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Challenges of remote question authoring

When it comes to authoring questions for exams, we often hear how authors are working remotely and questions are co-ordinated via a collection of word documents. Presenting an administrative nightmare and making it hard to keep track of changes and versions. Especially in a situation where more than one person needs to work on a question.

On top of this, there’s the risk of questions being leaked or falling into the wrong hands whether it’s intentional or not. It’s very easy to accidentally forward an e-mail to the wrong contact or forget to password protect a file. And not to mention the possibility of saving documents insecurely on a computer or USB. All of these scenarios pose a security risk – a risk that’s not needed with the right systems in place.

It’s not surprising that improving question authoring, collation and storage is often top of our customer’s list when discussing how they want to improve exam processes. Fortunately, there is a solution…

Question banking benefits

At the heart of Speedwell’s eSystem is a sophisticated question bank. With the bank, you can store all of your questions in one place. Each question can be categorised into as many groups or subgroups as you need. Learning outcomes and curriculum areas are just two common examples. The question bank stores a complete history of each question and by using the in-built statistical tools you‘ll be able to gain performance insights too.

The days of storing exam questions in a collection of word documents or excel spreadsheets are over.  It’s possible to easily import questions into the bank from other files or sources. However, it’s not necessary since authors can add and edit questions directly in the bank. And this can be done remotely from any location with eSystem’s web app.

Remote question authoring with eSystem

Using remote question authoring where question writers add content directly into the bank has many advantages. Firstly it can hugely reduce the administrative burden. Not only because there are no longer questions in various documents, but also in keeping track of changes and assisting with version control.

eSystem’s detailed user management and permission tools mean each question author is assigned permissions which only permits them to see or do what they need. For example, some may only be able to add content – whilst others will also be able to edit. This reduces the potential for unauthorised changes to questions or exams. Any changes made will be tracked in a detailed audit log. Making it easy for exam administrators to see any changes, who made them and when.

Secure question authoring

Protecting the integrity of an exam by ensuring questions are kept confidential is obviously of paramount importance. eSystem’s remote authoring tool can assist with this. There’s no risk of a document containing questions accidentally getting out before an exam when users add questions directly into the bank. Restricting and limiting user access so they can only see what they need to is another security benefit. And the audit trail makes it easy to see when questions are changed, what changes were made and by whom.

If you’re looking to simplify your question authoring process and reduce the associated administrative burden, talk to us. Call our sales team on +44 (0) 1223 851703 or email