OWL Blog

OWL version 5.0

OWL Testing Software, a premier provider of affordable Web-based computerized testing, announces the release of OWL TMS version 5.0 – the latest version of their enterprise test management system. This software release represents a major upgrade and introduces innovations to the online test building, test delivery, and reporting modules of the system.

Re-imagined Test Builder | Perhaps the most significant upgrades are to the test building module, the OWL Test Builder. It has been completely re-imagined and re-engineered to offer a more robust test design experience. This new version moves away from a menu-driven approach to page-based controls, and it takes full advantage of the latest internet browser technologies like drag and drop file uploading. This release gives OWL users the ability to upload, build and manage even larger tests, faster, and in a single browser window.

Browser-based Summary Reporting | The OWL Reporting module has been augmented to take further advantage of the system's data warehouse, the repository of student response data over time. Now users can run summary reporting from the data warehouse directly in their browser window. This new reporting includes an assignment-level cross tab report that tabulates and averages student performance by item. With OWL TMS version 5.0, instructors and test administrators can quickly view a graph of the score distribution on a given assignment without employing a third-party statistical analysis program. This makes the OWL Test Management System an even more powerful resource for evaluating and improving performance.

Enhanced Testing Controls | The company is also excited to be supplementing the OWL Tester, the online testing delivery system, with several new options. These options allow administrators and instructors even more choices in the way that test takers interact with online tests. For example, there is now the ability to require students to listen to prompts to completion and strictly adhere to testing timers. There is also a new setting to require the examinee to perform the necessary system checks. Conversely, instructors can decide to give their students some additional control by allowing them to replay and re-record their oral responses and toggle the visibility of the testing timers. Furthermore, the OWL Practice Activities for Language Students (PALS) module is now equipped with enhanced navigation, additional user interfaces and an additional level of practice.

Stable Test Taker Interface | Perhaps most important, the module for delivering online tests to examinees continues to operate in the reliable way that OWL's current users have come to expect. The way the OWL online test taking interface looks and operates remains stable. This means that current OWL users will not have to change their existing tests, and their test takers will not need to learn a new interface

“Our goals for this release included: improving test building efficiency, adding testing capabilities, and fully exploiting the latest advancements in modern browser technology for online testing. To do that, we had to rethink the way OWL users create their online assessments from the bottom up.”explains OWL Testing Software Managing Member, Chris Dalessandri. “Our development was driven by the belief that we could advance the software without disrupting the established testing efforts of our long term users. The result is OWL TMS version 5.0, which I am delighted to say improves the Test Management System's efficiencies and capabilities while at the same time maintaining the stability and reliability that users have come to expect.”

Extensive Help Tutorials | The company is anxious for users to fully migrate to the new test builder and is directing its resources in full support of the OWL TMS v. 5.0 platform. Therefore, the former test editor and legacy reporting are being deprecated with this release. To help ease the transition the company is releasing a complete set of video tutorials available in their help documentation, at the company's website, www.owlts.com, and through the OWL Testing Software YouTube channel.



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