The aim of the QDFCA project is to improve the functionalities of the ExAMS platform. This is an open source platform (www.exams.be) based on a structured approach and innovative scientifi c concepts. It was developed jointly by SMART and the Assess group (a spin-off of the University of Liège).
The ExAMS platform objectives are the following:
- Help evaluators implement procedures for constructing and managing standardised quality evaluations,
- Offer precise monitoring to those whose system is being evaluated and provide personalised diagnostic feedback,
- Guarantee the best quality improvement (validity, reliability, equity, etc.).
The platform is a great success and is continuously expanding in the European market. Nevertheless, clients keep voicing new demands. As a result, the platform needs to be enriched by new functionalities to meet client requirements and stay competitive in this market. These requirements mainly concern the following two issues: (1) the need for greater interoperability between the platform and the clients’ systems; and (2) the need for more complex and specifi cevaluations.
The objective of the QDFCA project is to transform the platform into a real Assessment Management System, covering assessment needs from the classical standardised testing to the evaluation of high-level competencies.
CETIC applies its technological expertise to help the platform reach its highest level of performance and interoperability. Technology quality and high performance are key success factors for the project.
During the whole project a serie of actions were carried out in order to increase the both the functional and non-functional maturity levels. The main results produced by CETIC are the following:
- Deployment of a new server infrastructure supporting virtualisation,
- Database migration and evolution,
- Integration of a multimedia server and related services,
- Security of data on the various instances of the platform: dependencies between instances, isolation of instances,
- Security of the server: Analysis of Web technologies and their vulnerabilities, availability, mirroring, IP fail-over, etc.,
- Stress-testing the application using existing workload testing tools,
- Test-oriented "behavioural driven development" (BDD) techniques
To ensure the best collaboration among the platform proponents, special attention has been given to the open source aspects of project management. A scientific study on intellectual property and Open Source licenses was performed.
Added Value for the Enterprises
Continuous staff training of staff is a key activity to ensure the maintenance and renewal of skills within companies. The work culture requires great flexibility and training methods of must adapt to it. The developed platform enables companies to deliver e-learning courses with a competency-based approach and also facilitate the task of trainer.