Off to Amsterdam October 3 – 5 for the next European Users Conference

Mel Lynch headshot

Posted by Mel Lynch

Questionmark users are once again anticipating two days of learning and networking at the Questionmark 2010 European Users Conference.

We are very excited about this year’s gathering, to be held in Amsterdam on October 3 – 5. Judging from what we’re seeing in registrations to date, it’s looking to be the biggest European Users Conference ever.  The fact that we are meeting  in Amsterdam may have something to do with it, as it is definitely a destination worth a visit!

The conference offers a great opportunity to meet with fellow learning and assessment professionals to discuss best practices and to get better at using online surveys, quizzes, tests and exams.  The agenda is really starting to take shape with a lot of the programme being confirmed and some great sessions lined up.

Of course, the Questionmark tradition of taking attendees on a fun-filled evening event has not been forgotten, with the canals of Amsterdam playing host to this year’s Monday night social event.

If you are thinking about joining us in Amsterdam but are still not quite sure what it’s all about, then take a moment to view this Video Invitation from Questionmark’s CEO Eric Shepherd – in a little over a minute (1 minute, 22 seconds to be exact!), you’ll get an overview of what the conference has in store for you. But remember – be sure not to procrastinate too much as spaces are limited and we don’t want you to miss out. 

Register now or visit the conference website for further information.

Beta Testing Questions: Methods and Best Practices


Posted by Greg Pope

I had the good fortune of presenting a few sessions at the Questionmark 2010 Users Conference in sunny Miami a couple of weeks ago. It was a great opportunity to catch up with customers and learn about the priorities organizations are focusing on.

In one of my best practice sessions there was a great deal of interest in the topic of beta testing, so I thought I would put together a blog article on this in case others were interested.

Beta testing can be defined as gathering psychometric information regarding newly created questions in order to inform the creation of actual exams. Newly developed questions that have gone through the necessary editing and review processes are administered to representative samples of participants, either in advance of or during an actual high-stakes assessment. Psychometric information regarding the new questions is collected and used to build the actual assessments. Questions that have been beta tested are screened to ensure that they meet certain quality benchmarks (e.g., all questions fall into a certain range of difficulty, all questions have acceptable discrimination). These beta tested questions are then used to create the assessments built to specific structure criteria (e.g., there is an appropriate spread of question difficulty, a targeted mean test score is created, more questions are included on the assessment near the pass score if the assessment is criterion referenced, etc.).

A summary graphic describing the general beta testing process is included below:

raphic describing the general beta testing process

There are a number of common models for beta testing questions, two of the most common are:

models for beta testing questions

Want more details? Questionmark software support plan customers can learn more about beta testing from our best practice guide on this topic. See our Best Practice Guide Index.

What to do with a conference bag?

Joan Phaup

Posted by Joan Phaup

It’s a common question: What should I do with that carrier bag that was so useful during the conference I attended a few days ago?

Conference bag on a sled

A perfect fit!

Dan Rehak came up with a novel answer when he returned to his northern home after leading a discussion about the future of SCORM at the Questionmark Users Conference in Miami last week. A recreational musher and owner of three Siberian Huskies, Dan discovered that this year’s satchel “makes a really nice little sled bag” for carrying basic supplies on short rides.

Now why didn’t I think of that? Ah! No dog sled at my place!  Can anyone beat this? Share here or send us a photo! .

Sled dogs

Denali, Rubi & Holly: Best in Snow!






Questionmark Users Conference Wraps Up in Miami

Joan Phaup

Posted by Joan PhaupCustomers at the 2010 Users Conference in Miami

It’s hard to believe the conference we’ve spent so many months planning is drawing to a close!  We’re now in the final general session, where we’ll review what our Product Owners have learned from customers about possible new features during  focus groups on Monday and Tuesday. Then we’ll gather customers’ feedback, which will help us set the course for future developments.

Opening General Session at the 2010 Users Conference in MiamiWhile we’re busy pondering the future, we’re also recalling all the learning and networking that have taken place here in Miami. We’d like to thank everyone who attended for the great memories  and wish them safe journeys home.

Customers and Staff at the 2010 Users Conference in Miami