Tuesday, 29 January 2013

QTI version 2.1 final released.

Version 2.1 of the IMS Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) specification was released on 25 January 2003. It's taken a long time to get QTI 2.1 completed, however now that is has finally released hopefully there will be a significant uptake. It has been a long process, with a very large number of people involved over the years. QTI 2.1 is really completion of QTI 2.0, so the process of developing it has been continuous since the start of the 2.0 working group several years ago. QTI 2.1 adds support for tests, as well as enhancing the support for individual question types.

Further work will be needed to develop a range of profiles that specify subsets of the full specification that fit the requirements of specific groups of users. An entry-level profile already exists which duplicates functionality of the Common Cartridge profile of QTI 1.2, but is much simpler than the older profile as benefits from QTI 2's response processing templates which removes the need to individually specify duplicate response processing rules in each question where a single marking algorithm is to be used. This entry-level profile should be easy to import into almost all existing electronic assessment systems, however it is a very small subset of QTI 2.1, and does not provide any functionality that is not already widely available. Further profiles that address the needs of higher education are still needed.

As we came towards the end of the development process, we also realised that there were many things that we would have liked to include given unlimited time and resources. Hopefully we will be able to develop some of these ideas as extensions which can later be merged into a future iteration of the specification. One which I would like to see is the ability to define graphs generated from templates, and taking input in the form of lines or points being added. In the time since we started QTI 2.0 web technology has moved on, and with HTML 5 this type of interaction should be very feasible. I am glad however that we made many of the decisions about the specification before HTML 5 arrived, because the XHTML base provides all of the flexibility needed, whilst being simple enough that it does not create a great obstacle to the specification being used with delivery systems other than a web browser.