Managing a complex testing environment with a QMWise-based dashboard
Posted by Chloe Mendonca
Earlier this week I spoke with Gerard Folkerts of Wageningen University who will be delivering a presentation at the upcoming Questionmark 2013 European Users Conference in Barcelona November 10 – 12.
In their case study presentation, Gerard and his co-presenter, Gerrit Heida, will share their experience using the QMWISe API to create a dashboard for their Questionmark Perception installation.
Could you tell me about Wageningen University and how you use Questionmark assessments?
Wageningen University is the only university in the Netherlands to focus specifically on the themes of ‘healthy food and the living environment’ — and for the eighth year in a row we’ve been awarded the title of “Best University in the Netherlands”.
We use Questionmark for summative and formative assessments. We do about 10 to 20 summative assessments each period with up to 500 participants simultaneously. Besides the summative assessments there are also formative assessments available to students. Besides the web based assessments we also have a setup for running tests in a secure environment which require the use of Microsoft Office, SAS or SPSS etc.
Could you tell me a little more about this secure setup?
The secure test environment turns a regular PC room into a test center. Each computer inside the room is closed from communication with the outside world. With our i- house developed tools we are able to deliver the necessary documents for the assessment to each participant. Such an assessment could be writing a report based on data analysis within SPSS. At the end of the assessment all the work of the participants is stored in a central location.
How do you effectively manage numerous participants taking simultaneous tests?
First of all we have set up a number of procedures to ensure a stabile testing environment. For this we have separated the environments needed for question development and formative and summative testing. Multiple administrators are working in the same environment and could schedule assessments to start simultaneously. With Questionmark Web Integration Services environment (QMWISe,) we created a dashboard to get a real-time view of the amount of assessments scheduled and the number of participants that are enrolled into the assessments.
How has this helped to control your environment?
Using the standard QMWise API makes it possible to build a dashboard which will show this data, and with the information already there, it is easy to do a basic health check on the assessments. For technical support it is essential to predict how much load can be expected on your QMP farm, so the dashboard has helped us to get our QMP environment in control
How do you hope that your session will benefit others?
I hope that my session will give some insight in the possibilities of QMWise. Once you understand how it works it is not that hard to add custom modules to the Questionmark Perception environment. I think the API is undervalued.
What are you looking forward to most about the Users Conference?
Meeting with other Questionmark users and learning about the roadmap of Questionmark Perception. And of course a visit to Barcelona…