The IMS Question and Test Interoperability specification (QTI) defines a standard format for the representation of assessment content and results, supporting the exchange of this material between authoring and delivery systems, repositories and other learning management systems. It allows assessment materials to be authored and delivered on multiple systems interchangeably. It is, therefore, designed to facilitate interoperability between systems.
The specification consists of a data model that defines the structure of questions, assessments and results from questions and assessments together with an XML data binding that essentially defines a language for interchanging questions and other assessment material. The XML binding is widely used for exchanging questions between different authoring tools and by publishers. The assessment and results parts of the specification are less widely used.
QTI was produced by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, which is an industry and academic consortium that develops specifications for interoperable learning technology. QTI was inspired by the need for interoperability in question design, and to avoid people losing or having to re-type questions when technology changes. Developing and validating good questions is time consuming, and it's desirable to be able to create them in a platform and technology neutral format.
QTI version 1.0 was materially based on a proprietary Questions Markup Language (QML) language defined by QuestionMark, but the language has evolved over the years and can now describe almost any reasonable question that one might want to describe. (QML is still in use by Questionmark and is generated for interoperability by tools like Adobe Captivate).
The most widely used version of QTI at the time of writing (2009) is version 1.2, which was finalized in 2002. This works well for exchanging simple question types, and is supported by many tools that allow the creation of questions.
Version 2.0 was released in 2005, and v2.1 was released in 2012. 2.0 addressed the item (individual question) level of the specification only, with 2.1 covering assessments and results as well as correcting errors which had become apparent in 2.0. Version 2.x is a significant improvement on earlier versions, defining a new underlying interaction model. It is also notable for its significantly greater degree of integration with other specifications (some of which did not exist during the production of v1): the specification addresses the relationship with IMS Content Packaging v1.2, IEEE Learning Object Metadata, IMS Learning Design, IMS Simple Sequencing and other standards such as XHTML. It also provides guidance on representing context-specific usage data and information to support the migration of content from earlier versions of the specification.
In early 2009, the IMS Global Learning Consortium withdrew QTI 2.1, stating that "Adequate feedback on the specification has not been received, and therefore, the specification has been put back into the IMS project group process for further work." The most recent version of QTI that is fully endorsed by IMS GLC is v1.2.1. This decision met with disapproval on the IMS-QTI mailing list. A further clarification on the QTI 2.1 withdrawal acknowledged the work done on implementing the QTI 2.1 draft specification, and cited criticism on the lack of interoperability of IMS specifications as a reason for endorsing only IMS QTI 1.2. A few weeks later IMS GLC reposted the QTI v2.1 draft specification on their website with a warning that the specification is incomplete. v2.1 Final was released 31 August 2012 
|March 1999||0.5||Internal to IMS|
|February 2000||1.0 public draft|
|May 2000||1.0 final release|
|March 2003||1.2.1 addendum|
|September 2003||2.0 charter||Initiation of working group|
|January 2005||2.0 final release|
|January 2006||2.1 public draft|
|July 2006||2.1 public draft version 2|
|April 2008||2.1 public draft addendum|
|early 2009||2.1 removed from website|
|April 2009||2.1 reinstated on website|
|September 2012||2.1 final release|
Applications with IMS QTI support
|Name||QTI version||Type of tool||Comment|
|ATutor||1.2 (2.1)||LCMS||QTI 1.2; QTI 2.1 export remains experimental |
|Chamilo||1.2 and 2.0||LMS/LCMS||export QTI 1.2 & 2.0, import QTI 2.0 (1.2 disabled by default but available) (supports SCORM 1.2)|
|Cognero||1.2 and 2.0||Online assessment system providing online authoring, delivery, sharing, and reporting||import and export QTI 1.2, export QTI 2.1 |
|Colgo||not stated||authoring tool and delivery system||can export IMS QTI, an online tool provides QTI 1.2 import|
|Dokeos||1.2 and 2.0||LMS/LCMS||export QTI 1.2 & 2.0 (1.2 disabled by default but available) (supports SCORM 1.2)|
|ILIAS||not stated||LMS||supports SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004|
|Lectora||not stated||authoring tool||supports AICC, SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004|
|Moodle||not stated||LCMS||supports adaptive questions; QTI 2.0 export is still unfinished|
|Online Learning And Training||QTI 1.2||LCMS||QTI 2.1 compliance can be achieved with ONYX as plugin|
|ONYX Testsuite||1.2, 2.1||assessment suite, consists of authoring, delivery and reporting tool||based on QTI 2.1, import/export QTI 1.2, import Blackboard/WebCT/OLAT|
|ONYX WebEditor||1.2, 2.1||online authoring tool (incl. converter and item-bank)||based on QTI 2.1, import/export QTI 1.2, import Blackboard/WebCT/OLAT|
|QuestBase||not stated||authoring tool and delivery system||free online tool that can import IMS QTI|
|QuestionMark Perception||not stated||authoring tool and delivery system||can export IMS QTI, an online tool provides QTI 1.2 import|
|Question Writer 2.0 Publisher Edition||1.2||authoring tool||Exports as QTI 1.2 and SCORM 1.2|
|Question Writer 3.5 Professional||1.2||authoring tool||Exports as QTI 1.2 and SCORM 1.2. Also specific QTI Export for Pearson VUE.|
|Really Managing Assessment||2.1||Assessment authoring, delivery, feedback and management system||Mobile iOS and Android QTI 2.1 off-line player|
|Rialms||1.2||LMS||Support adapative, interactive questions|
|Sakai||1.2||LMS||import and export QTI 1.2  |
|TAO||2.1||Computer-Based Assessment Platform||supports QTI 2.1 Import, export and editing|
- Effective Practice with e-Assessment guide, p.44
- QTI Update
- IMS Global Learning Consortium: IMS Question & Test Interoperability Specification. Accessed March 29, 2009.
- E-mail thread "QTI 2.1 draft specification withdrawn", starting March 27, 2009.
- Rob Abel: Further clarification on the removal of QTI v2.1 from the IMS web site, on the IMS Global Learning Consortium's Question and Test Interoperability Forum, March 30, 2009. Accessed March 29, 2009.
- rabel: We are reposting the QTI v2.1. Question and Test Interoperability Forum, April 14, 2009. Accessed April 17, 2009.
- ATutor Question and Test Interoperability Support in ATutor Wiki.
- Madeira Station LLC: Cognero Features.
- Sakai Import-Export Features.
- Tests and Quizzes (aka. SAMigo).
- IMS Global Learning Consortium: IMS Question & Test Interoperability Specification