This article is getting started into Sindy. This is a text script of Video Overview, published at YouTube Service.
- General Capabilities of Sindy v1.2
- Usage Areas of Sindy v1.2
- Typical Test Structure
- Sindy's Graphic User Interface
- Developing Simple Test
- Playing Test
- Getting Testing Results
General Capabilities of Sindy v1.2
LeDiS Group is glad to present Sindy version 1.2 to your attention. This software is designed to automate testing processes.
Sindy program contains the next distinctive features:
- Local easy-to-use tool. You can download Sindy form LeDiS Group web site and install the program at your personal computer. Setting up Sindy, you don't need to install and setup any additional software (for example, relational database management systems, application servers, Web-servers, and so on). When Sindy is first time installed, all program capabilities are available without any constraints during demo time of 60 days.
- Test Constructor. Sindy helps to create many kinds of typical tests based on algorithm considered later when describing a test structure. The Test Constructor displays all tests created, all their structures up to a single test element. This feature significantly simplifies the process of test building.
- Test Player. You can debug the tests created in Sindy or run tests to provide testing in your work.
A distinction of Sindy Test Player is a capability to expand testing panel on the full computer screen to exclude the impact of other computer elements at the testing process.
- Integration with multiuser ISAT software. Sindy is a local one-user tool. But if you need to test several persons simultaneously then you can do it also. In this case, you need only to import tests created in Sindy into multiuser ISAT system (or another word, Information System of Automated Testing) and provide the testing with single Internet browsers in any network environment (including Internet).
Usage Areas of Sindy v1.2
Sindy software is targeted to next areas:
- Examination and certification in education. Here you need to create the necessary final tests and test over them during examination and certification.
- Psychological Diagnostics. You can use Sindy in different subareas of psychological diagnostics. There is a lot of ready-to-use tests which can be created and automated in Sindy.
- Looking for the employees in HR-management. It can be enormously useful to automate the occupational selection processes in human resources agencies and enterprise departments. As well, you can prepare the questionnaires for the company representatives looking for new employees to automate the processes of getting their initial requests.
- Audit and assessment in organizations with full automation of testing and final results calculations.
- Consulting and business analysis. Let's presume that you want to prepare a proposal for a customer to make a project of any kind. For that, you have to provide an initial or comprehensive business analysis and evaluate current conditions to make a best proposal and make basement for the final success in the project.
- And any other areas where testing automation can be important.
Typical Test Structure
To effectively use Sindy, you need to understand the general test construction principles which are very simple:
Picture 1. Test structure principles realized in Sindy v1.2
- Any tests are included into test groups, created by a user to reduce the complexity when working with big number of tests
- A test group can contain any number of tests
- A test contains questions which are displayed during testing
- A question can contain any number of answers which can be selected in testing
- An answer can contain weights defining the values impacted to the final result of testing
- Any test can include one or several scales which are different evaluating subareas of the test. For example, you can develop a complex exam in physics and create such scales as "General Physics", "Electromagnetism", "Nuclear Physics", and so on. And the testing result will be a number of values calculated for those scales.
- To automate getting the evaluations of testing, the interpretations are to be created. Interpretation is a typical description that will be chosen if a testing result is occurred within a predefined part of scale range.
It must be mentioned, that any weight of any answer is related to a scale. It means that if an answer is selected in testing then the answer weight will be added to the scale result. Resulting from here, you can develop tests where any answer selected will impact to several scales simultaneously.
Sindy's Graphic User Interface
Now, let's look at Sindy in action. During the rest of this demonstration we will show:
- Sindy's GUI
- Developing a simple test
- Running the test
- Testing reports
Sindy is a classic Windows application supporting MDI (or Multiple Document Interface standard).
To work in the program, user has to create a new or open an existing project space (or a project). Project can be saved in a project file of special format. Let's create a new project with menu "File -> Create".
And save it right now with menu "File -> Save". In the dialog window, let's input the new project file name. Confirm the creation of the project file.
Picture 2. Project created in Sindy v1.2
We can see that Sindy's graphic user interface contains next key areas:
Picture 3. Sindy's Graphic User Interface
- Control Panel that is built from main menu and customizable toolbar
- Test Constructor that is left vertical panel for displaying the tests and their elements
- Test Player that is right area where the child windows of launched tests are displayed
Developing Simple Test
With Sindy, we will create test group "Demo Tests" and a little test "History Exam" in this test group. The test will include next questions:
- Question 1: "What's the year when the battle of Waterloo was occurred:"
- Question 2: "In which area the Nobel Prize isn't awarded?"
