The client required the creation of a web application able to cope with various test formats. The project involved the creation of a complete e-learning portal for students where they can learn and practise for exams. There were a total of 12 question types which were based on different formats. There was the requirement to involve adaptive testing because, based on student responses, the computer programme needed to adjust the difficulty of questions throughout the assessment.
The approach that made this project successful was through forming ideas about best practices regarding how to deal with complexity and the critical success factors involved in this. When looking at project success, project failure and its recognition and avoidance is an important part of success.
Part of the approach we followed:
- Complete functional specification
- Analysis of complete question formats
- Creation of tests based on questions
- Discussion on what kind of reporting is required
- Discussion on how the adaptive test will work
- Discussion on how practice exams and actual exams will take place
- Specification of the functionality to manage the time of the exam
- Discussion on whether there is a requirement to save the exam in order to resume it later in case of practising
As different test formats were required, some of the test format issues needed addressing:
- Digital media functionality needed to be addressed as the system was not as per the functionality required.
- There was an issue where various graphical representations were supposed to be displayed based on results, but students were not being shown the graphical representations that they should.
- A feature of the website for students while practicing for a test should be that they can save the exam and resume it later. As registration is not required anywhere in the first phase, this needs to be managed by the dynamic login details created which leads to the issue of what will happen in the case of adaptive testing? Through discussion with the client, the solution was that adaptive test can only be for exams themselves, not for study/practising.
All the issues were clearly addressed thus enabling us to provide relevant solutions for them. The client provided a clear specification, which we really appreciated, allowing us to provide our own input based on the functionality of adaptive testing and the types of graphs we can show on the basis of results.
We also suggested that the ‘Register’ functionality should have a clear dashboard for the students so that it is easily understood that their all the information is secure.
We took voice calls and communicated with the client regularly which helped to foster mutual understanding and led to the successful completion of the project without losing functionality or quality.
Our ultimate goal is client satisfaction with the long term working relationship and with good understanding and communication we have achieved our goal and delivered the project successfully. The client is using the portal successfully for all training and examination needs.