Proposal:Assessment content

From Strategic Planning
Status (see valid statuses)

The status of this proposal is:


Use GIFT format syntax extensions as an open educational resource for Wikiversity to provide extended quiz content for self-study, low-stakes, learner-adaptive quizzes, in order to meet the UK charitable status criterion and provide metadata, by:

  • enabling learner adaptivity for low-stakes, free-form study, so that a learner can start with a medium-difficulty question and be served subsequent questions based on an estimation of their ability to answer them correctly. So the system could present questions predicted to have, for instance, a 50% chance of answering correctly based on the session track record;
  • enabling feedback, which GIFT already has with the { ... [=|~]answer #feedback ... } construct;
  • enabling general and detailed help on questions, which can be used to estimate learner independence, further tailoring low-stakes instructional feedback and question selection; and
  • enabling public, anonymous, crowdsourced review of question and answer accuracy by requiring questions to be vetted by a third party or parties before going in to production, challenged by those who disagree with the scoring, and reviewed again if and when they are challenged.
A feature request or bug related to this proposal has been submitted to Bugzilla under ID 22475.

See Category:Proposals with Bugzilla submissions for all submitted bugs.


The stated UK legal precedent criterion for achieving charitable status is, "If the object be the mere increase of knowledge it is not in itself a charitable object unless it is combined with teaching or education."[1] While it should be clear (and accordingly emphasized in the UK Chapter's tax appeal) that serving http requests for content and subject matter searches does provide a substantial, authentic, free, and high quality teaching and educational service, the legal climate surrounding the National Portrait Gallery controversy may diminish the persuasiveness of that argument. Therefore, the Foundation should support projects to include GIFT-compatible content.

We should also encourage sub-category coverage statistics based on Bloom's cognitive taxonomy and make sure that category transitions and break periods are being used to maximize the advantage of the spacing effect.

Because of the widespread adoption of GIFT and QTI, and the possibility of converting some QTI content to GIFT format, the Foundation could establish an open educational resources directory for assessment content with a MediaWiki extension. This would include content database extensions, additional MediaWiki interfaces including search, and an interactive assessment item interpreter similar to Moodle's.

Eventually, innovative new technologies using speech input for reading and pronunciation questions can be enabled using:


This project would leave no doubt that the Foundation and UK Chapter wish to provide authentic and complete educational services. It will also lay the groundwork for the integration of interactive instructional technology with Foundation content.

Key Questions

  • How long will establishing a database of assessment content take? How much personnel effort is required? (See also existing quiz content at Wikiversity)
  • How long will it take to write an assessment interpreter as a MediaWiki extension? Done two years ago; see talk page
  • How long will it take to enhance the Quiz MediaWiki extension to handle GIFT format, learner adaptivity, and third-party review of questions?
  • Is this National Science Foundation grant an appropriate source of funding for this project? (The Foundation declined to apply for federal funding by the deadline, citing an unspecified undue burden.)
  • Will Google support this as a Summer of Code project? (Googlers Chris Messina and DeWitt Clinton have been asked about it)
  • Will the Foundation match donations raised at to support this effort? (Note: $50 has been raised from individual donors so far; thanks to Cam Vilay!)

Potential Costs

I estimate about 750 hours paid should accomplish the MediaWiki extension groundwork, and volunteer wiki editors will be able to take it from there. However, there may be considerable overhead which I have not considered.


Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal Talk:Assessment content.

Want to work on this proposal?

  1. Yaron Koren has agreed to do the essential deliverables for $2,500. A request has been made to Sue Gardner and Erik Moeller
  1. .. Sign your name here!