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QML 1.0 faq

Module by: Elizabeth Bartmess, Connexions. E-mail the authors

Summary: FAQ for Questions Markup Language v1.0


This module contains Connexions documentation which is out-of-date. The contents of this module are provided here for historical purposes only and should not be considered accurate for the current version of the Connexions website. Please visit the help page for up-to-date information about the Connexions website, including support for viewing and authoring content and the CNXML language. If you have any additional questions or cannot find the answer to your question, please contact and we will be happy to assist in any way we can.

What is QML?

QML (Questions Markup Language) is an XML language for describing learning assessment items (questions). It was originally developed for the Connexions project. It is designed to be lightweight and flexible. Documentation on QML is available at

What types of items does QML support?

It provides support for the following four types of items:

  • Single-response items. These are items for which there is one and only one correct answer to be selected from provided answers. Examples are multiple-choice (select only one) and Likert scale items.
  • Multiple-response items. These are items which require more than one selected response option for a correct answer. Examples are multiple-choice items where the user must select two or more responses to each item.
  • Ordered-response items. These are multiple-response items for which the order of the selected responses is important. An example is an item that asks the user to select the instructions for performing a procedure in their proper order.
  • Text-response items. These are items which require a textual or numeric response. Examples are short-answer questions and supply-the-answer math questions.

Does QML provide support for hints and feedback?

Yes. You can specify multiple hints for each question. For single-choice, multiple-choice, and ordered-response questions, you can provide response-specific feedback for each response option, as well as general feedback. For text-response items, you can provide feedback for a correct answer and for an incorrect answer.

Can I attach external resources to individual items?

Yes. QML allows you to specify the location of as many resources (i.e. datasets, programs) as you wish for each item.

How do I display the items?

Display is up to you; QML only provides the ability to describe the items. However, QML does allow you to embed markup within the text of the question, responses, feedback, and hints. This allows you to display pictures instead of text, for example.

How do I process responses to the items?

Response processing is up to you. If you are not concerned about the user seeing the answer, response processing for single-response and multiple-response questions can be done fairly simply, by using a stylesheet, for example. If you wish to prevent the user from seeing the answers, you must use software which strips out the feedback and keys to the items before presenting the items to the user. If you wish to process responses to text-response or ordered-response questions, you will need software which can parse text-response questions and keep track of the order in which the ordered-response options are selected.

What display software and response-processing software is available for use with QML?

Limited display and response-processing capability is available through XSL and CSS stylesheets and JavaScript created for the Connexions project. For more information, contact

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