Review questions vs test questions
Please, understand the difference made at PEOI between review questions and test questions. Review questions are in HTML files that merely contain links back to concepts in chatper text. Students can go over all the review questions as many times as they like. Test questions are not visible to students, and are only used for automated graded tests (see explanations on how automated test are created and operate in the Guidelines to tests, or ideally take an end of chatper quiz in any PEOI's completed course to see how that works).
Each review and test question must be linked to the concept on which the question is based, and which is stated in the text of the chapter. The links are set up in "Summarize concepts" by inserting HTML anchor tags for each concept in the chapter text.
Seeding test questions
Test questions are located in data banks that cannot be viewed by students, except when test questions are extracted to create a test. Each of PEOI's courses should have data banks with over one thousand test questions. As indicated earlier, test questions data banks are seeded using review questions developed in "Create questions". The test questions thus seeded in the automated process of "Create questions" are crude, possibly defectively written, and mere transformation of the review question into some of the formats of test questions.
Editing test questions
These seeded test questions need to be verified and edited if possible, or discarded. This is done in "Edit questions". The advantage of the seeding is that test questions now exist for all the anchor tags that deserve to have a concept and review question.
Parameters of test questions
To make tests as useful as possible for learning (as well as for assessment), questions files have a special structure that is intended to accommodate a variety of types of questions, with audio, images, graphs or tables as supporting material wherever appropriate, and links for immediate access to explanations whenever a question is not answered correctly in a quiz.
In addition to the modifiable parameters, the "Edit questions" procedure generates a few non-modifiable parameters for each question. These include the date the question is last changed and the name of the author entering the changes to the question. As previously mentioned the changes do not take effect until they are verified.
It is clear that modifying or entering parameters can be challenging for anyone. Assistance of PEOI's staff is recommended if changes in parameters is deemed necessary. It is expected that entering parameters should not be an important part of the tasks of authors. Writing the text of questions ought to be. The questions files are plain text and require no knowledge of HTML with just a few exceptions (such as when the author wants to place explanations in the wording of a question). Only the following few guidelines should be followed.
Test questions types
Fill-in questions can be written with a missing word marked by underlined spaces "_" (with a suggestion of using as many spaces as there are letters in the missing correct word or words), or it can be written in the form of a question without any actual space to fill. In both cases the student will have to type in his/her answer in a separate box. For fill-in questions, the author should enter 2 in the type box and the correct answer or answers which, as mentioned above, should be separated by commas with no space after the commas (the answer itself can nevertheless contain spaces). (Note that the test procedure will count answers as correct whether written in singular or plural, in capital letters or not, with or without currency sign, but not with articles preceding them.)
Calculation questions are processed as either multiple choice (with A-, B-, C- or D- answers) or fill-in depending on how they are written. If they are written as multiple choice, the answer box must contain the capital letter corresponding to the correct answer. If they are written as fill-in, the answer must be a numerical value of the correct answer. Note that if the answer is a number that exceeds 1,000 it should be written without commas (e.g. $2,432,611 should be written as 2432611). Currency signs (such as $) are acceptable, but generally not necessary. The type box must contain 3.
Graph questions can give the choice of up to four graphs or images to be offered as possible answers. Following the text of the question, the possible answers contain nothing but the capital letters followed by a dash "-" (i.e. A-, B-, C- or D-). As for multiple choice and true or false questions, the answer box must have the capital letter of the correct answer. The graph box must contain the name of the graph or image files separated by a commas with no space after the commas. The type box must have the digit 4. (Note that multiple choice, true or false and fill-in questions may be based on a graph, image, audio, video or portion of text which appears in a window in the upper left corner of the screen when a question is asked, but in this case these questions are not graph questions.)
Explanations in the body of a test question
In the text area of any of the questions, in addition to the text of the questions itself, short explanations can be entered by an author below the question itself and the possible answers, if any. If the explanations are to appear only after student's answer, the first character on the first line of the explanation (i.e. below the text and answers) should be a close square bracket "]". Then, the explanation will appear in a special window at the bottom of a student's screen just below the title of the concept only after the student answers the question. Such explanation can be most appropriate for giving the solution to a calculation question. If, on the contrary, the explanation are necessary to understand the question itself (such as in the case of definitions of variables in an equation, for instance), then the explanation need not have the bracket. Note that in that second case, the explanation will appear to the student in the box together with the question and its lay out is not HTML but exactly as written.
To assist in writing test questions and especially in entering the correct anchor, a list of anchors is shown and the entire text of the chapter, section or subsection appears below the question editing box. The anchor is highlighted in the text with bold and underlined fonts.
Next: Editing cases