A well-structured and ordered question bank brings the benefits of better organisation, greater insight and efficiency to your institution. However, that’s not all it offers. Here we explore some of the other lesser-known benefits of having a good question bank system.
In the absence of using question bank software, it’s common for question authors to create and store items individually, in Word documents. This often leads to formatting inconsistencies and issues. Even where institutions distribute formatting guidelines to adhere to, they’ll always be one contributor who decides to ‘go rogue’ and disregard them in favour of sticking to their own familiar methods.
Using the eSystem’s sophisticated question bank ensures you can avoid this and maintain standardisation both in item creation and assessments. Question authors add their items directly to a bank, which has a set default font to maintain consistency. There are also defaults for each different question style, making it significantly easier to uphold uniformity.
Acknowledging that some circumstances require a deviation from the default, the software offers the ability to override it. However, it requires a considered action on behalf of the user, so is not something that can happen accidentally.
A good question bank provides the flexibility to customise assessments according to institutional needs. For example, by learning objectives, curriculum areas or difficulty. With the eSystem question bank, you can quickly select and combine questions from one bank or several banks to create tailored assessments. Or simply use the exam blueprinting tool to create an exam in seconds.
You can grant users access to one bank or as many banks as you need, protecting the integrity of your questions and putting you firmly in control.
The eSystem offers flexibility with assessment types too, with a large variety of question styles available such as multiple-choice questions (MCQ), including single best answer (SBA), Extended matching (EMQ), Short Answer Question (SAQ), Multiple Short Answer (MSA), Very Short Answer (VSA), hot spot, essay and OSCE. You can be confident in creating customised assessments with ease.
Facilitating collaboration amongst team members is another function that a question bank enables. Promoting the sharing of assessment resources, expertise and best practice, it helps foster a culture of knowledge exchange. With the eSystem’s workflow feature, it’s easy to see at what stage a question is. Questions can be authored, set to review, edited and approved. Team members receive e-mail notifications notifying them of any changes or outstanding tasks. This provides increased visibility and information with whom the action lies. Moreover, it removes the need to send chase e-mails and ultimately facilitates a smoother process.
Furthermore, you can retire a question if you decide you no longer need it. This means you can’t use it in future assessments, but you’ll still have the benefit of retaining all of the history.
Version control is one area where having a good question bank comes into its own. Not only is it possible to easily keep track of changes, but there is a full audit trail too. It’s possible to see what changes have been made, by whom and when. Giving a clear picture of how questions evolve over time. You can compare versions and choose which one you want to use. Plus if you need, you can revert to previous question versions, mitigating the risk of irreparable errors or undesirable modifications.
All of this tracking and traceability would be incredibly difficult to manage without a question bank.
Once up and running a question bank serves as a valuable long-term resource for educators and exam administrators. It can be updated, expanded and questions re-used over time. It stores a complete history of each question and exam providing users with greater insight to improve future assessments, ensuring its longevity and value.
Furthermore, there’s no risk of questions getting lost or misplaced, which is common with other methods, especially when there are personnel changes. Or worse, they accidentally get into the wrong hands, compromising the exam. The eSystem question bank offers a secure repository to create, manage, store and organise your questions.
If you would like to know more about how eSystem’s question bank can help improve your exam processes get in touch. Call our sales team at +44 (0) 1223 851703 or email firstname.lastname@example.org