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External type of items accept item data in the form of QTI XML data. 

  1. Select the Develop Questions → Write Item menu.
  2. Click the Write Question link. 
  3. On the Write Question page, select External from the Question Type drop-down list.

    Please visit the Language-related features in Items page to learn about the Language Code drop-down list.

Create an External Item

  1. Enter the QTI code for the item in the QTI Item Snippet box. You can also opt to use the Load QTI from file button to browse to the appropriate XML file containing the QTI code for the item if you have it ready in such a file. In this case, the entries made in the QTI Item Snippet box before choosing the XML file are ignored and overwritten by the contents of the XML file. Here is an example:

    You must ensure that only one <item> element is entered in the QTI Item Snippet box.

  2. You must attach (an existing) or upload assets (if they do not exist in the current project) if the QTI code of the Item references any assets, by clicking the Attach or upload assets button.


    No validation takes place for the attached assets. Therefore, the item author must be careful to include any referenced assets as the item is saved even if the referenced assets are not attached. If the asset is not attached, this results in a compilation error in the Assessment Driver. 

  3. If you wish to make the item a display type item that is not scored, you must add the following elements after the </presentation> element and before the </item> element.
    <itemproc_extension><pearsonvue:itemcontrol scored="false"/></itemproc_extension>

  4. You have several options to Save the item.

    1. Click the Save button. The item is saved and the item is checked-out preventing other users from making edits to the item. You remain on the Write Question page where further edits can be made to the item.
    2. Click the Preview button. Changes to the item are saved, the item is checked-out, and the item is opened in the Preview window. Only users with permission to preview items will see this button.
    3. To save an incomplete item, click Save and Exit. The item is saved in a Draft state and checked in so any user with access to the item may make edits to the item. It is visible in the Draft/Returned Questions tab of the Project Writing Summary page.
    4. To submit the item for review, click Submit. The item is saved and checked-in so any users with access to the item may make edits to the item. The item is advanced to the next reviewer in the list or to the next stage in the workflow.



    QTI code for only a single item can be entered in the QTI Item Snippet box. If you try to enter anything more, or if the XML is not well-formed (such as no closing tag), the following error message appears after clicking Submit and the item fails to submit.


    You cannot add exhibits to an External type item.
    You cannot add External type items to a case.
    When added to an exam form, you cannot specify Scoring or Lock Response for External type items.


    Once submitted, the item ident in the QTI becomes the External ID of the External type item.



You can click the Submit on Behalf of drop-down control and select one of the user names in the list to submit an item on behalf of the selected user. The user list contains names of users enabled in the current project, except for the user currently logged in and viewing the list. The list is displayed in ascending order by last name, first name, and user name. Once you click the Submit button, the item is saved to the Draft mode and does not show for the current user. 


Submit on Behalf of drop-down list is not available at the time of Modify Question.


Keep in mind that for users to write this type of item, it must be enabled on the Questions tab of the project's Configuration page. From Manage → Settings → Configuration → Questions → Allow Question types, select External from the list. If you do not see this type of item in the list, please contact your Project Manager to change the project settings.



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