IMS Question and Test Interoperability Overview
Version 2.1 Public Draft (revision 2) Specification
Copyright © 2006 IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Document Name: IMS Question and Test Interoperability Overview
||8 June 2006
Caution: this specification is incomplete in its current state. The IMS QTI project group is in the process of evolving this specification based on input from market participants. Suppliers of products and services are encouraged to participate by contacting Mark McKell at firstname.lastname@example.org. This specification will be superseded by an updated release based on the input of the project group participants.
Please note that supplier's claims as to implementation of QTI v2.1 and conformance to it HAVE NOT BEEN VALIDATED by IMS GLC. While such suppliers are likely well-intentioned, IMS GLC member organizations have not yet put in place the testing process to validate these claims. IMS GLC currently grants a conformance mark to the Common Cartridge profile of QTI v1.2.1. The authoritative source of products and services that meet this conformance is contained in the IMS online product directory http://www.imsglobal.org/ProductDirectory/directory.cfm
Thank you for your interest in and support of IMS QTI.
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The IMS Question & Test Interoperability (QTI) specification describes a data model for the representation of question (assessmentItem) and test (assessmentTest) data and their corresponding results reports. Therefore, the specification enables the exchange of this item, test, and results data between authoring tools, item banks, test constructional tools, learning systems, and assessment delivery systems. The data model is described abstractly, using [UML] to facilitate binding to a wide range of data-modeling tools and programming languages, however, for interchange between systems a binding is provided to the industry standard eXtensible Markup Language [XML] and use of this binding is strongly recommended. The IMS QTI specification has been designed to support both interoperability and innovation through the provision of well-defined extension points. These extension points can be used to wrap specialized or proprietary data in ways that allows it to be used alongside items that can be represented directly.
An initial V0.5 specification was released for discussion in March 1999 and in November it was agreed to develop IMS Question & Test Interoperability v1.0 which was released as a public draft in February 2000 and as a final specification in May that year. The specification was extended and updated twice, in March 2001 and January 2002. By February of that year in excess of 6000 copies of the IMS QTI 1.x specifications had been downloaded from the IMS website.
Since then, a number of issues of have been raised by implementers and reviewed by the QTI project team. Many of them were dealt with in an addendum, which defined version 1.2.1 of the specification and was released in March 2003. Some of the issues could not be dealt with this way as they required changes to the specification that would not be backwardly compatible or because they uncovered more fundamental issues that would require extensive clarification or significant extension of the specification to resolve.
Since the QTI specification was first conceived, the breadth of IMS specifications has grown and work on Content Packaging, Simple Sequencing, and most recently Learning Design created the need for a cross-specification review. This review took place during 2003 and a number of harmonization issues affecting QTI were identified. In September that year a project charter was agreed to address both the collected issues from 1.x and the harmonization issues and to draft QTI V2.0. In order to make the work manageable and ensure that results were returned to the community at the earliest opportunity some restrictions were placed on the scope of the recommended work. Therefore, the QTI V2.0 release of the specification concentrated only on the individual assessmentItem and did not update those parts of the specification that dealt with the aggregation of items into sections and tests or the reporting of results. This QTI 2.1 release completes the update from 1.x to 2.x by replacing those remaining parts of the QTI specification.
The IMS QTI work specifically relates to content providers (that is, question and test authors and publishers), developers of authoring and content management tools, assessment delivery systems, and learning systems. The data model for representing question-based content is suitable for targeting users in learning, education, and training across all age ranges and national contexts.
QTI is designed to facilitate interoperability between a number of systems that are described here in relation to the actors that use them.
Specifically, QTI is designed to:
Figure 2.1 The Role of Assessment Tests and Assessment Items.
A system used by an author for creating or modifying an assessment item.
A system for collecting and managing collections of assessment items.
A system for assembling tests from individual items.
A system for managing the delivery of assessments to candidates. The system contains a delivery engine for delivering the items to the candidates and scores the responses automatically (where applicable) or by distributing them to scorers.
A system that enables or directs learners in learning activities, possibly coordinated with a tutor. For the purposes of this specification a learner exposed to an assessment item as part of an interaction with a learning system (i.e., through formative assessment) is still described as a candidate as no formal distinction between formative and summative assessment is made. A learning system is also considered to contain a delivery engine though the administration and security model is likely to be very different from that employed by an assessmentDeliverySystem.
The set of roles identified in this specification have been reduced to a small set of abstract actors for simplicity. Typically, roles in real learning and assessment systems are more complex but, for the purposes of this specification, it is assumed that they can be generalized by one or more of the roles defined here.
The author of an assessment item. In simple situations an item may have a single author, in more complex situations an item may go through a creation and quality control process involving many people. In this specification we identify all of these people with the role of author. An author is concerned with the content of an item, which distinguishes them from the role of an itemBankManager. An author interacts with an item through an authoringTool.
An actor with responsibility for managing a collection of assessment items with an itemBank.
The role of test constructor is to create tests (test forms) from individual items. The items are typically drawn from an item bank.
A person charged with overseeing the delivery of an assessment. Often referred to as an invigilator. For the purposes of this specification a proctor is anyone (other than the candidate) who is involved in the delivery process but who does not have a role in assessing the candidate's responses.
A person or external system responsible for assessing the candidate's responses during assessment delivery. Scorers are optional, for example, many assessment items can be scored automatically using response processing rules defined in the item itself.
Someone involved in managing, directing, or supporting the learning process for a learner but who is not subject to (the same) assessment.
The person being assessed by an assessment test or assessment item.
The specification is spread over a number of documents:
||IMS Question and Test Interoperability Overview
||Steve Lay (Cambridge Assessment), Pierre Gorissen (SURF)
||Public Draft v2.1 (revision 2)
||8 June 2006
||Public Draft (revision 2) Specification
||This document describes the QTI Overview specification.
||8 June 2006
||This document has been approved by the IMS Technical Board and is made available for public review and comment.
|To register any comments or questions about this specification please visit:
The following individuals contributed to the development of this document:
||University of Surrey
|Version No.||Release Date||Comments|
|Base Document 2.1
||14 October 2005
||The first version of the QTI v2.1 specification.
|Public Draft 2.1
||9 January 2006
||The Public Draft v2.1 of the QTI specification.
|Public Draft 2.1 (revision 2)
||8 June 2006
||The Public Draft v2.1 (revision 2) of the QTI specification.
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Please refer to Document Name: IMS Question and Test Interoperability Overview Revision: 8 June 2006