Using Windows Authentication to Integrate Questionmark Perception with Microsoft SharePoint

steve-smallPosted by Steve Lay

Followers of this blog may recall Brian McNamara’s post on Using SharePoint and Questionmark Together. In that post, he touched on providing participant access to their assessments using single sign-on from the SharePoint environment.

There are two ways to do this. Which you choose will depend on the way you have configured your Questionmark Perception server.  If you have installed Perception on your own servers (on-premise) and you are integrating with a SharePoint system used by your participants, then you are probably using Windows authentication with Perception already, allowing the participants to sign in using their existing Windows domain accounts.

In this video, I take you through configuring a SharePoint site to embed Perception, providing a seamless experience for participants authenticated using Windows authentication.

If you are using Perception on demand, or you can’t use Windows authentication on your server, don’t worry, the Questionmark SharePoint Portal Connector is designed for you!  But that will be the subject of my next video demonstration…

Podcast: Integrating Questionmark with SAP Learning Solution


Posted by Joan Phaup

I spoke recently with Tim Pospisil from the Nebraska Public Power District. He’s a member of the team that implemented the first integration of Questionmark Perception with the SAP Learning Solution. Tim shared his experience during a case study presentation at the recent Questionmark Users Conference, and his colleague Darrel Wieberdink will deliver a similar presentation in Orlando on May 18th, during the ASUG Annual Conference for SAP users.

Our case study about NPPD offers details about the integration. And in the podcast I’ve posted here today, Tim talks about NPPD’s rationale for the integration, which has helped to create a one-stop shop for about 2,200 employees working within a highly-regulated environment. He also offers sound  advice about the process of integrating enterprise systems. So take a few minutes to listen in!

Using SharePoint and Questionmark Together

Posted by Brian McNamara

Over the past few months this blog has featured several examples of how you can easily embed assessments intimately within learning and informational content to help focus attention on key points and provide real-time feedback.  Today we’ll take a look a look at how to access Questionmark assessments from Microsoft SharePoint, a platform used by thousands of corporate, government and academic organizations and which is increasingly used to manage and provide access to learning content.Snapshot of assessment embedded into SharePoint

There are several ways you can use SharePoint and Questionmark Perception together:

  • Embed a quiz or survey in a SharePoint portal page, wiki or blog.
  • Provide single sign-on access to assessments – allowing participants to view and launch Questionmark assessments assigned to them from within SharePoint.

This is possible:

– Using a standard SharePoint page-viewer web part (if your organization uses Windows authentication)
– Using Questionmark’s SharePoint Connector. Learn about the connector.

To see how this would look, see a snapshot of an assessment embedded within SharePoint.

Check out this How-to on our developer Web site for more details.
To learn about Questionmark’s SharePoint Connector, click here.

Standard Setting: An Introduction


Posted by Greg Pope

Standard setting was a topic of considerable interest to attendees at the Questionmark 2010 Users Conference  in March.We had some great discussions about standard setting methods and practical applications in some of the sessions I was leading, so I thought I would share some details about this topic here.

Standard setting is generally used in summative criterion referenced contexts. It is the process of setting a “pass/fail” score that distinguishes those participants who have the minimum acceptable level of competence in an area to pass from those participants who do not have the minimum acceptable level of competence in an area. For example, in a crane operation certification course, participants would be expected to have a certain level of knowledge and skills to operate a crane successfully and safely. In addition to a practical test (e.g., operation of a crane in a safe environment) candidates may also be required to take a crane certification exam in which they would need to achieve a certain minimum score in order to be allowed to operate a crane. On the crane certification exam a pass score of 75% or higher is required for a candidate to be able to operate a crane; anything below 75% and they would need to take the course again. Cut scores do not only refer to pass/fail benchmarks. For example, organizations may have several cut scores within an assessment that differentiate between “Advanced”, “Acceptable”, and “Failed” levels.

Cut scores are very common in high and medium-stakes assessment programs; well established processes for setting these cut scores and maintaining them across administrations are available. Generally, one would first build/develop the assessment with the cut score in mind. This would entail selecting questions that represent the proportionate topics areas being covered, ensuring an appropriate distribution of difficulty of the questions, and selecting more questions in the cut score range to maximize the “measurement information” near the cut score.

Once a test form is built it would undergo formal standard setting procedures to set or confirm the cut score(s). Here is a general overview of a typical Modified Angoff type standard setting process:

typical Modified Angoff type standard setting process

Stay tuned for my next post on this topic, in which I will describe some standard setting methods for establishing cut scores.

The Future of Interoperability Standards

julie-smallPosted by Julie Chazyn

The future of interoperability standards is a big topic, but a good person to watch if you are interested in it is Questionmark Integration Team Lead Steve Lay.

Steve’s blog on the Questionmark Developer website offers the perspective of someone with many years of involvement in the technical standards community. His post on “The Future of Interoperability Standards…” notes the speed of technological changes and asks if the process of creating technical standards is fast enough to be of timely benefit to that community.  He asks, “How can we improve our processes when it comes to developing technical standards for learning, education and training?” And he puts forward some suggestions for creating technical standards in a way that keeps pace with rapidly changing technologies.

Check out Steve’s blog, and while you’re visiting the developer site, find out about the Application Programming Interfaces that allow rich integrations between Questionmark technologies and third party applications.

Using Twitter to help learners retain knowledge

john_smallPosted by John KleemanTwitter  Logo

Here’s a question for you: “What is the best way of stopping people forgetting things after learning?”

Think about this for a moment before looking ahead if you can.

I hope your answer is something like this: by asking them questions over time after the learning takes place.

When you learn something, you connect two or more concepts in memory. And when you are asked a question about what you have learned, you have to search your memory to find the answer. This searching makes the connection in memory stronger, so in the future you will be more likely to remember what you have learned rather than forget it. If you’re not familiar with this important idea, see these white papers by learning expert Will Thalheimer for more information:  The Learning Benefits of Questions and Measuring Learning Results.

If your learners go on to another course or go back to work, it’s not always easy to reach them to stimulate their memory with follow-up questions. Here’s where Twitter comes in: it can be a great tool for sending follow up questions.

Twitter grad logo

  1. Have your learners follow you on Twitter, either on your main account, or on a subsidiary account made for each course.
  2. Post short questions as tweets to stimulate people’s memory. Remember, even thinking about the answer can help reinforce the learning. You could post the right answer the next day.
  3. Follow these up with quizzes in Questionmark Perception. You can post links to to these assessments in your tweets. With the new support of mobile devices in Perception version 5, your learners can access these quizzes from mobile devices as well as PCs and Macs, and take the quizzes from their home or while traveling.

Shortening a question into 140 characters  is usually possible, and it’s easy to compress a URL to Perception’s open access entry point (open.php) to fit within a tweet. For instance the URL links to one of Questionmark’s sample assessments on Electricity Skills.
I hope this idea helps. And in case you’ve forgotten, what is the best way of helping people remember after learning?