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October 2002 Issue

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Creating Tests Using Respondus.

By Gary K. Probst


Here is a report on a software product that has changed my way of creating tests.


Most of us are involved in instruction at some time or other will have to create tests. A software developer of third-party testing and assessment software publishes a program called Respondus. By making a test in Respondus, both a printed test and an online test for a course management system can be created for the test.

This program is of great advantage for users of Blackboard, eCollege and WebCT. Because these programs required you to be online when creating tests, test creation can become a slow and difficult process. Respondus permits you to create tests easily and quickly offline and then transfer the test into the course management system you are using. After using Respondus, I wonder why online course management system publishers did not design software like this for their test construction.

The advantages to creating online tests are as follows:

  1. Supports all questions types, including feedback
  2. Spell check entire exam file can us foreign language and medical dictionaries
  3. Insert mathematical and scientific symbols in tests
  4. Determine point values
  5. Transfer questions between tests
  6. Add or replace a test question
  7. Preview and edit test questions in a printed hardcopy form before transferring them to the online course management system
  8. Archive quizzes on a CD-ROM for safekeeping (From experience I know you can never have enough backup copies.)
  9. An easy to use interface that makes it easy to create tests without ever reading the online help
  10. Retrieve custom reports, such as student score, summary statistics, etc.

The advantages to creating paper tests are as follows:

  1. An answer key is printed out for each test
  2. Test questions can be randomized permitting different ordering of questions of the same test.
  3. Easy to add or change questions at a later date
  4. Whenever you have to start using paperless testing, you are ready.

A thirty day free trail of Respondus is available at http://www.respondus.com


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