Why Questionmark for certification testing?

Posted by John Kleeman

I recently wrote about the business benefit of running certification programs, particularly in high-tech industries. Today, I’m happy to share some links to real-world examples of certification programs that use online assessments – and to explain a little about how our customers can author assessments which can be delivered in a variety of ways.

A few examples of successful online certification programs:

Annual certifications at an automotive supply company enable employees to demonstrate their knowledge of machinery, blueprints, safety practices, quality procedures and documentation. Switching to online certifications has enabled the company to replace subjective one-on-one certifications with objective tests that can be administered at conveniently located kiosks, at times that fit well with employees’ other responsibilities.

Switching from paper to the Apple iPad for delivery of observational assessments makes it possible for field trainers to watch a certification candidate demonstrate the use of a sophisticated medical device and rate his or her performance. Results are submitted  electronically for centralized processing. The observer’s comments are included along with their ratings. Field trainers no longer need to fax completed surveys to headquarters for scanning them into  people’s files.

Medical technicians who use vitro diagnostic systems must stay up to date with hematology, chemistry, hemostasis and other subjects related to screening blood samples – and they need t provide proof of their successful participation in continuing education programs. Data can be captured from post-training assessments to automatically generate certificates of participation in PDF format. This eliminates the need for printing out certificates and mailing them to each person.

Completing insurance forms is complex for anyone –and even more so for dermatologists with small practices who choose to handle this in-house. There are 800 different codes to master, and inaccurate coding can delay or negate payment.  Online certifications for dermatology coders have eliminated the costly, time consuming process of printing out printing tests, sending them to candidates and manually grading each one. Candidates can now log in to a test from home, work or elsewhere.

Organizations choose Questionmark for certification programmes for many reasons, including our collaborative browser-based Questionmark Live authoring system, multi-lingual test delivery capability, open architecture that allows easy linkage to scheduling software and our robust, secure and scalable delivery engine.

Another key reason for many is our blended delivery capability – where you author assessments once but then can deliver them on multiple devices, as shown in this diagram:

Questionmark Blended Delivery, author once and deliver to any device in context

For example, you can author an assessment and deliver it:

  • At a professional “bricks and mortar” test centre
  • At an office or training centre, with a manager or trainer overseeing
  • At a mobile test centre, for example one set up at a conference or trade show
  • At home with or without a secure browser or remote video monitoring
  • On mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets
  • On paper, with results scanned for centralized processing

 

Seven reasons to use online assessments for compliance

Posted by John Kleeman

A large organization relies on a chain of actions taken by its geographically and functionally separated employees to execute its business. In order to comply with regulations, employees must act competently and follow proper procedures; employees’ weaknesses or failures can impact business and/or jeopardize an organization’s ability to demonstrate regulatory compliance.

Assessments delivered online to employees are one of the few ways — and likely the best way — to touch individually on your entire workforce and ensure that they understand their role in your business and what is required of them to meet business and regulatory needs.

Online assessments have always been heavily used in compliance, but now they are turning to assessments more than ever before. Why? Here are 7 good reasons why most large companies see online assessments as a critical part of their compliance programmes:

1.The most compelling reason to conduct assessments is that they are legally required! Many regulators specifically require periodic assessments, others require companies to ensure that their staff are competent without specifying in detail how this is to be done. But increasingly regulators are upping the ante, and requesting more evidence for compliance.

2. Another reason is to demonstrate commitment to complying with laws making it less likely in some jurisdictions that your company will be prosecuted if an individual missteps. By having assessments that everyone has to take, including senior managers, you are showing you take compliance seriously. To quote the US Department of Justice:

Prosecutors should therefore attempt to determine whether a corporation’s compliance program is merely a “paper program” or whether it was designed and implemented in an effective manner. … In addition, prosecutors should determine whether the corporation’s employees are adequately informed about the compliance program and are convinced of the corporation’s commitment to it. This will enable the prosecutor to make an informed decision as to whether the corporation has adopted and implemented a truly effective compliance program that, … may result in a decision to charge only the corporation’s employees and agents.

