University of Hertfordshire (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 3432-3441
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
The University of Hertfordshire has delivered many on-line courses over a period of years and uses Question Mark Perception (QMP) for formative and summative assessment in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. We found on-line assessment to be an integral part of our eLearning systems. Over the years lecturers have developed many objective tests using QMP. However, if we would like to transfer these tests to another Learning Management System (LMS) is it possible? Typically, eLearning systems store exam questions using proprietary formats and then make use of standard formats for interoperability purposes. Many products on the market today provide limited interoperability options. At the moment there are two main standards: Question and Testing Interoperability specification (QTI) and Question Markup Language (QML). In the paper we will attempt to demonstrate why interoperability between different systems is not straightforward.

How can we exchange information between these two main contenders for a standard? We can export question banks from present systems and import them into others that support the same format. However, a translator or converter is required if the destination system supports a different format for question banks importation. For example, Moodle uses QTI for export so we could import our Moodle questions into another system that uses QTI, or we could convert the QTI to QML to use in, for example, Question Mark Perception.

In the initial stages of our work we have sent an on-line questionnaire to software manufacturers of eLearning products and asked which question types they supported in their LMSs together with which import/export functions. Two hundred and fifty-one were contacted; twenty-eight (11%) replied. The results of the questionnaire overall showed that an import function is more available than an export function and that QTI is most common for both Import and Export. The full results are outlined in the paper; these confirm the lack of interoperability options between standards.

In our preliminary work we also carried out research to establish the types of questions available in both standards. We established that QML has 20 different types of questions and QTI also has 20 different types of questions. Some of the question types are common to both. Some question types are the same but have different names. Eleven question types are common to both QTI and QML and these are outlined in the full paper.

As regards to previous work in this area, a JISC funded project at the University of Hertfordshire called MultipleChoiceFiveMethods (MCQFM) was completed in 2008. The project provided a web service that can convert five basic question types. In the main paper we also provide a comparison of our work with the MCQFM project.
e-learning, QTI, QML.