When authoring tests online, your web server administrator should typically:
- provide you with disk space on the server where your assessments, their submissions and any associated multimedia items should be stored. That information should include a URL path that designated the directory. For example,
http://server.edu/instructors/joe/math101/ could indicate a directory for an instructor named joe who teaches math101. It is in that directory that assessments for math101 could be created.
- provide you with instructions on how to copy multimedia files to your directory. This typically includes granting you an account on the server with permissions which enable you to copy files from your computer to the your server directory through either standard file copying methods or by using FTP file transfer software. The method will vary with your computing environment and your server administrator should be able to provide you with instructions on the methods appropriate to your installation.
- provide you with an empty assessment template (URL) for your new assessment or provide you with information on how to create your own template. Once the template is created, you'll be able to refer to the assessment by its URL. At creation time, each template is given an owner id and password that will be used to edit the assessment and access its response data. For information on creating assessment templates, click here.
Accessing an Online Assessment for Editing
Template files end with an extension of .tp3, thus, if your template file was named week1quiz.tp3 and located in the directory shown above, you could access it with the following URL:
Once you have your assessment's URL as mentioned above, accessing it will result in a login dialog.
Entering your owner id and password separated by a comma in the box will admit you to the assessment's owner options or, in the case of an empty assessment template, immediately begin the editing process. For example, if your owner id was fred and the password was xyzzy, you would enter fred,xyzzy in the space provided and hit return or click on the Request button.
Anonymous Surveys with Login Dialogs
In the case where you may have designated the assessment to be accessed bypassing the login dialog, you can specify the owner id and password in the URL used to access the test. In the above example, you could directly access the owner options using the following URL:
Please note that USER_ID is case sensitive and there is an underscore separating USER and ID. The underscore character is typically typed using a shifted minus key on a standard US keyboard.
||When you begin editing an assessment, you'll notice that the screen is divided into three section. The left hand panel is, as shown to the left a list of the major functional areas of editing an assessment.
- look and feel - when you click on this link, the right hand panels will offer options for adjusting the presentation of the assessment as web pages. This include optiopns like the title and instructions as well as how questions are presented (e.g. all at once or one at a time)
- create questions - clicking on this link allows you to add a question to your list of questions. You can also click upon a question title in the list provided to edit that question. Note that not every question in the list need appear on the assessment presented to the participants.
- choose questions - this link provides you with the functions for grouping, categorizing and/or selecting those question that you wish to appear on the web pages presented to participants.
- submit actions - this link provides access to the features that determine what actions should be taken once a participant submit their responses to your questions. These could include issuing custom score-based feedback or transferring the participant to another web-page based upon their score.
- security - the options available from this link allow you to determine to whom your assessment is offered, at what time and location and how many times the assessment may be accessed.
The mode popup menu allows you to adjust access to Test Pilot features and trim the detail of the automatically provided assistance for authoring.
- limited mode - several of Test Pilot's more complicated options are hidden or preset to default values and pop-up assistance windows automatically appear to aid the user in the assessment authoring process.
- assisted mode - most of Test Pilot's features are shown as controls which may be adjusted. Pop-up help windows must be manually requested for viewing by clicking upon any feature title.
- expert mode - all of Test Pilot's feautres are shown as controls which may be adjusted. Help messages are minimized to maximize the number of controls that can be shown in a limited area. Pop-up help windows may still be manually requested for viewing by clicking upon any feature title.
The Show Test button allows you to preview your assessment in a separate window at any time. This is an especially powerful feature to use when editing. You may actually participate in your assessment at any time to test its features and see how it will appear to your assessment's participants.
Finally, clicking on the Return to Owner Options button will return you to your assessment's administrative options page.
Please note that Test Pilot does not make extensive use of graphics in its editing environment. This design decision was made to maximize the performance of the user interface. Feedback from our users has consistantly pointed us towards maximizing the products functionality and efficiency of use; requiring the download of numerous, possibly large graphics files would adversely affect performance; especially for those many of our users limited to slow modem internet connections.
Saving your Changes - Don't forget to Update
It should be noted that on all editing panels, you will see one or more Update buttons. Whenever you adjust a control or make changes to any item, you must click an update button to record the changes. You may make multiple changes and then click Update, but if you fail to click the update button, your changes may not be recorded.