Massive import method of the questions with Yes/No answers into the Lviv Polytechnic VLE

Lviv Polytechnic National University

Distance learning via the Internet is used nowadays in most leading educational institutions in Ukraine and in the world. Lviv Polytechnic National University implements this process via the virtual learning environment (VLE). One of the important components of VLE is an evaluation of students’ knowledge in the test form that gives the opportunity to realize the basic didactic principles of control training [1].

Creation of computer tests in VLE is based on using certain amount of questions. If questions and answer options are in the form of tables, you can accelerate its creation using the export/import question tools available in VLE. However, the used data of exchange formats have their flaws that unable effective automatic process of such import [2]. In this work the author suggests the method of massive import of the questions with yes/no answers, organizing information into table with preparation to import using simple operations in the word processor Microsoft Word and spreadsheet application Microsoft Excel.

The first step to solve the problem is to figure out which format should be used to prepare data for questions import. The easiest way to achieve this goal is to export questions using the Lviv Polytechnic VLE web tools, and to explore the structure of the received data. Experiments with reverse process – the import of questions from a file Gift-format – allow you to set the final data without information overload.

The structure of the data to import questions with yes/no answer needs the information of three types: short form of the question; complete form of questions and TRUE or FALSE answer. Certainly such information should be kept in a table with three columns, where each line corresponds to certain question and every columns corresponds to certain data out of three types of information (fig. 5, a). Only such kind of table is suitable for the further work. Another important issue is the creation of the structure that can easily accept the data from a Word table, convert them and save in Gift-format. This structure is already created: it’s an Excel table, depicted in fig. 5, b. After having filled it you have to transfer the data back into Word and complete preparations for the import.

To transfer data from the first column in the Word table into column B in the Excel table you have to transform the table into the text with two empty paragraphs between the substantive data. To do it in Word table (fig. 5, a) you have to: select the second and third columns and clear them by pressing Delete, convert table into text choosing Layout–Convert into text, select the separator as a paragraph mark; select everything and copy to the Clipboard; go to the Excel table (fig. 5, b), select the first line in column B and insert data (fig. 6, a).

To fill column D you have to return to a Word table, undo the last two operations to restore the original table, rearrange the second column into the first place and accomplish previously described sequence of operations: clear the two last columns, convert table into text and paste the data into column D. The same way you have to fill in column F after what you get completely prepared data structure in Excel (fig. 6 b).

Therefore, this method allows you easily to perform usual commands of such common Office programs as Word and Excel, to prepare and import a large number of questions with Yes/No answers into the Lviv Polytechnic VLE, as well as into other environments that support Gift format for the resources exchange.

Using the key principles of this method, you can also explore the text data format for export/import of other types of questions, create an appropriate table structure for them and develop the command sequence to prepare the import process into the virtual learning environment, which are the author’s intentions to describe in the next article.

1. Булах І.Є. Теорія і методика комп’ютерного тестування успішності навчання (на матеріалах медичних навчальних закладів): Дис. доктора пед. наук: 13.00.01 / Київський національний університет імені Т.Г. Шевченка. К., 1995. – 430 с.

2. Костишин С.О., Карпінський М.П., Аляшевич Я. Імпортування тестових запитань у віртуальне навчальне середовище // Вісник Тернопільського державного технічного університету. Т. 12, № 4. – Тернопіль, 2007. – С. 135–140.