Monday, 10 September 2012

QTI-PET Workshops and Demos

Over the last few weeks we have held training workshops for the QTI-PET partners. Two have been face to face and one, mostly for the JISC RSCs, online. We've also had a couple of opportunities to demo the tools and let folks try them out. One of the great lessons learnt in the process is just how difficult it is to get University folk together during the summer! We had 3 attempts at finding a good date for the South workshop, and ended up with a compromise which meant some people could attend but others have the link to the recording of the RSC session, which is at

So, in chronological order we had:

University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Seminar

Niall presented the projects and their work at the Learning and Teaching Centre Seminar on 14th August. Although the delegates are close colleagues, this was the first time that they had seen these tools demonstrated, and there was some interesting discussion about possible ways of using them.

QTI-PET Workshop North

Held in the Jura computer lab in the University of Glasgow Library on 17th August.

We had 4 partners attending and Sue and Niall presented and helped with the hands-on sessions.

David Reimer from Edinburgh was using Uniqurate's Friendly Mode for language questions - in ancient Hebrew. Lesley Hamilton from the University of the West of Scotland was assembling multi-part questions for medicine and nursing in Friendly Mode. Shazia Ahmed from Maths Support at the University of Glasgow was adding to her collection of questions using Intermediate Mode. Sue demonstrated making small changes in Expert Mode to customise a question already authored in Friendly Mode.

We demonstrated the QTI Works and JAssess renderers and showed a question running in QTI Works within Moodle for the first time. We also had a look at the LTIQuizzes tool running a simple test in Moodle.

Several suggestions for new Uniqurate Components were suggested, including a medicine component which would enable people to author questions which would allow nurses and other health professionals to practise drug calculations dosages. Participants would like to be able to use randomised graphics, including graphs and diagrams, but these features will need further development in both authoring and rendering.

There was a general feeling that the feedback should appear close to the input to which it refers. Making this change will reduce the time available for new components, so we have to decide which components are most essential.

There was some concern about terminology, since, although the attendees were all comfortable with technology, many of their colleagues are not used to using technology directly in teaching. People made these same comments at all three of the partners' workshops, and at the South Workshop, Roger Greenhalgh from Harper Adams University College voluteered to go through the terminology and find the problem areas. We are collecting instances of words and phrases that need to be changed - we try to avoid using QTI terms, but some other words are too obscure for new users, so we are looking for translations, and these edits will be made as soon as possible.

With QTI Works now linked from Uniqurate to show the question running from within the editor, it is now much easier to check that the question does what you expect. This works well in Chrome and Internet Explorer; however, some browsers, particularly Firefox, seem to have difficulty in displaying QTI Works.

The technology behaved well and the participants felt they had had a useful day and that they would use Uniqurate when back in their institutions. We asked them to let us know how they are getting on and to contact us with any difficulties.

QTI-PET Familiarisation Workshop for JISC RSCs

This session was held on 24th August and hosted by RSC Scotland; Sue did the presentation and Grainne Hamilton facilitated the session and collated the questions from attendees. The presentation and the question and answer session generally went well, although there were a few very brief fades in the audio and one would-be participant was unable to connect to the room. The authoring and delivery tools were well-behaved again and some participants were able to try out the tools during the demo.

There was a request for a pairing component, which would construct questions in which, for example, scientists are matched with their theories, or diseases with their symptoms. This is a QTI input type, which can be included in Uniqurate if time allows.

This session was recorded and the URL for the recording is This has been circulated to people who would have liked to go to a workshop but were unable to attend on the dates chosen.

eAssessment Scotland Online Demo

On 28th August we gave an online demonstration to the eAssessment Scotland Online Conference. There were participants from Australia and Asia as well as several from Europe and the UK, and indeed some in the University of Glasgow.

Sue presented and Niall collated questions from the chat stream and answered the more technical ones. We had a 45 minute time slot, which was just long enough to demonstrate all the tools and answer delegates' questions in reasonable detail.

We also had a poster displayed at the eAssessment Scotland Conference on 31st October in Dundee.

QTI-PET Workshop South

This workshop was held in Oxford on 7th September in the University of Oxford Medical Sciences Teaching Centre. We had a seminar room with wifi access, and delegates brought their laptops, so that they had the questions they had created on their hard drive. It was attended by partners from the University of Derby, the University of Oxford, Reaseheath College and Harper Adams University College.

Sue presented and, since Paul Neve was also there, attendees were able to feed back to him directly and in more detail about the Uniqurate design. Participants used the image facilities in the static text component to add pictures to multi part questions using the other components.

We were also able to try the new test construction facilities in Uniqurate, which worked well, with the questions we created during the earlier part of the session being assembled into tests later on.

Sue has been constructing a Moodle course for her class at the University of Glasgow, and we were able to see how the questions will look when used for formative assessment, and to go through the process of adding another question to the course. A copy of Sue's course will be used in future demonstrations to show how the setup process works, and a mock-up course is also available where users can try inserting questions for themselves.

Next Demo

This week we have a workshop at 12:00 on Wednesday 12th September at the ALT-C Conference in Manchester.

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