled a selection of QTI 2.1 sample items into this area for people to try out... and this bundle now includes some nice examples from UPMC. I've made a bit of an effort to pick appropriate "delivery settings" for these so that they are showcased in a sensible way, though I have a wee bit more work to do in this respect. I think it looks quite nice, so go and have a play!
  • Upload and validate your own item or test: This is the validator from snapshot 1 with a lick of paint, and some minor improvements.
  • Upload and run your own item: This lets you upload your own QTI 2.1 assessment item for running, using a number of pre-defined "delivery settings". QTIWorks will automatically validate your item and divert to the validation results page if it finds any errors.

Logged-in area

Potential users of QTIWorks can now request a free account that will give them access to their own logged-in area (which I'm currently calling "the dashboard" but will probably change very soon). This is where people will eventually be able to use the full functionality provided by QTIWorks though, of course, we've still got some way to go in this respect. That said, there's already enough to cheer up a wet weekend in Skegness, including:
  • Assessment management: you can now upload and store new assessments in the system, list and view ones you've already uploaded, validate them, update their QTI data and try them out.
  • Delivery Settings management: Delivery Settings are a new concept in this snapshot. These allow you to specify exactly how an item (and later a test) should be delivered to candidates. For example, in formative assessment you might want to let the candidate have an unlimited number of tries, access a model solution and to be able to reset (and even re-randomise) the question freely whereas, in summative assessment, you probably want to prevent most of these things happening. Delivery settings provide a way of controlling all of these details. I have a feeling we'll refine this a bit more over the next few iterations, so feedback on the ones we've chosen already would be most welcome.
So that's it for this snapshot! The public area should be pretty stable (and rather slick now) so please give it a go and report any issues. On the other hand, I'd recommend wearing a hard hat and goggles if you want to try out the "dashboard" area at the moment. Because of this, you'll need to email me if you want an account created for the time being so that I can give you a bit of a pep talk.

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