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InfobITS logo, volume 7, number 2, winter 2001.


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Respondus 1.1 Licensed for UH Faculty and Staff
by Linda McConnell

Relief is here for educators who are looking for a user-friendly way to develop quizzes and surveys. Respondus is a product of Respondus, Inc. a software application company specializing in testing, assessment, and survey tools for the e-Learning market. Information Technology Services has obtained a license for Respondus 1.1 for the University of Hawaii. UH faculty and staff may download the software from www.hawaii.edu/talent/respondus.html. Although Respondus can be used to develop tests for traditional classes, the greatest advantage are to those who use the software in conjunction with WebCT, the course management tool supported at the University of Hawaii.

Faculty members use WebCT to enhance their traditional face-to-face class or develop totally Web-based courses. WebCT not only manages course materials, but students as well. Communication between the instructor and students are accomplished through tools such as WebCT Mail, Discussions, and Chat. Assessment is performed through online quizzes, tests, and surveys. Using WebCT's Quiz/Surveys tool, instructors can create quizzes using multiple-choice, matching, calculated, short answer, or paragraph type questions. Respondus can be used as an alternative method to create WebCT quizzes and surveys.

One of the greatest benefits of Respondus is that it runs from the Windows desktop rather than from within WebCT itself, allowing users to be off-line as they develop quizzes and surveys. An instructor could take a laptop along while on a trip, create a quiz while waiting at the airport, and upload it to WebCT at a later time.

Respondus can be used to create a new quiz/survey/self-test file, modify an existing Respondus file, import a file from another format (text or .txt), or combine files to create a question bank. The ability to import a file comes in handy if the instructor already has tests created in a word processing format such as Word or WordPerfect. With a little alteration, these word processing files can be imported into Respondus, and then uploaded to a WebCT course account, printed, or saved. The ability to import from a word processing file is also available from within WebCT's assessment templates, yet the process is much more tedious than what Respondus requires.

After the Respondus file has been uploaded to a WebCT course, student reports, summary statistics, and the question database can be downloaded. The quiz/survey instrument can also be retrieved from the server for archival purposes or additional editing. This is good for instructors who want to keep copies of past tests and student grades.

Respondus works with WebCT version 2.1 or higher. A valid ITS username and password are required in order to download the file successfully. Do not forget to download the Respondus User's Guide as well.

The computer requirements needed to run this application are Windows 95 or higher, 32 MB of RAM, and 5 MB of free hard disk space. At this time there is no Macintosh equivalent of this tool.

For more information on WebCT, visit their main Web site at webct.com as well as the University's WebCT FAQ page. There are excellent resources for students and instructors at both sites. Any UH faculty member can apply for an UH WebCT course account by visiting webct.hawaii.edu and selecting the text link for "Request Course Designer Account".


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Updated: November 21, 2001