3. Assessments are the best way to document that training needed for compliance has taken place. See Proving compliance – not just attendance for more on this.

4. Assessments can give early warning of problems before they impact. With increasing fines, e.g. for corruption, this matters. To quote the UK Ministry of Justice:

“Staff surveys, questionnaires and feedback from training can also provide an important source of information on effectiveness and a means by which employees and other associated persons can inform continuing improvement of anti-bribery policies.”

5. Assessments can reduce time spent in unnecessary training by allowing capable employees to “test out” of compliance training. See Save Time by Testing Out of Compliance Training? for more on this.

6. As readers of this blog will be aware, online assessments help employees learn and help you direct where they need to learn. Most successful organizations don’t just train for the sake of compliance: they use compliance mandated training for business advantage by increasing employee skill and service levels.

7. Trying to get the information you need from your employees to prove compliance would be much more expensive and costly and error-prone without online assessment!

For more on this topic, click here.

Explaining Auto-Sensing and Auto-Sizing of Assessments

jim_small

Posted by Jim Farrell

One of my favorite new features in Questionmark Perception is Auto-Sensing and Auto-Sizing. This sounds important, but what does it mean?

When delivering an assessment, Perception version 5 auto-senses the participant’s device and browser, then delivers the assessment formatted appropriately for the device/browser’s requirements. Perception’s new “on the fly” auto-sizing dynamically adjusts and sizes the “screen furniture” and “skin” of an assessment – the buttons, controls and template graphics — so they fit (and look great) on just about any screen size or resolution imaginable.

image

Why is this important? In short, these new features take the guesswork out of blended delivery and enable you to author an assessment once, schedule it once and then deliver it in as many different ways as you like. I’ve put together a short video explaining how this works.

Want to experience some the new participant experience improvements?  Go here – either from your desktop, laptop or smartphone! http://www.questionmark.com/go/v5delivery

Learn more about Perception version 5 at the Questionmark Users Conference March 14 – 17.

Perception Version 5 Streamlines Blended Delivery & Enhances Accessibility

Joan Phaup

Posted by Joan Phaup

Excellent news: Questionmark Perception Version 5 is now available for you to download and try out!

This newest version of Perception makes the participant experience better than ever and brings enhanced security, scalability, deliverability, accessibility and translatability. Now it is easier than to deploy surveys, quizzes, tests and exams to an increasingly mobile, global and diverse audience.

Version 5 makes it simpler to deliver a single assessment to many different types of devices and manage the combined results all together. Questionmark takes the guesswork out of blended delivery by auto-sensing each device and delivering assessments to it in the right format, automatically. Whether your assessment is taken on  desktops, laptops, smart phones and other mobile devices — or embedded within wikis, blogs or Web pages — you can manage all the results together.

Here are some  key things to look for in Perception Version 5:

  • A new logon and assessment list screen that make it easier for participants to find assessments, view schedules, reports and other information.
  • Easier navigation through assessments and ready access to embedded tools such as calculators and charts
  • Outstanding accessibility tools and ease of use with assistive technologies
  • Multilingual participant interfaces available in 20 languages
  • Streamlined management of multilingual assessments
  • Enhanced failsafe functionality to protect data if an internet connection is lost
  • Greater scalability including easier deployment in load-balanced environments

Perception’s new logon and assessment list screen makes it easier for participants to find assessments, view schedules, reports and other information. It’s also easier to navigate through assessments and access embedded tools such as calculators, and enhanced failsafe functionality protects data if an internet connection is lost.

Version 5 includes new options for improving the accessibility of assessments. It is easy to use with assistive technologies such as screen readers, and participants with low or partial vision can adjust text size and contrast. Participants unable to use a mouse can now navigate assessments via keyboard and/or other devices.

There’s even an optional Translation Management System to help test publishers, businesses and other organizations that need to deliver assessments in multiple languages by streamlining the management and delivery of localized content to multinational workforces.

As you can see, it’s impossible to tell all about Perception Version 5 in this space. So click on these links to learn more!

If you really want to get up to speed on Version 5, come to the Questionmark Users  Conference in Miami March 14 -17 and attend the tech training sessions that will focus on it!