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iTest 1.1 documentation: Database Editor
The Database Editor offers an easy way to organise a database of questions and answers. It makes use of colours in a way that makes this even easier. It features a simple rich text editor that allows you to format your questions just the way you like.
The Database Editor is also used as the server, to which client computers then connect in order to retrieve a test. It can save test sessions for later viewing and allows you to view and print statistics.
The menu bar provides access to different actions, like opening, saving and closing a database in the File menu, actions related to the current view and language in the View menu, database statistics and other database-related actions in the Database menu or a link to this documentation and an update checker in the Help menu.
The tool bar features icons for actions that can also be found in the menus. The most notable ones are the five checkable icons which follow the Save button. You can use these to switch view to editing questions (Questions), writing notes (Comments), creating flags (Flags), configuring and running the server (Server mode) and viewing saved sessions (Saved sessions). Of course, this only works when a database is open:
The middle part of the window features a list of recently used databases:
To create a new database, click the New button in the File menu, in the tool bar or under the list of recent databases. Type in a name for the database. Please choose wisely, this name shouldn't be too long and should represent the content of the database well. After this, choose a name for the database file.
You can always change the database name here (although it's not recommended):
The database also contains a date, which you can set to be the date of the last save, or to stay the same permanently (this is useful, if you want to keep the date when you created the database).
To create a new question, you can either go to the Question menu and click Add, or click Add in the tool bar or below the list of questions. Type in a name for the question - this name should not give a hint about the answer of the question. It should be a unique, descriptive name for the question which will remind you about the topic of the question.
The new question will appear in the list of questions:
This list can be filtered, which is useful when you have a lot of questions, maybe even hundreds of them. There are 5 radio buttons in the top. The first of them that says All shows all questions (unless the Search field is yellow or red), the second one with the green icon shows easy questions only, the third button (the orange one) questions with medium difficulty only, the fourth (the red one) difficult questions only and finally the fifth with the flag icon shows questions with a selected flag only (you can select the flag in the combo box below it). If you type a keyword into the Search field, it turns yellow if any question matches your search or red if none found.
Below the list, there are several buttons. They are shortcuts for actions located in the Question menu. They mean Add, Duplicate, Delete, Move up and Move down, respectively.
When you select a question to edit, it will appear on the right side of this list, in a section called Selected question. Here you can type in the text of the question, its answers and select the correct one(s).
The topmost part of this section allows you to change its name, flag and difficulty:
Below this, you can see the basic formatting tools. The first two buttons allow you to revert the last action (left arrow) or redo a reverted action (right arrow). There's one combo box for choosing a font and one for the font size. Then there are buttons for switching to bold (B), italic (I) and underlined (U) text. Next to these, there is a button for choosing the colour of the text. And finally, L stands for align left, C for centre, R for right and J for justify.
Do not forget to click Apply or Save after any change you make to a question, because otherwise it will not be saved.
Use comments to write down anything you want. This could be reminders, notes, to-dos and so on. Comments are saved within the database file and are therefore unique for each database.
You can even use the formatting tools to make your notes look better:
Imagine you have a database of questions from biology. These need to be divided into several categories, for example fauna and flora. You can do this with flags.
To create a new flag, click a checkbox next to an empty field.
Next, type in a name. "Biology - fauna" is a good example. If this is the first flag you created, all questions will automatically be assigned this flag. If there are any questions assigned, you can no longer disable the flag (because it is "in use").
Each flag has a different colour and any question with that flag has the same colour as well. Flags are also useful when you want to set up a test with only those questions that are assigned a certain flag.
To hold a test session, you will need to set up the server. It is recommended to have a printer connected to this server. Click the Server mode button in the tool bar.
In case there is no network available, you will need to load the test into each client computer manually:
In order to be able to view past sessions, you need to check the Save session option the Server menu when the server is running. It will then be saved when you stop the server.
To view a session, switch the view to Saved sessions by clicking the icon in the toolbar. You will see the session in the list of sessions. Double click its item in this list. The session will be loaded and ready for viewing.
You can now view the results of a student by clicking a name in the list of students.
When you're viewing a saved session, you can also print results of a student, of all students or a summary of the session. In orded to do this, go to the Session menu and click one of the first three options, according to what you want to print. You can only print results of a student if a student is selected in the list of students.
If a session has a log, you can export it as an html document. In order to do this, a session must be loaded. To export a log, go to the Session menu and select the Export log option. Now, choose a name for the file and save it.
When a session log is no longer needed, you can delete it to save disk space. In order to do this, a session must be loaded. To delete a log, go to the Session menu and select the Delete log option. You will be asked to confirm this action.
In iTest 1.1, a new feature called archive was introduced. The archive can store sessions, which are associated with the database by its name. When you open a database, iTest checks if there are any archived sessions under its name. If so, they are all loaded and you can view them. If you open the same database on a different computer, these sessions will not be shown, because they are only available on the computer where you archive them.
Archiving a session is easy, you just need to load the session you wish to archive, go to the Session menu and select Archive session. You'll see the session jump from the list of sessions to the archive.
Restoring a session brings it back into the database. To do so, choose Restore session from the Session menu.
To copy a session to or from the archive, use the appropriate actions in the Session menu.
iTest remembers every answer of every student, correct or wrong. The number of correct and incorrect answers is saved in the database along with the question. These numbers are used to determine the difficulty of a question. If available, this information is displayed at the bottom of the editor when you select a question.
By clicking "adjust difficulty", the difficulty of the question is set to the calculated one. You can also adjust the difficulty of all questions in your database. In order to do so, select Overall statistics from the Database menu. A window will appear.
Click Adjust all to change the difficulties of all questions to the calculated ones. You can also change the difficulty of some questions only by clicking the corresponding Adjust difficulty button on the right.