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Itembanking infrastructure: a proposal for a decoupled architecture

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conference contribution
posted on 2009-03-26, 13:13 authored by Mhairi McAlpine, Linn van der Zanden
The paper aims to provide a comprehensive outline of the elements which make up an Itembanking system and through the use of basic workflows and diagrams create a visual of the overall system and user interaction. In particular it will provide an overview of the proposed Itembanking Infrastructure that SQA is currently developing, and steps which have been taken towards its realisation. Our aims in developing this are to promote more flexibility in assessment, improve on access, increase efficiency, cost-effective processes, enhancement of validity and reliability and improve possibilities for feedback and reporting. The functionality of an Itembanking system will be explored in light of the ways that institutions may use such a technical structure along with the challenges and issues surrounding its implementation. We have divided the system into four main elements: • The itembank itself which stores the items and facilitates searching • The item production elements which generate items suitable for entry into the bank • The test delivery elements which control the delivery, marking and reporting of the results • The test generation elements which control items being selected from the bank and concatenated into tests. The paper will focus on a ‘reference’ diagram which will provide an overview of the elements and associated software, the relationships between them and the overall interaction of the system. Within the four main elements, sub elements will be identified; including the storage of items, the generation of items, item description, item delivery, marking, result processing, item analysis and test construction. These will be explored with a view to defining the functionality of each element independently to allow autonomous development – fitting in with a standards based decoupled system. Existing projects and recommended standards in these areas will also be highlighted. Role profiles and workflows are discussed in terms of how different users may interact with the system and roles may be transferred onto an electronic banking system. Future plans to establish user requirements for each component of the Itembanking Infrastructure will be discussed in the conclusion.



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MCALPINE, M. and VAN DER ZANDEN, L., 2006. Itembanking infrastructure: a proposal for a decoupled architecture. IN: Danson, M. (ed.). 10th CAA International Computer Assisted Assessment Conference : Proceedings of the Conference on 4th and 5th July 2006 at Loughborough University. Loughborough : Lougborough University, pp. 279-290


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