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.
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).
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.
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