|Original author(s)||Nicola Asuni|
13.3.0 / September 6, 2016
|License||AGPLv3 modified to prohibit commercial use|
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TCExam is a free source computer-based assessment (CBA) software system for electronic exams (also known as E-assessment, computer-based testing or e-exam) that enables educators and trainers to author, schedule, deliver, and report on quizzes, tests and exams. It is somewhat parallel to the written format test systems which are conducted in traditional educational institutions and helps the trainers or online tutors to design their assignments and deliver them in the form of surveys, exams, tests and quizzes.
The TCExam project started in 2004 and now it is translated in 24 languages and used all over the world by universities, schools, private and public institutions, independent educators and research centers. The top-ranking and the large number of downloads reported by SourceForge repository indicates that TCExam is probably the most commonly used free CBA Software in the world.
TCExam has been cited and suggested as preferred E-assessment tool by several papers and books, including the European-funded project TACCLE (Teachers' Aids on Creating Content for Learning Environments), The ICT Handbook for Primary Teachers, and European Joint Research Commission.
TCExam is Web-based, platform independent, language independent (includes translations in several languages and RTL support) and conforms to W3C Accessibility and Usability guidelines to provide equal opportunity to people with disabilities, including blind users.
TCExam can be used in many types of environments such as in education, training and development, and business settings.
TCExam automates all assessment phases: authoring, scheduling, delivering, and reporting. Users connect to the TCExam system using a common Web-browser. It does not require expensive hardware to run, nor additional commercial software. The general advantages of TCExam over traditional Pen-and-Paper Testing (PPT) includes: increased delivery, administration and scoring efficiency; reduced costs for many elements of the testing lifecycle; improved test security resulting from electronic transmission and encryption; consistency and reliability; faster and more controlled test revision process with shorter response time; faster decision-making as the result of immediate scoring and reporting; unbiased test administration and scoring; fewer response entry and recognition errors; fewer comprehension errors caused by the testing process; improved translation and localization with universal availability of content; new advanced and flexible item types; increased candidate acceptance and satisfaction; evolutionary step toward future testing methodologies.
TCExam has many features expected from a computer-based assessment system, including:
- Source code available for non-commercial use
- TCExam offers its source code under the AGPLv3 license provided it is used only for non-commercial purposes
- Platform-independent Web-based software
- TCExam runs without modification on Unix, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, Mac OS X, NetWare and any other systems that support PHP and a database, including most webhost providers. For users, all TCExam requires is a computer or PDA with a Web browser (i.e. Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer) and a network connection to the TCExam Web server. No additional software or specific hardware is required to use TCExam.
- Includes support for RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service), LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) and CAS (Central Authentication Service) modules, to directly access existing large database of users. Other authentication modules can be easily added to TCExam to meet specific needs.
- Internationalization (I18N)
- Includes translations in 24 languages and support for Translation Memory Exchange (TMX) standard, UTF-8, Unicode and RTL.
- Based on standard and open standard technologies
- No expensive hardware requirements
- Has been designed to run on almost any computer and even run it on shared Web servers managed by Web hosting providers.
- Accessibility and Usability
- Generates Web interfaces that conform to the XHTML 1.0 Strict standard and W3C-WAI-WCAG 1.0 Accessibility and Usability guidelines. Accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the TCExam. TCExam has been successfully tuned to be easily used by blind users.
- Data Import and Export
- Includes some tools to directly export/import users, questions or results data using various open formats:CSV, XML and PDF. The detailed results in PDF format can be automatically sent by email to each user. In addition, the database is fully documented in order to make it easily accessible by external applications to perform custom data import/export.
- Offline/Paper Testing with OMR support
- Can generate printable PDF documents for pen-and-paper testing. The OMR answer sheets can be scanned and uploaded to TCExam for automatic test importing, scoring and reporting.
- Rich Content
- Uses a common mark-up language to add text formatting, images, multimedia objects (audio and video) and mathematical formulas (supports LaTeX). Generally, any object that could be rendered with a Web browser using a specific plug-in can be added to the TCExam questions, alternative answers or general descriptions. Includes a simple graphic interface with buttons to easily format the text or add external objects (i.e. images, audio files, videos, flash animations, etc.).
- Unique test
- Questions are grouped into modules and topics. TCExam can store an unlimited number of modules. Each module can contain an unlimited number of topics. Each topic can contain an unlimited number of questions and each question can have an unlimited number of alternative answers. A TCExam test can include several modules and topics. For each module, topic or groups of modules/topics, TCExam randomly extracts a specified number of questions with certain characteristics (i.e.: question type, question difficulty and number of alternative answers to be displayed). If the question bank is large enough, TCExam may generate unique test for each user by randomly selecting and ordering questions and alternative answers. This drastically reduces or eliminates the risk of cheating.
- Paper Testing with Optical Mark Recognition (OMR)
- TCExam can generate printable PDF documents for pen-and-paper testing. The OMR answer sheet can be scanned and uploaded to TCExam for automatic test importing, scoring and reporting.
- "TCExam Software License".
- TCExam Download Statistics
- TACCLE (Teachers' Aids on Creating Content for Learning Environments)
- The ICT Handbook for Primary Teachers
- Scheuermann, Friedrich; Ângela Guimarães Pereira (2008-04-01). Towards A Research Agenda On Computer-Based Assessment (PDF). Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- Scheuermann, Friedrich; Julius Björnsson (2008-04-01). The Transition to Computer-Based Assessment - New Approaches to Skills Assessment and Implications for Large-scale Testing (PDF). Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- "TCExam Main Features". http://www.tcexam.org: Tecnick.com s.r.l. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
TCExam introduces specific quality features
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