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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 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 (IMS GLC), 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. IMS has less than 800 members and is not the voice for the entire industry. You cannot use the QTI name in anything other that an RFP according to their website.[2]

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).

Version 2.0 was finalized in 2005 and addressed the item (that is, the individual question) level of the specification only. A draft version of Version 2.1, which covered the structure of tests and results, was also released in 2005. But because Version 2.0 did not address test-level issues and was not compatible with Version 1, and because 2.1 was still under development, adoption of Version 2 was retarded. This was compounded in 2009 when IMS GLC withdrew the Version 2.1 draft and advised the user community that the only version "fully endorsed" by IMS GLC was 1.2.1, in effect also deprecating Version 2.0. Despite this, after several more drafts, 2.1 was finalized and released in 2012.

The current version is 2.2, which was finalized in 2015, and has subsequently had two minor revisions, 2.2.1 and 2.2.2, the latest of which was in November 2017. Version 2.2 updated and improved integration with W3C standards such as HTML5, SSML, PLS, CSS, ARIA, and MathML, and otherwise made relatively small changes to the Version 2.1 core specification.

Version 2.x is a significant improvement on Version 1, 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.

Version 3 is now available. IMS is now called 1EdTech.


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.[3] There is also a cost to certify your software in addition to the Membership cost. This effectively leaves open source projects without the ability to be certified.


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
March 2009 2.1 draft withdrawn, 2.0 deprecated
September 2012 2.1 final release
September 2015 2.2 final release
November 2017 2.2.2 revision of 2.2

Applications with IMS QTI support[edit]

Name QTI version Type of tool Comment License Certified
ATutor 1.2, 2.1 LCMS QTI 1.2; QTI 2.1 export remains experimental [4] GPL No
Canvas by Instructure 2.1 LMS 2.1, Import and export of QTI files, Support of authoring, item banking, and content delivery. New Quizzes does not support QTI export of questions. AGPL Yes[5]
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, 2.1 online assessment system providing online authoring, delivery, sharing, and reporting Import and export QTI 1.2, export QTI 2.1 [6] Proprietary Yes[5]
Desire2Learn 1.2 LMS can export IMS QTI 1.2, an online tool provides QTI 1.2 import Proprietary 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
GETMARKED 2.1, 1.2 Browser-based AI tool that automatically convert any docx or pdf quiz or exam into QTI. Does not require pdf or word document to conform to any specific format. Supports exports to QTI 2.1, QTI 1.2, Blackboard Pool, Google Classroom and Moodle XML. Proprietary No
GradeMaker 2.1, 2.2 High stakes exam authoring tool for national Awarding Bodies and Higher Education with comprehensive workflow, versioning and auditing. Supports exports to QTI file and publishing direct to test players 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
Inspera Assessment 2.1, 2.2 Digital e-Assessment tool supporting authoring, delivering, marking and reporting, as well as providing learning analytics, computerized adaptive testing with item response theory. Supports exporting and importing tests and items in QTI 2.1 and 2.2. The tests and items authored in Inspera's system are stored and conducted using QTI 2.2. Proprietary No
itslearning 2.1 LMS Supports QTI import Proprietary Yes[5]
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
OpenOLAT 2.1 LMS / LCMS Implementation based on QTI 2.1, import/export QTI 2.1 supported, 12 different question types. 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[7]
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[7]
QADE - QTI Assessment Delivery Engine 2.1 Delivery System QTI 2.1 Proprietary No
QST Quiz/Survey/Test 2/3 Complete Assessment Solution - Online and mobile, very scalable and secure. Question Bank, GradeBook, Free. Convert questions to different formats. Authoring, Delivery, Marking. Import QTI 2/3 files, Export QTI 2.2, Import/Export Moodle XML. From a simple mobile quiz to full proctored desktop testing to detailed analysis. GPL No
qtimigration 1.0, 2.0 converts QTI v1 to QTI v2 BSD No
QTI-SDK 2.0, 2.1, 2.2 Software Development Kit aiming at providing tools to manipulate and deliver QTI assessments. An IMS QTI Software Development Kit for PHP 5.5 and higher supporting a wide range of features described by the IMS QTI specification family. GPL No
QTIWorks 2.1 system for managing, verifying and delivering assessments Development on system has ended BSD No
QuestBase not stated authoring tool and delivery system free online tool that can import IMS QTI Proprietary No
QuestionMark Perception not stated authoring tool and delivery system can export IMS QTI, an online tool provides QTI 1.2 import Proprietary 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
Rogō 1.2 e-Assessment Imports/exports QTI 1.2 format questions GPL No
Sakai 1.2 LMS import and export QTI 1.2 [8][9] ECL No
SharePoint LMS 1.2 LMS can export IMS QTI 1.2, an online tool provides QTI 1.2 import Proprietary No
TAO[10] 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[7]
Classera 2.2 authoring Proprietary No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Effective Practice with e-Assessment guide, p.44
  3. ^ Alliance membership
  4. ^ ATutor Question and Test Interoperability Support in ATutor Wiki.
  5. ^ a b c "Product Certifications | IMS Global".
  6. ^ "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 [...]
  7. ^ a b c "IMS GLC: CC/LTI Conformance Directory". imsglobal.org. IMS Global. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  8. ^ Sakai Import-Export Features.
  9. ^ Tests and Quizzes (aka. SAMigo).
  10. ^ "Assessment Software | Open Source Assessment Platform | TAO Testing".

External links[edit]