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About PowerTrainTM CMI

PowerTrain CMI is Solution Providers, Inc.’s computer-based training engine and course management system. It incorporates objective-based training principles into a data-driven course development and administration tool.

PowerTrain CMI is designed to allow you to use common desktop tools to develop objects to be included in your courseware.



PowerTrain CMI is a client/server application that can connect to most ODBC-compliant database management systems. The PowerTrain CMI application functionality is based upon user levels defined per user and provides for:

bulletCourse development including review material, objectives, questions, and answers, and versioning;
bulletDatabase maintenance including import/export of course materials, exam instance creation and printing to allow for manual examinations;
bulletCourse review and exams by "students";
bulletReport generation including exam results and missed question frequency.


Course Development and Maintenance

Course development is divided into two modes: Review Material and Exams. These modes are related through course objectives. Courses can contain review material, exams, or both. Review material can consist of other executable programs and/or objects created and maintained with desktop tools. All courses must have at least one objective. While review material can be stored in the database or externally, all other elements of the course are stored in the database. This provides for ease of maintenance since no programming is required. Courses can be created and maintained from within PowerTrain CMI and are can be instantaneously available to all users. A new executable program does not have to be created and deployed. Exams and reviews can be executed in demo mode by course developers so that the course content can be assessed and approved without storing results in the database. Course versions that have not been approved and placed into production are not available to students.

PowerTrain CMI can also be used as a centralized "pointer" to pre-packaged CBT applications.


Course Parameters

Courses developed in PowerTrain CMI allows the developer to specify course parameters including:

bulletExam Type
bulletReview Only (which means that the student gets credit for the course by completing a review)
bulletGraded Exam
bulletScored Survey
bulletNon-Scored Survey
bulletExam Mode
bulletSequential – exams will be created by including questions sequentially
bulletRandom – exam questions will be selected randomly
bulletBranching – exam questions will be determined by the answer selected on the previous question. The branches are specified by the developer.
bulletAnonymity – exam results can be recorded anonymously, which may be desirable for surveys
bulletProctor requirements – course exams can enforce a proctor logon before the student can take an on-line exam
bulletForce Review – students may be forced to complete a course review before an exam can be taken
bulletPassing Score
bulletNumber of allowable consecutive failures – students may be forced to review course materials after a specified number of consecutive exam failures
bulletNumber of questions per exam
bulletTimed Exam (in minutes)
bulletForce Completion – specifies if students must answer all questions before the exam can be scored
bulletExam Limits – specifies the number of times a student can take an exam for the course
bulletPassing and Failing Score Messages


Course Objectives

A course developed in PowerTrain CMI is divided into one or more objectives. Questions and pages of review material are assigned to the objectives. Objective parameters include:

bulletMandatory – specifies if at least one question assigned to the objective must be contained in the exam
bulletActive – objectives can be deactivated in order to exclude them from reviews and exams
bulletMinimum Number of Exam Questions – specifies the minimum number of questions from the objective that must be contained in the exam
bulletNumber of Review Questions – specifies the number of questions from the objective which must be answered correctly during review before proceeding to the next objective



Questions are assigned to objectives and consist of the following user-defined parameters:

bulletMandatory – specifies that the question must appear on all exams for this course
bulletActive – questions can be deactivated in order to exclude them from reviews and exams
bulletNumber of Correct/Incorrect Answers – specifies the number of correct and incorrect answers to be displayed for the question
bulletRandomize – specifies if the for the question answers should be selected sequentially or randomly
bulletPoints – specifies the number of points to be awarded/deducted
bulletMaximum Number of Selectable Answers – specifies the number of answers the student may select for this question. This eliminates the need for answers such as "All of the above".
bulletReview Only – questions can be designated to appear only in review mode
bulletObjects – objects such as bitmaps, sounds, and executable programs can be displayed and/or launched when the question is presented to the student. For example, a mathematical question may launch the Calculator.



The following parameters are available for answers:

bulletMandatory – specifies that the answer must appear on all exams containing this question
bulletActive – answers can be deactivated in order to exclude them from appearing on a question
bulletCorrect/Incorrect specifier
bulletPoints – specifies the number of points to be awarded/deducted for selecting the answer. A non-zero value overrides any points assigned to the associated question.

Exam Resumption Feature

When a student chooses to take an exam, PowerTrain CMI builds the exam and stores it in the database. Each time the student answers a question, the response is recorded in the database. If the exam cannot be completed in one session, the student will be able to resume the exam. The exam content and all previously selected answers will be recalled. This feature is not available for anonymous courses.


Exam Instance Feature

The exam instance feature allows for an unlimited number of "versions" of a course exam to be created and stored. These instances can be printed and administered manually. Using the Exam Instance Record feature, a PowerTrain administrator can enter the manual exam responses into PowerTrain. PowerTrain will score the exam and assign the results to the student specified by the PowerTrain administrator.


Course Accessibility Control

Each PowerTrain user can be assigned to one or more "groups". Courses can then be assigned to groups and/or users. Each user has access to those courses which are assigned to the user and the user’s group(s). All users are assigned to the WORLD user group, and courses can be assigned to the WORLD group for easy accessibility for all users.



PowerTrain has several built-in reports. The most unique report is the Missed Question Frequency Report. This report details which questions are most frequently missed and the most frequent incorrect responses for each question. Other reports include:

bulletCourse Contents – Lists the developers, approvers, users, groups, and proctors for a course version as well as the objectives, questions and answers contained in the course version.
bulletExam Results – Contains the "hardcopy" exam as taken by the user. Lists the questions and answers in the order in which they were presented to the user as well as the selected answers and any feedback which may have been provided.

Of course, most organizations have their own unique reporting requirements and formats. The PowerTrain data is available in a database. Custom reports can be developed with a variety of compatible report writing tools.


Client Hardware Requirements

bulletMinimum Hardware Requirements:486-66 MHz PC, 16MB RAM
bulletOperating System:Windows 95, 98 or Windows NT