#Moodlewish: Moodle for assessment only

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I manage online courses on a day-to-day basis, and one of the main tasks is taking care of our test banks and configuring online assessments.  This currently is done on another LMS but could easily be delivered via Moodle (if/when all test questions were imported from our original system).

WIRIS

There are two ways I could see this done which have some really great potential benefits inherent or available over time through development.  The first way would be via Meta courses where the Meta courses hold the content that students need to learn and each child course hosts the assessments (configured differently depending on the needs of the enrolled students).  The second would be an entirely separate Moodle installation for assessments only (perhaps authenticated via Mnet or another method).

Pros:

  • Additional security measures
  • Ability to create and manage many tests from test banks and questions pool
  • A simplified gradebook (assuming that no other assignments or modules with grade book contributions were included)
  • Content could be hosted elsewhere
  • Excellent student activity records could be saved (time on site, time in assessment, number of clicks, etc)
  • If using Moodle 2.0 the “Flag this Question” feature could instantaneously flag questions for review/correction and improve our Meta learning on the site (ensuring that students are learning all intended outcomes from the content portion of their learning).
  • Lots of customizable question formats already are available (for 1.9 especially)
  • Streamline test configuration, ensuring consistent test limitations across disciplines (timing, number of questions, question difficulty, etc.)
  • Proctoring availability via 3rd party (like ProctorU) or in-house

Wishful thinking maybe, but the Assessment engine in Moodle is extremely advanced (and becoming more so as time passes thanks to contributors like Tim Hunt among others).

Cons:

  • Authentication (would want to limit number of times a student has to login, my preference would be 1 login to the entire system of content and assessments, even if they were hosted via different systems/platforms)
  • Currently difficult to import some question formats

What am I missing?

Do you host or hold assessments in a separate class from where your online course content is housed?  If so, why/why not?