Customizing Messages to Participants Using Server Variables

Sometimes you may want participants to receive customized messages when they have taken an assessment — perhaps information about their score or confirmation that they have completed your quiz or test at a particular time and date..

You can do this in Questionmark Perception by adding ” to your assessment outcomes within Perception Authoring Manager. Server variables are ‘merge fields’ that pull data from your Perception repository.

Here are examples of the data that can be included:

  • assessment name
  • current time
  • current date
  • time limit
  • participant name
  • participant details
  • participant group
  • score information
  • demographic data saved in special fields – such as the participant’s department or start date

In editing an assessment, you can designate the fields from which you want to draw information for your personalized messages. So each participant, on completing an assessment, will automatically get feedback containing the information you want them to receive.

European Conference Update: focus on best practices

Posted by Jane Townsend

With the Questionmark European Users Conference just a few months off, now’s a good time to look at some of the presentations we have lined up.

Here, for instance, here are just three of the breakout sessions that will focus on best practices:

  • Using the Latest Learning Research to Improve Your Questionmark Assessments — Find out how questions can directly help learning, and how to apply the findings of recent research to your use of assessments.
  • Using Web Services to Integrate with Questionmark Perception – Get an overview of integration methods and a deep dive into some powerful options for connecting to and building upon Questionmark Perception using Web Services — complete with examples of real-world applications.
  • Using Questionmark Perception to Make SharePoint an Effective Learning Platform – Learn to use Questionmark Perception inside SharePoint right out of the box to measure and reinforce learning. It’s easier than you may think: no programming experience required!

Click here for details about these and many other sessions, which will include product training, case studies and drop-ins with Questionmark technicians.

The conference also offers excellent opportunities to meet with Questionmark product managers and to network with your learning and assessment colleagues.

It’s a great learning opportunity, so register soon to join us in Brussels from 9 – 11 October.

A new possibility: delivering dental and medical observational assessments (OSCEs) on an iPad

Posted by John Kleeman

Last week I wrote about presenting with Donald Thomson and David Walker from Dundee University about the use of Questionmark software for dental radiology exams. In the same session, we also discussed future possibilities for observational assessments to run online.

Like many other dental schools, Dundee University has students perform in practice while senior staff observe and rate them. These assessments are called OSCEs: Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. So for instance, a student radiologist takes and interprets an X-ray, while being observed by an expert.

Here is an example of an existing paper OSCE form used at Dundee:

Existing paper-based OSCE form at Dundee Dental School

Here are some potential advantages of computerizing these observational assessments:

  • It saves time and money as there is no need to scan/transcribe
  • Results are online instantly
  • A computer manages the workflow and identification
  • Participants get feedback online
  • No lost bits of paper and no illegible medical handwriting!

The University of Dundee is considering the potential for using iPads to deliver OSCEs, and here is how the form might look on that type of device:

iPad example of observational assessment

Dundee has a long history of innovation. After all, the boat that took Scott to the Antarctic was built there!  It’s exciting to see the potential innovations that tablets and Questionmark assessment software might bring to the world of medical assessment. See the Questionmark website for more on observational assessments.

Back to The Big Easy in 2012!

Joan PhaupPosted by Joan Phaup

While our counterparts across the pond gear up for the Questionmark European Users Conference in Brussels this October, here in the U.S. we’re setting our sights on a European city closer to home: New Orleans! We had an amazing time during our conference there six years ago and have had many requests to return.

Please mark March 20 – 23, 2012, on your calendar and plan to join us for three  fast-paced, forward-looking and fun days of  learning and networking.

We’ll share more details soon on the US conference website. For the time being, we hope you will save these dates!

Another reason to computerize tests: better high-res images

Posted by John Kleeman

Last week I co-presented at the eLearning in Health Conference 2011 with Dr Donald Thomson (Consultant in Dental and Maxillofacial Radiography) and Dr David Walker (Senior Learning Technologist) from Dundee University. Since the conference was sold out and there was a lot of interest in our story, I thought I’d share it here.

The University of Dundee is an established user of Questionmark software and has been using Questionmark Perception for the delivery of dental radiology exams in place of pen and paper since 2009.

Dundee switched from paper to electronic exams for a number of reasons. Two obvious drivers were the desire to remove subjectivity in scoring and to reduce time spent marking in order to provide greater support to students. Another was that with on-screen delivery, radiology pictures can be faithfully represented on computers.

For example, this is a line drawing from a past paper exam:

Line drawing used in paper exam

And here is a real radiology picture that’s been displayed in a computerized exam. It’s easy to read something like this on-screen but quite difficult to do so on ordinary paper.

Real radiology photo

Below is a summary of Dundee’s experience using Questionmark to deliver electronic exams in Dental Radiology:

  • Initial time to convert questions to format suitable for electronic delivery is significant – support from learning technology professionals crucial.
  • Significant time saved marking papers with ability to return results to students more quickly.
  • Question types needed adjusting – free text and drawing questions needed to be redesigned but drag-and-drop questions offered new possibilities.
  • Initial concerns were raised regarding comparability of test difficulty between paper/electronic formats but analysis of student performance and question statistics information provided by Questionmark indicates that the exams are fair/reliable.
  • Electronic delivery has allowed for simultaneous presentation of exams at different locations, in this case for Dental students undertaking a degree at the University of Aberdeen.

Now that knowledge exams are successfully computerized, the University of Dundee is exploring the potential of electronic observational exams (OSCEs).  I’ll talk about the possibilities in a follow-up post next week.

Keeping surveys anonymous even when controlling access to them

When you run a course evaluation or survey in Questionmark Perception, you will likely want to make responses anonymous so that people will give you the candid feedback you need. But what if you want  to make sure that each person takes the survey just once? Can you control access to a survey and still make the results stay anonymous? Yes!

Here’s how:

  • When creating the survey, check off the box that says Anonymous Results.
  • Double check your Special Fields to make sure they don’t contain identifying information.
  • Take a dummy survey and confirm that you cannot see the results when reporting.
  • Schedule participants just as you would for any assessment and have them log in.
  • You can even use Email Broadcast to invite participants and send reminders.

The survey results will give you participants’ responses but not their names or other identifying information.

Learn more about how to report on survey results using  Perception’s Survey Report and the Course Summary, Instructor Summary, Class Summary and Class Detail reports in Questionmark Analytics.