The available answers for the first question are "1242", "1380", "1815", "1905" and "1914". The available answers for the second question are "Physics", "Medicine", "Mathematics", "Literature", "Peace". Here, the true answer in first case is "1815" and in second one - "Mathematics".
Let's start the test development. Create test group "Demo Tests" with context menu "Create Test Group" over "Tests". In the dialog, input new test group name "Demo Tests".
Picture 4. Creating a test group in Sindy v1.2
Create test "History Exam" in this test group with context menu "Create Test" over "Demo Tests".
Picture 5. Creating a test in Sindy v1.2
We can set here the order for moving over questions during testing (it can be sequentially forward only, sequentially forward and back and selection of any test question with the context menu). As well, you can set whether you can return back to questions answered, and whether you can stop the test to return to it later and continue testing.
And let's input instruction that will be shown at the testing start: "Please, read each question and select correct answers." After that, confirm the test creation.
Let's save the project before continue with menu "File -> Save".
For simplifying, let's create one scale only "World History" with context menu "Create Scale" over "Scales and Interpretations".
Picture 6. Creating a scale in Sindy v1.2
Let's make interpretations to assess the results with context menu "Create Interpretation" over "World History". They are:
- Interpretation "Bad" with the range from 0 to 1
- Interpretation "Good" with the range from 1 to 3
- Interpretation "Excellent" with the range from 3 to 5
Here, we need to fill descriptions too because just descriptions will be output in the testing results (because they can be big and multistring text).
Picture 7. Creating an interpretation in Sindy v1.2
Save the changes again with menu "File -> Save".
Now, we will input questions, answers and their weights. Start from first question with context menu "Create Question" over "Question and Answers".
First question is "What's the year when the battle of Waterloo was occurred:".
Picture 8. Creating a question in Sindy v1.2
We see that question can be additionally set up. We can point to select whether single answer or many ones. If multiple answers are allowed so we can input as much as a limit to the number of answers in a question. As well we can set whether we have to select one question at least (or whether an answer selection is mandatory) to successfully perform the test.
The available answers in the first question are "1242", "1380", "1815", "1905" and "1914". Input them sequentially with context menu "Create Answer" over "What's the year when the battle of Waterloo was occurred:".
Picture 9. Creating an answer in Sindy v1.2
Because only "1815" is a correct answer then it impacts to the testing result. Accordingly, let's create weight for this answer impacting to our test scale with value 2. Use for that the context menu "Create Weight" over "1815". Set the weight name as "World History - 2" for convenience.
Picture 10. Creating a weight in Sindy v1.2
As before, let's save the changes with context menu "File -> Save".
Second question: "In which area the Nobel Prize isn't awarded?". Answers for the second question are: Physics, Medicine, Mathematics, Literature and Peace. For correct answer "Mathematics", we have to create a similar weight with value 2.
Picture 11. We created a test in Sindy v1.2
Now, we built an examination test for history area and will use it during testing. But before continue, let's save the project with context menu "File -> Save".
Run the test created selecting any node in the test "History Exam" and using menu "Object -> Run Test". Expand the test panel to the whole computer screen with context menu "Maximize To Screen" at the Test Player child window.
Picture 12. Starting test
Read the instruction fixed in test development. Move to next test screen by reference "Next" at the Test Player window.
Select correct answer for first question clicking by left mouse button over "1815" (let it be right answer now).
Picture 13. Answering first question
Move to next question with "Next".
For the sample, let's select here incorrect answer - select "Literature" and move next by "Next". The message in the Test Player window informs us that testing is completed.
Picture 14. Message about test completion
Minimize the test window back into child state with context menu "Minimize To Application".
Getting Testing Results
Testing results are two kinds of reports: Testing Protocol and Testing Results. They are created with context menu items of the Test Player: "Show Testing Protokol" and "Show Testing Results".
Picture 15. Testing reports
Let's create Testing Protocol. Testing Protocol contains general testing data and a list of questions. For any question, a list of answers is added where an answer selected is marked. For example, we can see that the answer "1815" was selected for first question and "Literature" for second one.
Picture 16. Testing Protocol
After that, let's create "Testing Results" report. Here, we can see the evaluation for our testing. To show this evaluation "Good", the respective interpretation is used. We didn't get higher evaluation "Excellent" because we were wrong answering the second question.
Picture 17. Testing Results Report
So, let's make the the conclusions about Sindy. Sindy can:
- Significantly reduce the time of testing in different areas (exams, certifications, polling or psychological researches)
- Help to get high calculating reliability because the human factor is minimized
- Reduce the monotony of work and avoid the mistakes in result of that
- Save the time of specialists and accordingly save the money of organization providing the testing
- Document testing results with the testing reports
Thank you a lot for the attention to Sindy!