So you’ve built a pretty great OWL online test, you’re a star, everyone wants to “borrow” your stuff. You want to be a good team player, but not if you have to jeopardize your prized test. Don’t worry, there is a safe way to share your OWL work. This article will describe our recommended best practices for sharing your online content bank in the OWL Test Management System.
What Is Sharing?
The ability to share content with other users in the OWL Test Management System allows users in the same domain to collaborate on building Tests, Sections and Items. Sharing is a way for other users in your domain to look at a snapshot of your work at a point in time. Used correctly, sharing can be a powerful way for organizations to leverage institutional knowledge and improve their online test building efficiency. However, please be aware, sharing is not a means for jointly building a test. When you see the magnifying glass icon under the edit column in your OWL list page, it means that the instance has been shared with you. It means you can take a look at it, or make a copy of it, but you should not try to edit it. In fact, no one should edit a test while it is being shared.
Best Sharing Practices
Limiting the amount of time your digital content remains shared -- perhaps an hour or two -- is the best way to protect your online content when sharing. During this time, collaborators can preview your test or open it in editor to view the structure, randomization and settings. If they would like to use the test for their own purposes, they should make a copy. When they make a copy, the OWL TMS will assign them the ownership of the copied version. To avoid confusion, it is best to remove the sharing from the original test in short order.
So summing it up, here is our recommended best practice for sharing in OWL:
You Create > You Share > They Copy > You Remove Sharing > They Edit Copy
Why Safe Sharing is Important
In the haste of daily work life, we have found that users can overlook the ownership of shared items in the OWL list pages. As a result, if you allow your OWL content be shared indefinitely, you may be sad to find you no longer have the proper control over your items. Perhaps an example will help. Let’s say, you share your test with the instructors in your OWL domain. And now let’s imagine that one of your co-workers is in a hurry and doesn’t notice that they are putting one of your multiple choice questions on their test. Once the test is assigned and his students begin testing, the test and all its items become locked. Guess what? Now, your multiple choice question is locked too. That means it’s locked for him, and it’s locked for you.. Oops! As you can see, it is better to be safe and use sharing carefully and on a limited bases.