Banking On The QBank



By AP Dr Siti Aishah Hashim Ali(ct_aishah@oum.edu.my)

As part of its effort to leverage on technology to provide quality education, OUM is currently developing a comprehensive question bank known as QBank with the input of its team of in-house academics and programmers. The initiative will soon be evident to both the University's academics and learners. But first, what is a question bank?

Conceptualising Question Banking

A question bank is a large collection of test items from which a tester and other testing practitioners can draw high quality items that are matched to specific measurement needs or objectives.

When stored as an electronic database, the question bank greatly enhances the practice of academic measurement. In addition, question banking can cover all processes necessary to create, pilot, analyse, store, manage and select test items.

This allows different test types - for instance, multiple-choice questions, as well as short-answer and long-essay questions - to be created as multiple test forms from subsets of the total pool of items.

With a large question bank, various forms of tests can be created whenever they are needed, all based on given sets of criteria.

The advantages of OUM's QBank are substantial.

The traditional method of developing test items involves manual work, where an academic needs to follow a tedious process. This process is furthermore fraught with numerous possibilities of errors, where items can be misplaced, lost or misfiled.

The QBank Advantage

Developing an in-house system is advantageous in that the QBank can be tailored to follow specific characteristics of OUM's assessment format.

The advantages of OUM's QBank are substantial. QBank enables the University to manage its valuable assessment resources in a way that cannot be achieved manually. It allows OUM academics to share content and moderate the bank items with external subject-matter experts. It facilitates reuse of assessment items. And it reduces the possibility of learners cheating in summative assessment by delivering different sets of test questions to different sets of candidates.

These are just some of the advantages that the QBank gives to the University.

The QBank is in development. Soon enough, it will be ready for deployment, at which time academics and learners of OUM will stand to reap its benefits.

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