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Test Pilot
Enterprise Manual

Fill in the Blank
Short Answer Questions
Back - Check All That Apply Up - Questions Next - Numeric Response
In addition to the common question definition controls, the options to the left offer specific control over fill-in-the-blank question presentation and evaluation.

You may specify the size of the box provided for the participant to enter their response. Please note that boxes that are more than one line high will not be automatically scored and considered an essay question.

For text responses, you may enter one or more correct answers in the space provided. Each correct answer word or phrase should appear on a line by itself. The case sensitive checkbox controls the sensitivity of the comparison between the participant's response and your entries.

You can enter point awards and custom feedback in the spaces provided for correct and incorrect participant response. In order for this feedback to be shown, the appropriate options in Step#4 - Submit Actions must be set. That is, you must enable the issuing of feedback for your assessment. Point awards must be positive integer numbers.

Expert Feature - custom feedback links
If you are versed in HTML, the language of web page design, you may include links to remedial material in your custom feedback. This permits the construction of powerful tutorials using Test Pilot. For example, if a participant gets a question wrong, hyperlinks may be included in your custom feedback that, when clicked upon, will take the user to a web site where material assisting the participant in answering the question is available. A hyperlink may be entered as follows:

Click <A HREF="http://SITE/page.html">here</A> for additional help.

Substituting the appropriate URL in place of the text shgown in red. If you wanted the page openned in a new window, the link could be entered as follows:

Click <A TARGET="_new" HREF="http://SITE/page.html">here</A> for additional help.

If this assessment is being offered a question-at-a-time and you have enabled branching, additional popup menus are shown to permit defining to which question to branch upon the correctness of a participant's response. Note that the branch is executed based upon the correctness of the response and not the content of the response. This behavior is unique to fill-in-the-blank questions. It is generally recommended to first define all questions before setting up branching.

Random Variables

One of Test Pilot's most powerful features is its ability to generate random numbers for use in questions. This permits the generation of unique questions each time a participant requests an assessment. In a computer laboratory environment, this means that each student could get a different test. This drastically reduces the efficacy of copying your neighbor's responses. What it has meant to Purdue University's Electrical Engineering Technology department was that students stopped asking each other What did you get for #...? and now they ask How did you get your answer? - a much more productive question and one geared productively towards learning.

Test Pilot supports two categories of random variables: local and global. Global variables are shared by all questions on an assessment. That is, you may construct multiple questions referring to the same set of random data. Local variables are unique to a specific question and are not accessible for use in other questions. There is no limit on the number of global or local random variables that may be defined.

Random variables may be defined as follows:

In this sample variable definition a single variable, r, has been defined. Variable names can only consist of alphabetic letters a-z and numbers 0-9. (e.g. x, xx, var2, aVeryLongVariable ) You can use any name that is not reserved by an operator or a predefined constant, as a variable name. You should avoid beginning a variable name with a number, like 3x or 1var. Care should be taken to avoid confusion between a number in scientific notation and a variable name. (e.g. use 2.0E+5 instead of 2E5) You may specify integer or decimal real numbers as start, end and increment values. You may also use scientific notation.

Numeric variables are assigned a starting value, and ending value and an increment value. Note the sample list at the end of each row. These are example of calculated values for each of these variables and are typical of the assignments that will be made at assessment time for the participant. Please note that the assignment of these values occurs at assessment time. None of our competitors offer this powerful capability.

Pooled random variables

In addition to calculated random variables such as shown above, Test Pilot includes the capability to define a pool of numbers or strings to be used to select from. If you enter a series of numbers, words or phrases separated by commas in the start field of a random variable definition, you create a pooled random variable.

In this example random variable definition a pooled random variable named primes is defined to be the set of the first eight non-negative prime numbers. Purdue's EET Department uses pooled random variables to define a set of resistance values common to electronic circuit construction. This lends an aura of realism for their use in Test Pilot for circuit design problems.

Pooled variables can also be strings that can be used within question text to make things interesting.

In this example there is a variable called names that can be used to randomly choose a name in a problem. For example, were the text of the question:

  • [names] has 5 dimes and 4 nickels. How much is that in decimal dollar form?

a different value for [names] would be generated by Test Pilot every time a participant entered the assessment.

Help is Available!

    Please note that, at any time while you are editing an assessment, you can click upon the titles of the fields listed for your entries. If you do so, a pop-up window with an explanation of the items use and features will be shown.

Saving your Changes - Don't Forget to Update

    It should be noted that on the editing panels, you will see one or more Update buttons. Whenever you adjust a setting 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.

The mode popup menu allows you to adjust access to Test Pilot features and trim the detail of the automatically provided assistance for authoring.

  • for beginners - 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.

  • with assistance - 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.

  • for experts - all of Test Pilot's features 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.
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