Arabic Interface Now Available in Questionmark Live


Posted by Jim Farrell

As we have been making translations for the Questionmark Live interface, one language high on our list has been Arabic. However, we did not want to go half way and release an interface where, yes, the language was translated but remained in a left-to-right format. We wanted to release the entire package: an Arabic translation of Questionmark Live in a right-to-left interface — and we are pleased to have achieved that!

Below are two screen shots of Questionmark Live for Arabic users. Click on each picture to see a full sized view of the Questionmark Live interface in Arabic.

Questionmark Live Welcome Screen in ArabicQuestion Set List in Arabic

Click here to use your Questionmark Live account, see a demo or try it out.

(If you have never changed the Questionmark Live interface to display in another language, click on the Account tab and then select a language setting.)

2010 International CAA Conference Q&A

Posted by Mel Lynch

We are looking forward to the 2010 International CAA Conference 20th-21st of July in Southampton on the UK’s South Coast. This  two-day research-led conference hosted by the University of Southampton and organised by its School of Electronics and Computer Science and the Institute of Educational

Lester Gilbert

Technology at the Open University aims to advance the understanding and application of information technology to the assessment process.

I recently spoke with two members of the conference organising committee — Lester Gilbert and Dr Bill Warburton — about this event and some of the trends in e-assessment that will factor prominently in the conference programme. Lester chairs the CAA Conference Local Arrangements Committee and is a Senior Lecturer in IT within the Learning Societies Lab Research Group of the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science.  Bill, the Conference Programme Chair, is CAA Officer at the University of Southampton and a thought-leader on the uptake of technology-enhanced approaches to assessment (as well as a presenter at past Questionmark user events).

Q: What are the major themes of the 2010 CAA conference?

Bill:  A key theme that has already emerged is new ways to enhance student learning through e-assessment. We have papers on topics such as using student contributions to online discussions as assessment tools; the key obstacles to widespread adoption of e-assessment in higher education across the UK; and effective ways to mitigate the emerging threat of remotely administered online exams being compromised by identity fraud.

Lester:  We have sought a wide range of papers relevant to e-assessment and expect some major themes to emerge during the conference. We look forward to them being elucidated in the closing address by Questionmark’s Steve Lay!

Q: Who are some of the speakers who figure prominently in this year’s program – and what will they be talking about?

Dr. Bill Warburton

Bill: The keynote address will be delivered by Dr Paul Brna, Educational Consultant, who will focus on the importance of using e-assessment to provide feedback to learners.

Bobby Elliot will address the fact that student contributions to online discussions are being used increasingly as an assessment tool, but suitable methodologies and standards for their use have been slow to emerge. His “review of rubrics for assessing online discussions” raises some useful points that may inform the directions of future research on the topic.

Nora Mogey will provide an analysis of the key obstacles to the widespread use of summative e-assessment in UK higher education, which addresses the topic of developing institutional strategies for the large scale adoption of online assessment in the future.

Lastly, Kikelomo Apampa’s suggestions for  “Blob-based” Presence Verification may form the basis for innovative and  effective ways to mitigate the emerging threat of remotely administered online exams being compromised by identity fraud.

Q: Why do you think events such as CAA are beneficial for the industry?

Bill:  The CAA Conference has always been an inspirational event where new ideas are forged by delegates into fresh ways of developing assessments practically — and also into new research initiatives.

Lester:  It plays an important role in supporting and facilitating the meeting of ideas and people, keeping up to date with recent developments and being informed about likely future directions.

Q: This will be the first year that the CAA Conference will be held in Southampton. Can you tell me about the new venue and the move?

Lester:  Southampton has gained a reputation as a centre of excellence in e-assessment research and development, particularly in its work on the development of a suite of tools for supporting the IMS QTI interoperability standard and recent reports on e-assessment quality and feedback. As this conference did not take place last year, this year a primary goal is to re-launch the event, reconnect it with its heritage of invaluable papers and re-establish it as an international academic platform for e-assessment research.

