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Configuring Question Banks

Assessment authors wishing to use questions from existing question banks need an efficient way to find questions and include them in the assessment they are authoring. This document describes how question bank owners can enable assessment authors to easily search and use question-bank questions.

Defining a Bank

A question bank is just a group of questions. In BrainHoney, you create questions in the assessment editor. You can create multiple assessments in a single course, and you can create multiple courses in a domain. So using assessments, courses, and domains, you can organize your question bank into a structure that makes sense to you.

Course authors can either browse or search your bank, so providing meaningful names to the assessments, courses, and domains can help course authors better find questions in your bank, especially as they browse the bank of questions.

Authoring Questions with Metadata

To make questions in a bank searchable by others, you should add appropriate metadata to each question. Standard metadata fields like learning objective and question-type, are populated when you create questions in the Assessment Editor.

Standard Metadata

You can also define custom metadata fields in the domain where you author questions. (See questionmetadata for more details.)

For example, the following questionmetadata defines difficulty, publisher, excellent, notes, and creationdate metadata fields.

<questionmetadata>
  <value id="difficulty" display="Difficulty" inputtype="Choice">
    <choice value="0" display="Easy" />
    <choice value="1" display="Medium" />
    <choice value="2" display="Difficult" />
  </value>
  <value id="publisher" display="Publisher" />
  <value id="excellent" display="Excellent" inputtype="Boolean" />
  <value id="notes" display="Notes" />
  <value id="created" display="Creation Date" inputtype="Text" />
</questionmetadata>

The Assessment Editor displays these fields in the question's Properties window so that question-bank authors can provide values for these fields.

Custom Metadata

Providing a Search Form

When your question bank, which may be a course or a domain, has questions properly tagged with metadata, you subscribe course authors to it. (See Subscriptions for more details.) To assessment authors searching your bank, the Assessment Editor displays a search form containing at minimum the standard metadata fields, such as learning objectives and question type. Note: The search form hides the Learning objective field if the assessment being edited has no defined learning objectives; otherwise, the field displays the objective list from the assessment being edited.

Standard Search Form

You can add custom metadata search fields to the form so that assessment authors can search your bank by your defined metadata.

Custom Search Form

Follow these steps to customize the search form:

  1. Create a file named _Default.xml in any text editor
  2. Copy the contents of your domain's questionmetadata customization element into _Default.xml. The format must conform to the questionmetadata format.
  3. Optionally add entries for any additional question fields (such as Question Group (dlap_q_group), Passage (dlap_q_passage), or Score(dlap_q_score)) that you want on the form. The list of searchable field names is defined in Search.
  4. If your question bank is a domain, open the Domain Administration page, click the Content tab, upload _Default.xml into the folder SearchForms/QuestionMetadata.

    Upload Domain Form

  5. If your question bank is a course, open the course Syllabus and upload _Default.xml to your Course Files in the folder SearchForms/QuestionMetadata.
  6. Upload Course Form

  7. You can verify you have uploaded the file correctly by creating a test-user who is a course author, subscribing that user to your bank, and then following the steps in Question Banks to search your bank.