README -- Web based Java Applet for configuring oline ESS Tests

Multiple-Choice Test Editor

Web based tool for configuring on-line Multiple-Choice Tests

Contents

Introduction

Thank you for using the ESS Web based Java MC Test Configuration Applet.

The Java Applet is an interactive on-line tool for editing the configuration information of online ESS MC Test used, e.g., in A-TEAM.

The Java Applet includes functions to quickly edit or change configuration parameters, the questions, set of answers, explanations, and evaluation criteria and messages for ESS tests. The editor connects to an Oracle 8.1.7 database server by using Oracle Thin JDBC driver. The Applet interface suggests the steps that guide the user through the necessary steps.

The structure of a TEST is as follows: each TEST consistes of:

  • a Configuration record that specifes general characteristics of the test;
  • a set of Evaluation or feedback messages used for user feedback;
  • a set of Questions each question consistes of:
    • the Question text introducing the question in HTML format, including optional images;
    • the Explanation text that is shown to the user on demand to explain the question and the correct answers in more detail;
    • a list of Answers or (multiple) choices; each answer consists of:
      • The answer text describing each choice or answer;
      • A boolean variable denoting TRUE of FALSE for each possible answer;
      • the number of points to add if the answer is selected;
      • the number of points to add if the answer is NOT selected;

This logical structure of a TEST is implemented in the relational database system of this application in four tables:

  1. CONFIG1
  2. TEST1
  3. EVAL1
  4. CHOICES

Relation 1: CONFIG1 - TEST1 - EVAL1 by using Test Name as a primary key

Relation 2: TEST1 - CHOICES by using Question Name as a primary key

1) CONFIG1: includes, for each TEST:

    .
    field namefield description
    Test Nametext string
    Test Mode fixed selection: random or sequential
    Maximum Pointspoints resulting for all answers correct
    Minimum Pointspoints resulting from all answers wrong
    Number of evaluation linesfeedback provided for a range of points
    Time Outseconds available for each question; 0 = unlimited time
    Author Nametext field
    Comments text field
    Date of creation of the testdate of last modification

2) TEST1 the set of question for each TEST, defined by:

    field namefield description
    Test Namecharacter string, link to the test configuration
    Question Namecharacter string
    Question text a text field (HTML) describing the question
    Explanationa text field (HTML) explaining the question and the correct choice(s) or answer(s)

3) EVAL1 the score dependent feedback to the user or evaluation information includes, for each TEST:

    field namefield description
    Test Namecharacter string, link to the TEST
    Lower points lower end of the point intervall
    upper pointsupper end of the point intervall
    Evaluation textmessage display for the intervall defined above
NOTE: these must should be continuous and non-overlapping; this should be checked/enforced, e.g., by automatically setting neighbouring upper/lower bounds, or by issuing a warning if a non-consistent definition is being saved.

4) CHOICES the set of answers or choices for each QUESTION, defined by:

    field namefield description
    Test Namecharacter string, link to the TEST
    Question Namecharacter string, link to the question
    True/Falseboolean choice T (TRUE) or F (FALSE)
    Answersone-line text describing the answer
    Spointspoints to add if this answer is selected
    NSpointspoints to add if this answer is NOT selected
NOTE: mandatory fields should be checked; there should be a WARNING, and/or defaults supplied wherever possible (e.g.,0 for points, autogenerated text strings CHOICE_1 etc. for answers !) Please note that this applies to ALL objects/fields of the TEST !

Features

The purpose of creating an applet for configuring tests is simplifying and partly automating the process by using database instead of single files. The Applet can Insert, Update, Delete and Retrieve configuration information from the database.

The operation starts with the highest object in the hiarachy, TEST defined by the Test Name. Because all tables are related by using primary key, after selecting particular test; Questions, Explanation, Multiple Test Choices and Evaluation information are displayed and can now be edited.

While particular test is selected it is allowed to perform all other database transactions such as Update and Delete on Test object dipendencies.

