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. Without the test questions, courses are not available for students to enroll or receive a course completion certificate. On average about one thousand test questions are needed, or at least one hundred per chapter. The number of test questions in the data bank makes it possible to seed each test with a new assortment of questions. Moreover, since the answers of multiple choice questions are reshuffled each time, students never see the same identical test twice.
PEOI's student knowledge assessment is unique and essential in its open education. PEOI's automated testing and the test questions are what make PEOI's course stand apart from all other online courses and what makes students come and register at PEOI.
In addition to knowledge assessment, PEOI's automated test serve a learning objective and present one additional way of understanding course content which is especially useful for people who like to learn by doing (or learn from their mistakes). To help students learn from questions they answer incorrectly, an explanation is provided by linking each question to the text on which it is based. The link is made possible with an anchor placed precisely in front of the concept in the text of chapters, sections, cases or other course pages. Links using anchors are essential in PEOI's learning process. There can be thousands of links in a course.
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 also 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.
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