User Guide 3.0 | Open Assessment Technologies S.A.

User Guide 3.0

This is an older version of the TAO User Guide, click here for the documentation of the most recent release, TAO 3.3.


As an institution's collection of Items grows, most test authors will find that finding the right set of interactions to be used for a given Test will soon become an unwieldy task. TAO offers a way to easily sort out the Items that are important for your Tests, even if there are hundreds or thousands of Items in your organization's data bank from which to choose. This is done through Metadata. Metadata provides certain descriptive flags that can be filtered through the search box, located above the Library in the blue Action Bar, and can be added to any Item. Metadata are defined using Properties.

Properties define the Metadata entered for your items. Metadata is useful in that it can help identify Items used in a specific course, for a specific instructor, within a specific Test, etc. Searches identify these specific Items so that they can be readily accessed. The importance of these three elements will be highlighted in each of the sections that follow.

It is worth noting that although this User Guide entry covers Metadata that apply to Items, nearly the same procedures apply also for applying Metadata to Tests, Test-takers, Groups, and Deliveries.

Inserting or editing Properties

Step 1: Click on an Item class to add or edit properties.

This brings up to view the class's Properties window. Properties define the Metadata applying to a given Item. The Properties window for the class you are reviewing allows the TAO user to modify the label of the class and shows the Properties that comprise the Metadata set for all the Items in that class. For items, the first four Properties listed are not editable: Item Content, Original Filename, Item Model, and Lock. Other Properties in the list of class Metadata can be both edited and, if necessary, deleted.

Step 2: To add a new Property in the class Properties window, click on the blue Add Property button below the Property list.

This adds a new Property at the end of the list. To add functionality, you will need to edit the Property.

Step 3: To edit a Property in the Properties window for the class, click on the Edit icon located to the right. This is the button that looks like a pencil in a square.

When in Simple Mode (default), the Edit icon brings up a small box in which the Item's Properties can be edited. The first field allows the Property Label (name) to be changed from Property_X. The second field asks if the Property is language dependent; this indicates whenever or not the value of this field can be translated (the default is false). The third field asks that the Form Field Order be defined; this is the position in the list that the Property you are working with will appear. The fourth field asks the field type being defined here. This field is important as it defines how the Property is defined and modified. A drop-down menu provides five basic choices:

  • Text (three options: short-field, long-box, and long-HTML editor)
  • List (three options: Single choice radio button, single choice drop down menu, and multiple choice check box)
  • Calendar
  • Password
  • File

When in Advanced Mode (which can be selected once the Edit icon has been clicked), the small box appears different. The first two fields are the same (Label and Is Language Dependent), but the Form Field Order and Type are replaced with Widget range, which provides a drop-down menu for selecting a Property Type (many more options are presented here), and a Resource Window, through which a Property resource type can be selected.

Once you've selected the values that apply to this Property, hit the blue Save button to save changes, which will reload the window. Remember that you can delete the Properties you add by clicking the trash can icon.

Step 4: To edit a List used with an existing property, find and click the List button in the button bar below the Library.

This brings up a window showing all the available Lists that can be used with the Properties in your TAO Library. At the top of the window, the user can click on a button to create a new list. In this view, you will find all the lists that might apply to any Item set created in your TAO set-up. These can be edited or deleted here.

Step 1: Select within the Library the Item that contains Properties you would like to edit.

This will bring up in the canvas a list of the Properties that can be used to describe the item and that may be used to filter and find flagged Items. Flagging, in the sense it is used here, is the act of setting identifiers into Property fields within specific Items to help separate them from all the other Items quickly and efficiently. These can be set for any Property already described.

Step 2: Select the Property that you want to use to filter through your Items, and then enter the information you will use to flag this given Item for future use.

Depending on the Type of the Property selected this can either be an input field, a select box, radio-buttons or even an upload-button. Once the data is entered, you will be able to filter this Item using the Search function.

Using Search to find an Item

Step 1: Once your Metadata is selected, click on the Search button in the blue Action Bar.

This brings up a gray search window above the Item library, which gives you various options in which to find the Items you want. These include the ability to filter through the Label field (if you've named your Items a specific way so as to facilitate finding them easier), Language field, Item Model type, or any Properties that you defined for Items in your current Class.

Note, if you are only searching through the Label field, you can select Filter to sort through the names of your Items.

Step 2: Once you've selected the filter criteria for your search, hit the blue Search button.

This will bring up a list of Items that meet your filter criteria. In this window, you can select any Item you wish to open. This could be to preview, or to author, or simply to identify where the Item is located for use in building your Test.

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