E-ATP 2016 – How does interoperability help the assessment industry?

Having recently returned from a very sunny European ATP Conference in Libson, we managed to catch up with Trifork Learning Solution‘s CEO Erwin Van Schaffelaar, where we found out a little more about his vision for the future of assessment interoperability and QTI-compliant testing workflows.

How does adopting QTI help me to go global?

Choosing to adopt a QTI-compliant testing workflow, from item writing, banking, and delivery means that your items and test components are well-structured and can be stored in such a way that they can generally be imported and exported from a number of tools and systems without significant loss of information.

This means you are less likely to be locked in to a particular vendor for any stage of the process, thus making it easier to choose the best provider to work with at each stage of the process, and in every country into which you choose to expand.

For example, certain delivery/test centre partners may not have the right coverage or capabilities in a particular country, so being able to exchange an item bank with another partner which does may help with your international expansion.

What about translation?

Several tools which support QTI allow translation directly within their interfaces, thus allowing item writers to author questions in a number of different languages.

As a translation agency, when we translate item banks, it is generally best for us to work outside of the original environment wherever possible, as item banking and content writing platforms are not optimised for translation efficiency. We use special translation software to ensure consistency of terminology, reuse of repeated content and to quality check the translations before they are returned to the system.

QTI helps with this, as the very nature that it is an interoperable format means that tests and items can generally be downloaded and exported from the software packages in question to a more or less standardised XML file, which can be understood by our systems.

So, where can I learn more about assessment interoperability?

Much of the essentials of the QTI standard can be gleaned from the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s website, but given the fragmented nature of the assessment ecosystem, it may be worth discussing with integration and delivery experts, such as Erwin.

To discuss exchanging your item bank with a translation agency or linguist, please don’t hesitate to get in touch; we’ll be happy to help.

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