[QTI] Spectatus - QTI 2.1 test authoring tool

Neve, Paul R P.R.Neve at kingston.ac.uk
Fri Feb 26 17:18:17 GMT 2010

Dear all,

I am pleased to announce the first public release of Spectatus, a QTI 2.1 test authoring tool, released under the New BSD Licence. Spectatus is a Java desktop application and can be installed via Java Web Start from the URL:


The intention was to provide QTI content authors on the FETLAR project with a simple, user friendly means of assembling questions into test content packages. As such, Spectatus is intended to interface with a number of other components used within FETLAR (most of which will probably be familiar to those on this mailing list, e.g. Minibix, QTIEngine/MathAssessEngine, Mathqurate and so on). However, you do not need to use those components in order to author tests with it. In terms of test authoring, I have tried to keep it simple, and make no assumptions about question content or subject-specific extensions to QTI. At least in theory, a test constructed in Spectatus should render in any tool that accepts a correctly packaged QTI 2.1 assessmentTest, assuming that the questions that comprise it do not use any extensions beyond those supported by the renderer.

A brief overview document outlining the application's use can be downloaded fromhttp://aqurate.kingston.ac.uk/files/spectatus.pdf. This gives a user-level overview of the application's use, and some technical notes including source and compilation details for those so inclined.

Feedback and thoughts are most welcome.

Kind regards,

Paul Neve
Senior E-Learning Software Developer/Researcher
CISM, Kingston University

PS: I say that you don't *need* to use components such as Minibix, MathAssessEngine, etc. However, I would be happy to assist anyone who wishes to take a closer look at them. We now have a number of options within FETLAR that allow such components to be used with a minimum of configuration and IT-related effort, so those of you who might have been put off in the past might find it worthwhile to revisit them. The "useful links" page at the back of the overview document gives some more information, and please get in touch if you'd like some help to go further.

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