IMS withdraw QTI v2.1 draft specification

Over the last few days a new notice has appeared on the IMS Question and Test Interoperability webpage in place of the QTI v2.1 draft specification:

The IMS QTIv2.1 draft specification has been removed from the IMS website. Adequate feedback on the specification has not been received, and therefore, the specification has been put back into the IMS project group process for further work.

QTI v2.1 was under public review for more than 2 years and did not achieve sufficient implementation and feedback to warrant being voted on as a final specification. Therefore it has been withdrawn for further work by the IMS membership. IMS cannot continue to publish specifications that have not met the rigors of the IMS process.”

IMS GLC has convened a set of leading organizations to take the lead on this new work – which will be considered to be in the CM/DN draft phase in the IMS process.  Therefore, we are very encouraged and hopeful that a new version will be available in due time, possibly a QTI v2.2, along with the necessary conformance profiles. However, we cannot assume that it will be a linear evolution from QTI v2.1.

Until that time the only version of QTI that is fully endorsed by IMS GLC is v1.2.1, that is supported under the Common Cartridge Alliance: http://www.imsglobal.org/cc/alliance.html . While QTI version 2.0 has been voted on as a final specification by the IMS members, it’s deficiencies are well known and IMS does not recommend implementation of it.

This was clearly completely unexpected, not only for us at CETIS but also amongst a number of commercial and academic developers who have been working with the specification as can be seen by posts to the technical discussion list hosted by UCLES.  In particular, I’d encourage you to read Wilbert’s response on behalf of CETIS.

Concerns from the developer community addressed a number of the issues raised in IMS’s statement.  In response to the claim that ‘adequate feedback on the specification has not been received’, several commentators argued that this is because of the high standard of the specification; while the suggestion that ‘QTI v2.1 … did not achieve sufficient implementation … to warrant being voted on as a final specification’ sparked the addition of a number of implementations to Wikipedia’s QTI page.

There is agreement that work will progress on the basis of the public draft, so it is still perfectly possible that the outcome will be a mildly amended version of the public draft with some small profiles.

CETIS will be following this up, and will of course keep you all informed about progress.  In the meantime, we’d be very keen to hear any thoughts or comments you have, although I would encourage you to sign up for both the UCLES list and the official IMS QTI list to ensure your voice is heard as widely as possible; it would be most beneficial for the wider QTI community I feel for discussion to be focused in one place, i.e. the UCLES list.