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Developing an e-Learning Multiple Choice Questions Test using Mobile SMS

Developing an e-Learning Multiple Choice Questions Test using Mobile SMS

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Published by ijcsis
this paper presents a new system for Multiple Choice Questions Paper Test using Mobile SMS (MCQPSMS) to develop the traditional way of MCQ used in Paper Based Tests PBT through the use of mobile Short Message Service (SMS). This MCQPSMS system consists of two main parts: The first one permits the teacher to enter questions and their answers, order them in a random way, then print and give them to students. While the second part receives the answers from the students' mobile phones by SMS, grading them automatically and save them in the database, then sending the marks to the students by SMS. The system has been tested in Mosul university/computer science department with 40 students as a testing sample and the results matched the paper.
this paper presents a new system for Multiple Choice Questions Paper Test using Mobile SMS (MCQPSMS) to develop the traditional way of MCQ used in Paper Based Tests PBT through the use of mobile Short Message Service (SMS). This MCQPSMS system consists of two main parts: The first one permits the teacher to enter questions and their answers, order them in a random way, then print and give them to students. While the second part receives the answers from the students' mobile phones by SMS, grading them automatically and save them in the database, then sending the marks to the students by SMS. The system has been tested in Mosul university/computer science department with 40 students as a testing sample and the results matched the paper.

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Published by: ijcsis on Feb 19, 2012
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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 11,
 Nov
ember 2011
Developing an e-LearningMultiple Choice Questions Test using Mobile SMS
Ali Hussein Ali Alnooh
Computer Science DepartmentCollege of Computer Science and MathematicsMosul UniversityMosul, Iraqa_alnooh@yahoo.com
 Abstract
 — 
this paper presents a new system for Multiple ChoiceQuestions Paper Test using Mobile SMS (MCQPSMS) to developthe traditional way of MCQ used in Paper Based Tests PBTthrough the use of mobile Short Message Service (SMS). ThisMCQPSMS system consists of two main parts: The first onepermits the teacher to enter questions and their answers, orderthem in a random way, then print and give them to students.While the second part receives the answers from the students'mobile phones by SMS, grading them automatically and savethem in the database, then sending the marks to the students bySMS. The system has been tested in Mosul university/computerscience department with 40 students as a testing sample and theresults matched the paper.
 Keywords- MCQ test, E-learning, mobile SMS, AT commands
I.
 
I
NTRODUCTION
 
The massive developments in mobile communicationsystems with the multiplicity of services provided by thesesystems - particularly SMS - has pushed this development tothe need for employing this service in the e-Learning fieldespecially students tests like MCQ test. There are three typesof MCQ tests: paper based test, computer based test andmobile based test.
 
Paper Based Test (PBT): is easy to implement,traditional and used frequently, but it needs a lot of time from the teacher to grade the answers of thestudents, also the possibility of teacher's error inanswers grading may arise. Some solutions likeObject Character Recognition (OCR) systems wereadopted to solve those problems, but this need fastscanner devices with high papers per minute (ppm)which cost very high. Some popular organizationsuse this method like TOEFL or IELETS examinationcenters.
 
Computer Based Test (CBT): depends on web pagesand Internet connectivity, meaning that each studentmust have a computer connected to the Internetduring the test time. The possibility of errors duringthe grading of answers will not arise, but if theInternet connection broke down or the power supplyis truncated during the test time, this will lead torestart the test from the beginning. Many popularcompanies use this kind of test like Microsoft,CISCO, ICDL, etc.
 
Mobile Based Test (MBT): this kind of test is verypopular in now days because of the wide spread of mobile devices. The test is based mainly on questionssupported by multimedia forms like pictures, texts,and voices. The main disadvantage is that thestudent's mobile device most support multimediatechnology used by the test, so if any student doesn'thave a suitable mobile cannot participate in the test.So this paper took the advantages of PBT and MBT bysuggesting a new method for testing through PBT, sending theanswers using mobile SMS. The test uses both papers andmobile devices, in which the student will test using papers,send the answers in SMS message to the server, the server willgrade the answers, save the mark and finally send the resultback to the student by SMS.
II.
 
