While most of Europe was on the beach, a dedicated group of QTI vendors gathered in Koblenz, Germany to demo what a standard should do: enable interoperability between a variety of software tools.
A total of twelve tools were demonstrated for the attendees of the IMS quarterly meeting that was being held at the University of Koblenz-Landau. The vendors and projects ranged from a variety of different communities in Poland, Korea, France, Germany and the UK, and their tools included:
- Editors such as MathQurate, yAuthor, Hangul, and TeachingMate
- Test composition tools such as Spectatus
- (Embeddable) test and item players such as Jassess, QTIPlayr, APIS, and MathAssessEngine
- QTI validators such as Validatr
- Integrated QTI platforms such as MOCAH and Onyx
All other things being equal, the combination of such a diversity of purposes with the comprehensive expressiveness of QTI, means that there is every chance that a set of twelve tools will implement different, non-overlapping subsets of the specification. This is why the QTI working group is currently working on the definition of two profiles: CC (Common Cartridge) QTI and what is provisionally called the Main profile.
The CC QTI profile is very simple and follows the functionality of the QTI 1.2 profile that is currently used in the IMS Common Cartridge educational content exchange format. Nine out of the twelve tools had implemented that profile, and they all happily played, edited or validated the CC QTI reference test.
With that milestone, the group is well on the way to the final, public release of the QTI 2.1 specification. Most of the remaining work is around the definition of the Main profile.
Initial discussion in Koblenz suggested an approach that encompasses most of the specification, with the possible exclusion of some parts that are of interest to some, but not all subjects or communities. To make sure the profile is adequate and implementable, more input is sought from publishers, qualification authorities and others with large collections of question and test items. Fortunately, a number of these have already come forward.