Test Building

Building a Test

An OWL Test is the name given to an activity that you want to deliver to your examinees.
All OWL Tests are organized in the same way and include certain key components.

  • System Check (Automatic) Generated based upon the media and item types on the Test
  • Directions (Optional) Information displayed before the test session begins.
  • Section(s) (Required) Every Test MUST have a minimum of one Section. Every Section MUST have at least one Item
  • Finish Test (Required) Feedback message displayed at the end of the testing session.

 Tester Structure Tabs


Please watch these Videos



Other Important Videos



Saving Time with
Bulk Properties

Reordering, Grouping, Randomization

Assigning Points
to Your Test



Test Level Properties

The Test properties editor is launched by clicking on the properties control (1) at the overall Test level.

properties editor


Field  Description (default options underlined)
Name My Test The OWL TMS automatically enters "My Test" for a new test's name. It is recommended that you change this.
  User Defined The Name of the Test is used to find your activity in the OWL TMS List Pages. You can also change this using the Name Field to the left of the control. (In the above example the name field displays "My Test".)
Title My Test The OWL TMS automatically enters "My Test" for a new test's title. It is recommended that you change this.
  User Defined The Title is displayed to your test takers (instead of the name). So you can have several different activities with the same title. (For example, "Final Exam" or "Entrance Exam")
Multistage Test Yes Click "Yes" to indicate that you will be using OWL"s multi-stage adaptive testing feature for this activity. There are very specific rules for setting up this type of assessment. Please refer to the Multi-stage Adaptive Testing Help Pages.
  No Default behavior.
Equipment Check Shown Auto Recommended. OWL will display the appropriate system check page based upon the content of your test.

  Play Audio For Tests where the examinee is required to listen to audio prompts, but not record.
  Record Audio For tests that contain oral response items. This option will check the workstations microphone and speakers.
Equipment Check Required Yes Requiring a system or equipment check is the recommended behavior. If the test contains listening or speaking items, the test taker will not be able to start the Test until they have tested their speakers and microphone.
  No This option is for users who may have more complex requirement resulting from linking together tests using OWL’s Flight Path Feature. More details can be found in the Equipment Check Help Pages .
Test Time Unlimited The test session will remain open until the examinee completes the exam and clicks "Finish Test". (Or the timers set on the individual Sections and/or Items has expired.)
  Timed The test will end when the set time has expired regardless of where the test taker is in the test. To set a specific time limit, first select the "Timed" option, then set the number of minutes or seconds for your overall Test.

Please note: Setting a Test Time, will ultimately override any limits placed on Sections or Items.
For example, if you have a 1 section test with the following:
Test Time = 30 minutes
Section Time = 45 minutes
The Test will close on the examinee after 30 minutes
Total Replays on Test Unlimited The test taker can replay the audio prompts as many times as they like, provided limits have not been on the Section audio or the Item audio prompts. Click here for more information on Replay Limits Help
  Limited Select the total number of times the test taker will be allowed click replay any of the media prompts on the Test.

For example, if Total Replay on Test = "Limited" and "5",
The test taker could replay one audio prompt 5 times, or
replay 5 audio prompts 1 time each, or
replay 1 audio  prompt 3 times and another 2 times, etc. 
Section Randomization No Randomization All Sections are delivered in build order
  Shuffle All All Sections are delivered in a random order.
  Shuffle Within Sets Section Sets are presented in order. Randomization is within the Section sets. If you need to understand sets, watch this video: Sets in Under a Minute. There are two further options for this selection:

All Sections - All sections are delivered, order of the Sections is random within the set groupings

Pick N - Only a specific number of Sections (N) are delivered, at random, from each Section set.Please watch this video for more help with randomization: Reordering, Grouping, and Randomization 
Progression At Will Test taker can use the OWL Section Tabs or  Arrows to complete their response Sections in any order they choose. (Please note: if "Require Answer" is set to yes, then the test taker must answer the current active question before they are able to navigate back.)
  Forward Only The Test taker can only move through the test in the order it is presented to them, using the Section/Item Arrows
Level None This sets the scale for your Test.  This information is not visible to the test taker.
  Select from
Drop Down
In most cases, this menu is configured by your administrator with the levels that you typically use. If you wish to establish your own scale, ask you administrator to customize this list for your needs.

