No course is completed at PEOI without an adequate data bank of test questions because student knowledge assessment relies primarily of an automated testing mechanism that uses these test questions. PEOI's automated testing and the test questions are what make PEOI's courses stand apart from all other online courses and what makes students come and register at PEOI.
PEOI's test questions are created with the help of concepts summaries. Each concept in each chapter is restated in a concise manner, is stored in a concepts summary file of that chapter, and is placed hidden in each review and test question. If a questions is answered incorrectly, the hidden concept is shown and creates a link to the location in the chapter where the concept is explained in detail. Thus, concepts summaries are central and essential parts of each course at PEOI. In addition, the concepts summary file of each chapter is available for students for their review of a chapter.
Creating questions is a three phase process because of the need to set up and keep track of links to concepts. First, the anchors are created and the concepts are extracted in "Summarize concepts" procedure. The "Summarize concepts" procedure allows to restate each concept in a concise, precise and autonomous sentence, and to seed a review questions file. In the review concepts file, the concepts are hidden from students, but appear only to authors when viewed in "Create questions" procedure where authors can write questions for each of the concepts. This is the second phase which also allows to seed test questions data banks. The third phase takes place in "Edit questions" procedure where the test questions which were seed with "Create questions", are then completed, duplicated or discarded.
As indicated above, "Summarize concepts" is central procedure used by volunteers responsible for summarizing concepts. The concepts summary file in which the concepts are stored, is a plain HTML page with links to the source text and anchors to identify each concept. The concepts summary appears as the students see it in a "Preview box", and in its HTML page in a TEXTAREA. It is in the TEXTAREA that the writer should make the editing changes needed in the extracted text of the concept to make it a one concise sentence that does not rely on the text of the paragraph from which the concept was extracted.
To facilitate rewriting of the concept, the source text appears on the screen. Thus, writing and editing skills are more important than mastery of the subject. Nevertheless, the volunteer must have earned a university degree, and be at least familiar with the terminology and major aspects of the course. Moreover, to understand how concepts are presented to students, it is desirable that the concept summary writer has some teaching experience at the university level. But, once again, no person will be accepted for this work, whose writing skills are doubtful.
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