All major examinations in institutes of higher learning are conducted using a set of examination questions according to a pre-determined blueprint that indicates the contribution of questions from different topics and domains tested.
All questions may be generated new by the academics involved. Although a process of vetting takes place before including the questions in the examination, new questions are not tested in examination, with the result that some do not have the expected assessment of students, as may be determined by item analysis after the examination. One way to mitigate this is to have a number of questions already used and confirmed to be appropriate as determined by the analysis of the questions and responses at the previous occasions they were used. Inclusion past questions also helps to validate results across different cohorts.
Manual searching for appropriate past questions is a tedious process. A bank of question items which includes all analysis data and dates of past use of each question will make the selection of past questions much more systematic according to the blueprint decided on. this saves time spent in terms of the time taken to generate new questions and manual searching of questions, the outcome of which may not be entirely satisfactory.
Such a bank would ideally able to store different types of questions, include all analysis date and previous use data, searchable by a combination of parameters such as previous use, item analysis data, domain tested etc. It would store text, images and audio/video clips. It would be secure to enable access to only authorised personnel. An import and export to Office documents would be preferred. Integration with a learning management system would allow seamless online administration of examinations.