Some examples of values that may appear in this field are:
ACTFL Level - Novice Low, Novice Mid, Novice High...
 ILR (Interagency Language Roundtable) - 0, 0+, 1, 1+...
COE (Council of Europe) - A1, A2, B1, B2 ...
Rubric None If you choose to add a Rubric to a test, the entire test may be assessed based upon one rubric.
  Select from
Drop Down
Rubrics you have built in OWL will appear in the drop down list here. Select the one that you would like to be applied. A rubric added at the overall test level will supersede all scoring/ratings at the Section or Item level.  For more information visit the Building Rubrics Help Pages .
Static Feedback Nothing OWL will display the default static feedback message to all test takers.
  User Defined You can enter a personalized end of test message that every examinees will see. For more information go to the Feedback Help Pages.
Flight Path None An OWL Flight Path is a form of Dynamic Feedback that may be applied to auto-scored tests. If nothing is selected, OWL will display a default end of test message.
  Select from
Drop Down
Flight Paths you have built in OWL will appear in the drop down list here. Select the one that you would like to be applied. Click here for more information on Building a Flight Path for your OWL Test.
Keywords Nothing Keywords can be used like Tags for sorting and grouping your content in the OWL List Pages.
  User Defined Enter any words that are relevant to your workflow.

This field is also used to introduce new advanced features to the OWL TMS. In this instance, the specific text is detailed in the OWL release notes and incorporated into the help documentation.
Locale None Locale indicates the language for the Test Takers' user interface. English is the default.
  Select from
Drop Down
Select the desired language from the drop down list of available options.  Your test takers will see OWL tabs, buttons, and timer messages in the language you select here. 
(See sample below.)

Blind Rated No When an assignment is created for the test, the assignment will default to issuing 0 blind ratings. However, the number of blind ratings can be set for each assignment when creating the assignment. Therefore, it is not necessary to change this field.
  Yes When an assignment is created for the test, the assignment will default to issuing 1 blind rating (whereas it usually defaults to 0.)
Require Answer (Override) Defer This field allows you to determine if the student will be required to answer all the Test Items. Setting this property at the Test Level will override any settings at the individual Item level.

The default behavior is to defer to the Require Answer settings on the individual Items.
  No The examinee can move on to another item without answering the current one.
  Yes Examinee is required to answer before they can navigate off the Item.

In all cases, if question time runs out, the student will be pushed along whether they have answered or not.
Items Per Page (Override) Defer This is the number of items per page that will be displayed on each Section Tab of the Test. The default is for the items per page to be determined by the settings at the Section level
  One Select one to override any Section settings and have each item appear on its own tab. This is the preferred behavior for most recorded tests.
  All For each section, all the items will appear on the same page. The test taker will be required to use the scroll bar to view any items that do not fit on the first screen of test. This option may be appropriate for a survey, reading section, or text-based multiple choice questionnaire.
Think Time (Override) Defer This is the amount of time the examinee will have to think before they respond. OWL will begin recording when the test taker presses the record button or automatically once the Think Time has expired. The default is for the think time to be determined by the setting at the Section or Item level.
The recorder will not begin until the examinee presses the record button. Setting the Think Time here applies to ALL questions on the Test and will override time set at the Section or Item Level.
  Timed You may set the same amount of think time for every item on the test here.

An instance where you might what to set the Think Time here would be if you wanted to give students of a certain skill level more or less time to consider their response to ALL questions on a Test.  

PLEASE NOTE: Think Time overrides do not apply to Directions Items
Response Time (Override) Defer Select the amount of time the test taker will have to respond to each item.  The default behavior is for the response time to be determined by the property setting at the Section level.
  Unlimited Select unlimited if you want the examinee to be able to continue recording until they click on the next item navigation. Setting the Response Time here applies to ALL questions on the Test and will override settings at the Section or Item Level.
  Timed You may set the same amount of response time for every item on the Test here.


Sample of Test Taker Localization

Optional Timer Visibility

If timers make your examinee too nervous to perform, they can hide them from view. The timers will still run on the test; however, they will no longer be visible to the individual test taker. When a test is running in tester, simply click on the timer to hide it. To make it reappear, click on the same part of the screen.