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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.[1]

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 can be 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][3] 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."[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] A few weeks later IMS GLC reposted the QTI v2.1 draft specification on their website[7] with a warning that the specification is incomplete. v2.1 Final was released 31 August 2012 [8]


IMS offers certification of compliance to QTI standards, as noted in the table below. However, it is only offered to members of the consortium, which costs US$1,000 to US$7,500 per year.[9]


Date Version Comments
March 1999 0.5 Internal to IMS
February 2000 1.0 public draft
May 2000 1.0 final release
August 2000 1.01
March 2001 1.1
January 2002 1.2
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[edit]

Name QTI version Type of tool Comment License Certified
APIS (Assessment Provision through Interoperable Segments) (project page) 2.0 assessment item rendering and processing engine Apache, BSD, MIT No
Aqurate 2.1 authoring tool no longer supported, superseded by QTItools (Mathqurate and Moodle plugin)[10] BSD No
ATutor 1.2, 2.1 LCMS QTI 1.2; QTI 2.1 export remains experimental [11] GPL No
Canvas by Instructure 2.1 LMS 2.1, Import and export of QTI files, Support of authoring, item banking, and content delivery AGPL Yes[12]
Chamilo 1.2, 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) GPL No
Cognero 1.2, 2.0 online assessment system providing online authoring, delivery, sharing, and reporting QTI 2.1, Import and export QTI 1.2, export QTI 2.1 [13] Proprietary No
Colgo not stated authoring tool and delivery system can export IMS QTI, an online tool provides QTI 1.2 import Proprietary No
Desire2Learn 1.2 LMS can export IMS QTI 1.2, an online tool provides QTI 1.2 import Proprietary No
Dokeos 1.2, 2.0 LMS/LCMS export QTI 1.2 & 2.0 (1.2 disabled by default but available) (supports SCORM 1.2) GPL No
Eqiat not stated web-based authoring tool Creative Commons No
FastTest 1.2, 1.2 (Pearson), 2.1 Single ecosystem for item authoring, form assembly, Angoff studies, online delivery, reporting, psychometric analysis, and computerized adaptive testing with item response theory Supports both imports and exports Proprietary No
ILIAS not stated LMS supports SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 GPL No
IMC - more than learning 1.2 LMS Supports both imports and exports Proprietary No
Learnosity 2.1 Suite of APIs, including assessment item rendering, assessment delivery, authoring and reporting tools supports both imports and exports Proprietary No
Lectora not stated authoring tool supports AICC, SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 Proprietary No
Mathqurate 2.1 authoring tool specialized for mathematical content BSD[14] No
Metacoon 1.2, 2.1 LMS (using the editor of the ONYX Testsuite) GPL No
Moodle not stated LCMS supports adaptive questions; QTI 2.0 export is still unfinished GPL No
newAPIS 2.1 assessment item rendering and processing engine; includes a web editor and a web player of the assessments started as a fork of APIS (see above) GPL No
OpenOLAT 1.2 LMS / LCMS QTI 2.1 compliance can be achieved with ONYX as plugin, native integration in development for 2015 Apache No
Online Learning And Training 1.2 LCMS QTI 2.1 compliance can be achieved with ONYX as plugin Apache No
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 Proprietary Yes[15]
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 Proprietary Yes[15]
QADE - QTI Assessment Delivery Engine 2.1 Delivery System QTI 2.1 ? No
QTI Magic 2.1 authoring tool QTI 2.1 PD2 ? No
qti-player 2.1[16] delivery system no longer developed MIT No
qtimigration 1.0, 2.0 converts QTI v1 to QTI v2 BSD No
QTItools 2.1 comprises a software library, a Moodle plugin, and applications for authoring, playing and validating QTI assessments. BSD No
QTIWorks 2.1 system for managing, verifying and delivering assessments BSD No
QuestBase not stated authoring tool and delivery system free online tool that can import IMS QTI ? No
QuestionMark Perception not stated authoring tool and delivery system can export IMS QTI, an online tool provides QTI 1.2 import ? No
Question Writer 2.0 Publisher Edition 1.2 authoring tool exports as QTI 1.2 and SCORM 1.2 Proprietary No
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. Proprietary No
Qyouti not stated prints tests on paper and scans them for analysis ? No
Really Managing Assessment 2.1 assessment authoring, delivery, feedback and management system mobile iOS and Android QTI 2.1 off-line player ? No
Rialms 1.2 LMS supports adaptive, interactive questions ? No
Sakai 1.2 LMS import and export QTI 1.2 [17][18] ECL No
SharePoint LMS 1.2 LMS can export IMS QTI 1.2, an online tool provides QTI 1.2 import ? No
TAO [19] 2.1 computer-based assessment platform Only package to achieve all four areas of compliance within a single platform, Content (Validity of the packages produced/ingested), Authoring (Ability to author and export valid QTI Items & Tests), Delivery (Ability to deliver QTI Items & Tests), Item / Test Bank (Ability to store, import, export QTI Items & Tests) GPL Yes[15]
Uniqurate 2.1 authoring BSD No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Effective Practice with e-Assessment guide, p.44
  2. ^ QTI Update
  3. ^ http://www.imsglobal.org/question/#version2.1
  4. ^ IMS Global Learning Consortium: IMS Question & Test Interoperability Specification. Accessed March 29, 2009.
  5. ^ E-mail thread "QTI 2.1 draft specification withdrawn", starting March 27, 2009.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ rabel: We are reposting the QTI v2.1. Question and Test Interoperability Forum, April 14, 2009. Accessed April 17, 2009.
  8. ^ http://www.imsglobal.org/question/
  9. ^ Alliance membership [1]
  10. ^ "QTItools wiki". Archived from the original on 2014-06-14. [...] Aqurate has since been superseded by Mathqurate For Assessr-like capabilities, you can use the QTIEngine Moodle plugin. [...] 
  11. ^ ATutor Question and Test Interoperability Support in ATutor Wiki.
  12. ^ http://www.imsglobal.org/cc/statuschart.cfm
  13. ^ "Cognero Features". cognero.com. Madeira Station LLC. 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2013-08-09. [...] imports QTI 1.2 and exports QTI 1.2 and 2.1 [...] 
  14. ^ fetlar: project that includes Mathqurate.
  15. ^ a b c "IMS GLC: CC/LTI Conformance Directory". imsglobal.org. IMS Global. Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  16. ^ "AboutQti". code.google.com. 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  17. ^ Sakai Import-Export Features.
  18. ^ Tests and Quizzes (aka. SAMigo).
  19. ^ http://www.taotesting.com

External links[edit]