Item classification is traditionally represented by a hierarchical structure similar to an org chart in which nodes are above, at the same level as, or below another, Each node in the hierarchy is numbered. A node path, which is formed by concatenating the number of each node that must be visited in order to reach the destination node, identifies a node’s location in the tree. For example, in the illustration below the node path 001.002.001 forms the address of History->EurHistory->Medieval. An item is classified when a node path is assigned to the item.
In spite of their ubiquity and usefulness, item banking systems can present challenges for the management and use of classifications. The following are typical problems:
The system can assign only one or two classifications to each item (e.g. knowledge domain and skill).
The system rigidly defines the format of classifications (e.g. an upper case letter followed by a dot followed by a number, etc.)
The number of levels in the hierarchy is limited (e.g. four or five).
The system does not support temporary classifications for research purposes.
Future classifications must be constructed outside the system.
The system cannot classify an item for multiple exam title simultaneously.