Chapter 1A: Preliminaries

Thank you for purchasing licenses for FastTest! FastTest is an Internet application designed to support the entire test development cycle. It helps to improve the process of developing assessments as well as make them more psychometrically rigorous. This manual provides detailed instructions on how to manage users, create banks of items, assemble the items into tests, build test sessions to administer to examinees, schedule the examinees, deliver tests online, and generate reports.

The Two Components of FastTest 

There are two parts to FastTest. The Test Development part is where you write items, store statistics, and build tests (and, optionally print them). The Test Delivery part is where you create test sessions, schedule examinees, and deliver tests to examinees online. The Test Delivery part is optional. If you administer tests by paper-and-pencil and therefore have not purchased test credits (test codes), much of the Test Scheduler Tab and Delivering Tests portions of the manual will not apply to you.

Navigating FastTest

FastTest is designed to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. In recognition of the fact that users interact with software in different ways, there are three ways that a user can work with FastTest: left-clicking on buttons, right-click drop-down menus, and keyboard shortcuts.

Figure 1.1: Item Explorer
item explorer tab

Figure 1.1 shows the Item Explorer, in the view that a user sees when they first log into their workspace. There are six prominently displayed buttons in the upper left: New, View, Edit, Delete, Sync, and Import. The functionalities associated with these are discussed in detail later in this manual, but for now note that the primary buttons will be presented in this location. However, many of the functionalities in these buttons can be accomplished by right-clicking on item banks, categories, or items to bring up a drop-down menu. For example, a new item can be created either by selecting a bank/category and left-clicking on the New button and selecting New Item, or by right-clicking on a bank/category, and selecting New Item from the list that appears. See the Item Explorer Tab for more information.

Keyboard Shortcuts

If a dialog is open, pressing the “Esc” key does the same thing as the “Cancel” button (or the “×” in the top right corner). Pressing the “Enter” key will submit the dialog. (Note: this will not work if the current focus is in a text area because the “Enter” key does a newline in text areas.)

Application Tabs

The four tabs shown near the top of Figure 1.1 represent the test development cycle simplified to four primary steps.

  1. Item Explorer – uploading, writing, sorting, and reviewing test items
  2. Test Assembler – assembling items into test forms
  3. Test Scheduler – scheduling and delivering tests to examinees online (paper versions of tests can be printed and managed in the Test Assembler tab)
  4. Report Manager – analysis of examinee results, items/banks, and tests

All four tabs are visible to workspace administrators. For users in specific roles, tab visibility is limited by relevance. A person who serves only as a Test Scheduler (uploading lists of examinees, scheduling times, and accessing results) will not see the Item Explorer or Test Assembler tabs. This is to enhance the security of the assessment program.