Choosing interactions for an item

“Interactions allow the candidate to interact with the item. Through an interaction, the candidate selects or constructs a response.”

– Question and Test Interoperability standard, published by IMS Global.

Interactions are inserted into an item during the item authoring process. They are the building blocks for Items (which in turn are the building blocks for Tests), and serve as the basic unit for Test-taker responses. The term Interaction should not be considered interchangeable with the term Item: other than conceptually, interactions cannot exist outside of an item, thus there are no concrete instances of interactions outside of items.

There are four categories of interaction: Common InteractionsInline Interactions, Graphic Interactions and Custom Interactions (also known as PCI interactions). There are currently 17 interactions recognized by the QTI standard. In the library on the left of your newly created item, you will see the Common Interactions catalog. You will find the other types of interaction below this. You can navigate these catalogs to choose the types of interaction you want to use for your item. The two sub-sections of the Guide QTI Interaction Types and PCI Interaction Types contain chapters on each type of interaction available in TAO. Each of these chapters gives you information on how to use that interaction in your item.

Note that an item generally contains only one interaction type, but you can create an item which contains more than one interaction: Item complexity ranges from simple items with a single interaction to composite items with multiple interactions. Once you have added and prepared one interaction in your item, drag another interaction template from the Interactions Library onto the Canvas below or beside the interaction you have just authored, and repeat the authoring process for the new interaction.

In TAO, interactions include the mechanisms used to score the interaction itself. For simple Items, correct answers add to the Test score, unlike incorrect answers. Scoring a composite item using standard response templates (match correct, map response, or map response point) are often a more complicated sum.

With the exception of PCIs (which are project-specific), each of the interactions below is described in detail in its own chapter, either under QTI Interaction Types or PCI Interaction Types.

Common Interactions cover many of the simple interactions that are often used in assessment. In TAO, the following Common Interactions can be used in the creation of assessment items:

Common Interactions
Common Interactions

Inline Interactions are interactions which contain text-based elements. In TAO, the following Inline Interactions can be used in the creation of test items:

Inline Interactions
Inline Interactions

Graphic Interactions contain graphic elements. In TAO, the following Graphic Interactions can be used in the creation of test items:

Graphic Interactions
Graphic Interactions

Portable Custom Interactions (PCI) are interactions which are developed for a specific scenario, mostly to fulfill a specific need of a customer.

Portable Custom Interactions
Portable Custom Interactions

Note: Identifiers which can be configured in Interactions need to contain only ASCII characters due to QTI restrictions. ASCII character replacements are described on sites such as Oracle and ASCII Code.