RELATED
 
WORKS
Some related works used the web as a tool for achieving thequizzes without the use of mobile devices. Rarh V. and GoelA. [1] suggested an e-Quizzes system in an interactive mannerusing the Moodle system, in other word each student musthave a computer device connected to the Internet. Otherrelated works employed the mobile phone in the e-Learningenvironments without using SMS.
Tabata
Y. and others [2]designed an iphone quiz system for learning the foreignlanguages by installing this system over students' mobilephones, so if any student doesn't have a device like the iphonecannot attend the exam. Lee K. [3] developed a mobilecollaborative learning system through the communicationbetween the students' mobile devices like PDA, phones andpads. Saran M. and others [4] built an e-learning quiz systemdepending on Multimedia Messaging Service MMS messagesand SMS, which means if the student's mobile doesn't supportMMS, this will deny the student from the exam.Also there are other works employed the mobile SMS incontrolling and management fields, Givehki F. and Nicknafs A.[5] employed the SMS services to administrate a remote
153http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 11,
 Nov
ember 2011
network using the Simple Network Management ProtocolSNMP.
III. Short Message Service (SMS) and AT commandsA-
SMS: have taken the mobile world by a storm. Accordingresearches , there are two types of mobile users: texters andtalkers. The texters send more than double the messages thattalkers do [6].So, SMS is a technology that enables the sending andreceiving of messages between mobile phones. It was firstappeared in Europe in 1992.The data that can be held by SMS message is very limited.One SMS message can contain at most 140 bytes of data, soone SMS can contain up to 160 characters if 7-bit characterencoding is used (like English, Deutsch) or 70 characters if 16-bit character encoding is used (like Arabic, Chinese) [7].There are many different kinds of SMS applications on themarket today and many others are being developed likeperson-to-person text messaging, provision of information,alerts and notifications.
 
B-
AT Commands:AT commands are instructions used to control a modem,GSM/GPRS modem or mobile phones. AT is the abbreviationof ATtention. Every command line starts with "AT" or "at".The AT commands can be executed either by programmingor using the Hyper Terminal program.The starting "AT" is the prefix that informs the mobilephone about the start of a command line. It is not part of theAT command name.Here are some of the tasks that can be done using ATcommands with a GSM/GPRS modem or mobile phone:
 
Get basic information about the mobile phone orGSM/GPRS modem.
 
Get basic information about the subscriber.
 
Send, read, write or delete SMS messagesThere are basically two modes to work with SMS: ProtocolData Unit mode (PDU) and Text Mode. A mobile phoneinternally uses PDU format.Developers normally uses text mode because it is easier touse. (AT+CMGF) is the command to set the mode, e.g.AT+CMGF=0 sets the PDU mode while AT+CMGF=1 willset the format to text mode. The General syntax of ExtendedAT commands are:
 -
All command lines must start with "AT" and end withcarriage return character.
-
A command line can contain more than one AT commands.Only the first AT command should be prefixed with "AT". ATcommands in the same command-line string should beseparated with semicolons, e.g. AT+CMGL;+CMGI<CR>.
-
A string is enclosed between double quotes, e.g.AT+CMGL="ALL"<CR>.
-
Information responses and result codes (including both finalresult codes and unsolicited result codes) always start and endwith a carriage return character and a linefeed character, e.g.after sending the command line "AT+CGMI
<CR>
" to themobile device, the mobile device should return a responsesimilar to this
[8]
:
<CR><LF>
Nokia
<CR><LF>
 
<CR><LF>
OK
<CR><LF>
 
IV. PROPOSED METHODOLOGY
MCQPSMS
system assumes that there are the followinghardware requirements:
 
Computer device supported by any data base softwarelike SQL, to save the questions with answers and also tosave students' names and mobile phone numbers.
 
Mobile phone supporting Global System for Mobilecommunication (GSM) connected to the computer.
 
Printer device.Figure (1) shows the architecture of the system.Figure (1) architecture of the systemThe teacher will formulate the questions and print them. Thestudents will receive the questions printed on papers, send theanswers as SMS to the mobile phone connected to computer.Now the computer will read the received messages using theAT commands and grade the answers, save and send them tothe students. The job is divided into two algorithms, the firstone is used by the teacher to formulate and print the questions,while the second algorithm is used to receive the students'answers.
A- First Algorithm:
The teacher can use either saved files containing questions,or write the questions directly with their answers.The program will generate a random sequence for thequestions to each student to ensure that there will be nocheating between students. After that the new sequence will besaved in the DB to be used during marks grading.Now the program will print the student's name with his/herphone number on the top of the paper and print the questions inthe new randomized sequence in the other parts of the paper.Figure (2) shows the flowchart of this algorithm.
B- Second Algorithm:
154http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 11,
 Nov
ember 2011
This algorithm will be implemented after the MCQ test timeis ended and all the students sent their answers in SMSmessages to the mobile phone connected to the computerbeside the teacher.The program will read all the students' messages and savethem in a temporary area, sort them depending on the student'sphone and delete the duplicated messages to ensure that if thestudent has sent more than one answer only the first answerwill be depended.After that the answers will be matched with the randomizedsequence saved in DB in algorithm (1) to compute the student'smark.Now the mark will be saved in the DB and sent in SMS tothe students. Each student's result will not take more than 6-10seconds depending on mobile phone subscriber. Figure (3)shows the flowchart of this algorithm.Figure (2) the first algorithm
 
Figure (3) the second algorithm
V. EXPERMINTES AND DISCUSSION
C# language with .NET4 platform was used to program
MCQPSMS
system. Nokia 6230 was used as a mobile deviceconnected with a computer to receive students' answers.The system was tested in Mosul University, faculty of computer science and mathematics at the department of computer science with 40 students. The test was composedfrom 25 MCQ form printed on 4 pages size A4. One of theimportant features supported by this system is that randomizing
155http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

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