Purpose, state, vision

QuizComposer is an IT-system the purpose of which is to contribute to the improvement of general knowledge by letting any person having access to the Internet learn by solving problems (assignments) via programmed dialogs. It is also possible to arrange tests and questionnaire surveys. The assignments are created using a word processor, e. g. LibreOffice.

Problems can be in hard fact subjects like mathematics, physics and grammar where an answer to a question can be evaluated by a computer to be correct or not.

It is, however, also possible to program "pro et contra" dialogs where an answer is not necessarily right or wrong but where an answer to a question determines which question to pose next, i. e. dialogs inviting or provoking the answerer to reason.

A dialog may specify that an incorrect answer to a question should result in the question being repeated or, alternatively, that another question is to be presented, in either case possibly with a hint in the form of a text, an image, a link to a document, etc. It is also possible to specify that an incorrect answer should result in the presentation of a simpler problem the answer of which might inspire the answerer to a correct solution to the original problem. Correspondingly, a correct answer to a problem may result in the presentation of a new problem building upon the experience achieved while solving the previous problem. The effect of an incorrect answer, e. g. which question to present next, may depend on the answer. For answers taking the form of a word or word sequence piecemeal automatic correction may be specified.

See the examples in www.student.dtu.dk/~qzcmpsr/html.d/examples-en.htm.

QuizComposer handles many built-in types of answers beyond "multiple-choice" buttons, for example algebraic formulas. This permits the creation of problems on any level of mathematics and science. One important implication is that assignments to be answered with numbers become, generally speaking, irrelevant. Instead the system encourages presenting theory through problems which motivate an answerer to be inventive or, at least, to test their ability to guess a solution.

In the future this could result in books on theory being replaced by collections of problems the solution of which requires a serious effort from the answerer acquiring of knowledge.

One advantage of these features is that learning may occur autonomously, at least in part. Much may be learned independently of access to a teacher and at times and in the pace suiting the learner best. This could eliminate a lot of time otherwise wasted in education.

An advantage for teachers is that they are relieved from the work of correcting assignments, from going over the solutions and from answering the same answers over and over. Instead they can concentrate on motivating and inspiring their students. To this aim teachers are given the possibility of letting the dialogs be executed in a mode in which all answers are collected. At any time the teacher can have the answers presented in a convenient form. The resources thus saved can be utilized on students needing extraordinary support.

One advantage for society in general is that access to learning becomes universal since dialog problems can be made accessible to anybody over the Internet. Furthermore, it becomes easier for any experienced person to assist a less experienced, for example for parents to assist their children with their homework.

Independence and flexibility is assured by the possibility for authors of compiling problems and questionnaires into packages for transfer to other authors and teachers who can then modify the contents to their need and preference. A package can be specified to be publicly accessible and to have a short description attached in order to be search-able. Collections of packages may constitute libraries of problem dialogs.

QuizComposer is free (gratis), open source, modular and programmed in easy-to-read languages, which adhere to Internet standards. The system of programs is structured for use with different national languages (present messages and examples are in English and danish only). Any person or institution possessing a suitable Internet server can relatively easily install a quiz server and register authors who can then create (or from the Internet load and modify) quizzes and questionnaires.

A QuizComposer server can be set up such that teachers, students and administrators at an educational institution can use the system via their "Learning Management System" only.

QuizComposer may be regarded as a supplement to the well-known Wikipedia project which presents knowledge on static pages. In comparison QuizComposer gives the reader/learner the possibility of measuring - and augmenting - her/his level of experience via interaction with a knowledge base.

In accordance with the aim of being a platform benefiting society QuizComposer, like Wikipedia, is a non-commercial project the further development of which must reply on voluntary contributions from those wishing to advance education and general knowledge in concurrency with technical progress and with the greatest possible democratic influence for everybody.

Like all other tools in information technology QuizComposer must be adapted to progress. Since it is open source any person is welcome to contribute with programming, documentation, proposals for new answer types, examples etc.

Guest accounts, with which QuizComposer can be tried out may be reserved at this quiz server.