*The 2010 International CAA Conference will be held at the DeVere Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton on the 20th and 21st of July.  For further information and registration visit the conference Web site.

New Questionmark App for Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch now available at iTunes!

Posted by Brian McNamara

Are you one of the millions of people with a new iPad?  Or one of the thousands of people waiting in line outside an Apple store today – about to get your hands on a shiny new iPhone 4?  If you’re not, chances are that many of the participants who take your assessments are.

So we are delighted to announce that version 2 of the Questionmark App – which enables streamlined assessment delivery via the Apple® iPad™, iPhone® and iPod touch® — is now officially available for download from the iTunes store.  In addition to adding support for the Apple iPad, the new version is completely configurable, — so your participants can access assessments scheduled for them in your Questionmark Perception v5 repository.

If you don’t have Questionmark Perception v5 yet, you can still try this new app – simply install it and choose the “demo” option, and the app will let you try out several assessments available from Questionmark’s demonstration site.

For more info about the Questionmark App and where to download it, click here.

Socializing Learning Environments

julie-smallPosted by Julie Delazyn

“Social agents” –- the technologies that make it easy for us to  “follow” and/or “share” with people we’re connected to online — help personalize our web experience and link up with those who share our interests.

In a blog post called  “Socializing Learning Environments,” our CEO, Eric Shepherd, asks how we might extend the use of social agents to provide individualized learning resources. By adding the functions of “searching”, “finding” and “learning” to the existing capabilities of social agents, could we produce searches that bring appropriate resources to learners? And how would we ensure that those resources match up with a learner’s delivery platform? What role can assessments play in making all of this happen? If these and other questions about assessment and learning interest you, check out Eric’s blog.

Multilingual authoring and administrative software

john_smallPosted by John Kleeman

I’ve described in a  previous post how Questionmark makes it easy for authors and administrators to create assessments in multiple languages, so that participants can choose the language of the assessments. I’d like to share today how Questionmark allows those same authors and administrators to work in their language of choice, rather than having to see screens in English.

International use and translatability have always been important to Questionmark. We’ve been translating our software for 20 years, with Questionmark for DOS having been translated into several European languages in 1991. We used to make separate versions of the software for each language, but having separate versions makes it harder to keep language versions up to date, so now we make our software multilingual.

Our most frequently used software for authors and administrators today is found in Questionmark Live and Enterprise Manager, and both of these are now available in multiple languages.

Questionmark Live, our authoring software for subject matter experts running as a service, has always been available to use in multiple languages. We’ve just added Arabic support, and currently authors  can see the software in a selection of 16 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish or Swedish.

Enterprise Manager, our software for scheduling, administration and reporting, is also available in multiple languages. German and Dutch have been released, and French and Spanish are in final review and should be added later in the summer. The administrator chooses a language on login, and then all screens are presented in that language.

As Questionmark software develops, we’ll be maintaining and expanding our multilingual support to allow you to use our software in your native language and not force you to think in English.

Learning Environments: Content Clouds

julie-smallPosted by Julie Delazyn

I’d like to draw your attention to a blog post by our CEO, Eric Shepherd, on “Learning Environments – Content Clouds.” 

Eric uses the “cloud” metaphor to discuss the nature of learning environments, viewing them as a collection of functions clustered together. Made up of meta tags, “folksonomies,” catalogs and other elements, content clouds and sub-clouds help store learning content in a way that can help us find the information we are looking for when we need it.

The increasing amount of useful but hard-to-discover information contained in these clouds presents some serious challenges, though. With so much content becoming available, how will we store, search and find content that is personalized for the learner and suits the learner’s context?  How will we deliver content at the right time, in a form that can run on the learner’s device?  This post puts forward some ideas about how indexing and cataloging could be used to address these issues and the challenges posed by numerous repositories, data structures, tagging methodologies and content types.

For these and other ideas, check out Eric’s blog.