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Change the role of the test intro

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Avatar for IndieRect
Subject: Change the role of the test introQuote this post in your reply
This is a proposed feature for ATutor 1.6.1.
If it is agreed upon, I would write all the necessary code myself.

The suggestion is making a test intro page more like an extended info for a test, not just a last step before it is taken.

I suggest the following:
1. In the top table at the Tests & Surveys page all tests are clickable -- for enrolled and guests.
2. Those tests that are active (i.e. clickable now), are visually distinguished with bold font (or in some other way).
3. Clicking on any test brings a user to the test intro page. There he/she can review all available info on it, not just the basics that Tests & Surveys page provides.
4. The "Take Test" button appears only if a user really can take the test.

That's all.

The rationale for that is of mixed nature: from an end user perspective, it would improve usability; from a programmer's -- refactor the PHP code to fix some deeper issues and make further modifications easier.

By making this change, we fix the following problems:

1. Currently too little info is displayed at the Tests & Surveys page, and a user cannot review additional info on a test until he really has to take it. Ability to display custom fields for a test (like whether it is randomized, duration limit, questions by type, or some 3rd-party module info) is limited because of a limited table width.
This change will allow to get additional info on each test without cluttering the main table.

2. PHP code that checks whether a user can take a test is duplicated in 4 files: tools/my_tests.php, tools/test_intro.php, tools/take_test.php, tools/take_test_q.php. It is messy and, strictly, not equivalent in each of those files. That causes bugs (I've reported several of them), and makes understanding the code more difficult.
The change will put all the checks into a few functions and thus reduce the code size, and fix current issues.

3. Finally, here's why I am doing that.
As you probably know, I am working on invigilation. It requires some changes to the test taking process, particularly when determining whether a person is allowed to take it. So slightly refactoring all that stuff will make maintenance easier and would have pleasant side effects like closing some potential ways of cheating.

If you're interested, I'll share that code when it's completed. In all other respects it will be equivalent to the current one, I can guarantee that.
Posted: 2008-01-24 05:58:40

Avatar for vegard
Subject: Re: Change the role of the test introQuote this post in your reply
sounds like that will provide more flexibility for users (such as us) and programmers (such as you), as well as improving the general code behind, and not conflict with any current functionality.

so in short: I would definately vote for including this as a 1.6.1 feature!
Posted: 2008-01-24 06:25:50

Avatar for harris
Subject: Re: Change the role of the test introQuote this post in your reply
I don't see any potential functionality problems with this. Just remember to code it in a way so that it will pass the accessibility test.
Posted: 2008-01-24 10:15:16

Avatar for IndieRect
Subject: Re: Change the role of the test introQuote this post in your reply
Thanks for the support.

I will remember about the accessibility -- though I will hardly be able to hurt it, given the scope of this work.
Posted: 2008-01-25 04:39:53
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