Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Demos at the CETIS Conference

QTIDI and its sister project Uniqurate were represented at the CETIS Conference in Nottingham in February 2012. We demonstrated

  • The Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Connector running a Common Cartridge test;

  • The Uniqurate question authoring tool, which also has facilities for creating a contant package containing a question and its associated media and/or stylesheets;

  • Interoperability between our tools and those of colleagues from Germany, France and Korea as well as the UK, using the latest version of MathAssessEngine, which is currently morphing into QTI Works.

QTIDI - Connecting QTI Assessment to VLEs

The QTIDI project, funded by JISC under the Assessment and Feedback programme, is preparing a package of software and documentation for transferring the QTI Works rendering and responding engine - a direct descendant of MathAssessEngine - and software to link it to popular VLEs to institutions in the HE and FE sector. The project will provide a documented and packaged version of the tools for distribution to Kingston University, Harper Adams University College and the University of Strathclyde. Should other institutions wish to join in the project as receiving partners at a later date, they will be made welcome. Alongside, we have the Uniqurate project, which is building on the Aqurate and Mathqurate editors to create a more intuitive, user-friendly authoring too for QTIv2.1 questions. Eventually it will also incorporate the functionality of Spectatus to provide a one-stop editor for questions and tests.

Here's a quick roundup from Niall and David about what’s going on in QTIDI:

Niall: “I have been working on getting a good IMS LTI example working in Java. (The IMS example software is written in PHP.) A basic LTI 1.0 test with consumer (LMS) and tool components is almost complete. I'll be writing some developer documentation for LTI containing this code as well as C# and PHP example code. I have also (with help from Dave) set up a MathAssessEngine NetBeans project on my Laptop. I have also been taking part in the IMS QTI working group meetings.”

David: “Most of the work so far has been continued refactoring of JQTI to make it more sensible, and an initial webapp framework for SonOf(QTI|MA)Engine. So, all this first iteration is going to do is provide a "validation service". This will let you upload a standalone item XML or item/test Content Package, which will then be fully validated and will generate a summary report. Once that's in place, next iteration will be refactoring the rendering of standalone items, as well as a first cut of the REST API for that, which will be the way in for LTI.”

Note that the original MathAssessEngine will be replaced during this project, so the appearance and the way things get uploaded will change. The test mode is needing improvements, so there will be some changes there too. This means, of course, that feedback from clients will be more useful at the moment in pointing out "would like to see" suggestions (and the reasons for them), which can then be matched up with the specification to make sure things work the way they should, rather than as a debugging exercise.