Monday, May 23, 2011

Experiments with Sakai Tests and Quizzes IMS QTI export and Respondus

Respondus ( is a Windows-based program for creating and managing exams. It is pretty much the Rosetta-stone of quiz publishing to various Course Management Systems (ANGEL, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, etc). It can import IMS QTI 1.1+ and convert it (change "CMS Personality"). We have a campus-wide license for Respondus.

Here is my experiment to move a Sakai 2.7 Test and Quizzes exam, containing a multiple choice (single choice) question, into Respondus 4.0.3, and then publish it to Blackboard 9.1.


1. In Sakai 2.7, export quiz as IMS QTI 1.2, save file (e.g., exportAssessment.xml)

1a. Go to Tests and Quizzes

1b. Select the "export" action next to your assessment.

Note: there is no "export" action for "Published Assessments" (whether active or inactive). You can only export "Pending Assessments". A Published Assessment should only really be a copy of the Pending Assessment, right?

1c. Choose the export format "IMS QTI v1.2" and save the resulting file to your Desktop, e.g., exportAssessment.xml (default name)

2. In Respondus, import the XML.

2a. change CMS personality to "IMS QTI 1.1+"

2b. Start > Open > Browse > Files of Type: "IMS QTI Questions (XML, QTI)" and locate the exportAssessment.xml

2c. Choose a new name for the Respondus document that will be created from the IMS QTI file, e.g., exportAssessment. Respondus natively uses its own proprietary file format (.rsp).

2d. Select the folder that contains all of the image/object files used in this document; I had none so I just picked any folder e.g, My Documents.

2e. Now open the resulting Respondus File (e.g., exportAssessment)

2f. Review the questions/answers/etc for correctness

Note: there is an issue at least with the multiple choice IMS QTI XML that Sakai Tests and Quizzes currently exports (see below).

3. In Respondus, convert to your target CMS Personality

3a. Start > Open or Create > Current Personality "Blackboard 7.x - 9.x"

3b. You will be prompted that a conversion will take place. And can save as a new Respondus file (you can choose to overwrite the existing Respondus file).

Note: not all questions types from the source CMS may be supported by the target CMS; Respondus will warn you of changes it made to questions.

4. In Respondus, adjust any Settings (e.g., Availability, Number of times to take exam, etc) -- these are CMS Personality specific so it's important to change the CMS Personality first.

5. In Respondus, Preview and Publish to your target CMS (I'll leave out those steps)

6. In your target CMS, review!


* IMS QTI 1.2 Export of a MultipleChoice question does not setvar correct response SCORE -- Respondus v4.0.3 cannot properly import the IMS QTI 1.2 generated by Sakai Tests and Quizzes; it does not detect the correct response in a multiple choice question unless setvar SCORE is set to a non-zero value.

Closing Thoughts:

We need to test the export/importability of each Sakai Test and Quizzes question type (the reverse analysis of

It is good to read that Sakai CLE 2.8 added the ability to import questions from Respondus (SAM-663).

Here's hoping that in the future it will also support exporting to Respondus better.

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