Please note: when inserting a new object (TEST or QUESTION), it must be saved to the datbase before the template/record for the next lower level will be displayed and can be edited.

How to Use

Editing and Updating

STEP 1: Select a test (for exampe Test002) by clicking on a row number on the left side of the Grid.

STEP 2: Select a question, the Question and Explanation will be displayed in text areas. After modifying any of information click on the "Save All" button so that the new information can be stored into database.

STEP 3: Select a question in "Step 2", a list of Multiple Choices will be displayed. After modifying any of information click on the "Save All" button so that the updated information can be stored into database.

STEP 4: Select a test in "Step 1", a list of Evaluation Messages will be displayed. After modifying any of information click on the "Save All" button so that the updated information can be stored into database.

Inserting

STEP 1: Click on the "Insert" button. After clicking the "Insert" button a new row will be created. After typing information into empty row, click "Save" or "Save All" button so that the new information can be stored in the database. To move to "Step 2" it is necessary to complete "Step 1" (by typing the test name into Grid and all other required information).

STEP 2: To insert a new question, select newly created test by clicking on a row number of the newly created test in the table of "Step 1". After typing a new Question Name, Question and Explanation click on the "Save All" button. To move to "Step 3" it is necessary to complete "Step 2" (by typing the question name into table and the other required information).

STEP 3: To insert a set of Multiple Choice Answers, select newly created question by clicking on a row number of the newly created question in the Grid of "Step 2". After typing a set of Multiple Choices, click on the "Save All" button so that the newly created information will be finally stored in to the database.

STEP 4: To insert a set of Evaluation Messages, select a newly created test in the Grid of "Step 1". In "Step 4" click on the "Insert" button and insert a set of Evaluation Messages. After insertin of set of Evaluation Messages, click on the "Save All" button to finally store new information into the database.

NOTE: Make sure to use Test and Question names different from existing ones!

Deleting

To delete data from a "Grid" in any of the Steps, first select a desired row to delete by clicking on a row number. Click on "Delete" button, after clicking the button a " * " will apear near row number on the left side of the Grid. To complete deletion click on the "Save All" button.

To cancel deletion of selected row click on "Undelete" button and the " * " will disapear.

NOTE: The editor allow to delete only one record at a time!

Button Functions summary

    BUTTONEXPLANATION
    UNDELETECancels deletion of a row. Removes " * " previosly placed by clicking on "Delete" button.
    INSERTInserts a new row from the top of the Grid.
    DELETEMarks a selected row for deletion by placing a " * " near the row number in the Grid.
    SAVESaves a current peace of newly inserted or changed data.
    SAVE ALLSaves all data within particular Step.
    RESETRefreshes Grid and Form data.

NOTE: To remove unwanted emty rows they must be deleted by clicking on "Delete" and then "Save All" button.

Required Software to run the Applet

To run the Applet, your browser must be Java enabled !

If necessary, please install the Java plug-in from Sun available at: http://www.java.sun.com/products/plugin.

Internet Explorer

If you encounter problems running applets in Internet Explorer, please install the Java plug-in from Sun available at: http://www.java.sun.com/products/plugin. This will ensure that Internet Explorer is running with the latest Java Virtual MAchiner (VM) from Sun.

Netscape Navigator

Occasionally applets may fail to run in Netscape Navigator.

Netscape will issue some security violation exceptions when you attempt to execute or debug applets from within VisualCafé. To avoid this security constraint, please add the following options to your prefs.js file:

user_pref("unsigned.applets.low_security_for_local_classes", true);

user_pref("signed.applets.local_classes_have_30_powers", true);

user_pref("signed.applets.low_security_for_local_classes", true);

user_pref("signed.applets.verbose_security_exception", true);

Notes:

1. This file states that it should not be edited by hand. In order to add entries to this file, you must first close all running instances of the Netscape Navigator. You may then edit the file manually.

2. You may see a message in the Java console, "# Security Exception: checkpropsaccess.key". This message can be ignored.

3. Most security errors can be avoided by publishing the applet to a web server.

 

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