Delivering assessments in multiple languages: What are your options?
Posted by Jim Farrell
Test publishers, businesses and other organizations that operate internationally or have multilingual audiences need to provide a consistent experience for all participants, regardless of what language they speak.
I’d like to explain how we at Questionmark can help you achieve this and the options we offer to suit differing needs – whether subject matter experts are generating content in many different languages or you need to have existing content translated.
The interface of Questionmark Live, our browser-based authoring tool, is translated in more than 20 languages. SMEs from all over the world can create content easily, in their preferred language.
But what about localizing content you already have, and keeping track of questions in multiple languages?
Our Translation Management System provides translation interfaces, project management and workflows that make it easier for you to manage and deliver localized content to participants all over the world. You can author and translate once, schedule once, deliver your assessment in many different languages and present all the results together — in a single data set. This is very useful when doing item analysis. For example, if you have students taking a test in English and in Spanish. You can do analysis on the questions together, not as two different versions of the question.
There are two different ways to translate:
The first is by a translation/localization company. This is particularly useful when you have a large amount of translation to do or if you are using many different languages. You can export the content as an XLIFF file and send it to your translation for processing, This is a logical choice for organizations that are delivering dozens of multilingual exams and have hundreds of items in play. Once your files come back to you in your choice of languages, you can import the translated assessments back into the Translation Management System.
For smaller projects, you might rather have translators use the Translation Management System directly. It displays the base language of the question, options and feedback and provides an area for someone to go in and translate. This is very efficient for not only translating content but also for updating and localizing translations.
Once you have multilingual content, how do you deliver it?
Here, again, you have options: Let’s start with the participant interface. You can present Questionmark assessments in 30 different languages – including those that read right-to-left, such as Arabic and Hebrew. You might be saying, “Wow, 30 languages!” But you also might be saying, “Well, mine is not in the list.” If you are that group, you can provide you own translations.
When deciding how to present your content, you can allow participants to select the language they use, or you can force the language selection in the link to the survey, quiz, test or exam.
Providing different ways to manage multilingual assessments reflects our commitment to helping customers who need to reach participants in many different places, from different cultures.