Limit item exposure with “Avoid Previously Delivered Questions”

Posted by Brian McNamara

When you’re allowing a participant multiple attempts on a quiz or test, you might want to be able to deliver ‘new’ questions to the participant each time that he or she takes the assessment. In other words, you might wish to ensure that the participant doesn’t get the same question on subsequent attempts — particularly if your assessment is drawing questions from a large item bank.

Questionmark authors can select “Avoid Previously Delivered Questions” when creating an assessment that draws questions at random from a particular topic.  This option is available when choosing items in the assessment editor or assessment wizard:

Once you select this option for a particular assessment, participants who have multiple attempts on the assessment will not be delivered the same item on subsequent attempts.

This feature can be useful for both quizzes designed to assist in the learning process as well as for medium and higher stakes assessments where administrators are looking to limit item exposure to candidates.

Paper-Free Smile Sheets, Real-time Insight

Posted by Brian McNamara

Last week was Questionmark’s 10th annual Users Conference – and the eighth one that I’ve personally been able to attend. At each of the previous conferences I’ve attended, I’ve been asked the same question: Why are you doing paper evaluations when you’re an online assessment company?

We actually had a very good reason: our main interest in doing session evaluations was to maximize the quality and quantity of the feedback that we received. If you wanted to maximize response rates, you had to make it as EASY as possible to answer the survey.  For smile sheets, paper trumped online… until now.

Enter the second decade of the 21st century:

  • Smartphones equipped with cameras are commonplace – many of us couldn’t imagine leaving home without ours.
  • QR Codes embedding website URLs are easy to come by, too: at grocery/department stores and malls, on billboards, in magazines, brochures, you name it.
  • QR Code- reading software, which essentially turns your Smartphone into a hand-held scanner, is freely available.
  • Questionmark’s auto-sensing, auto-sizing assessment delivery engine enables a single assessment to be delivered reliably and effectively on many different browsers and platforms – PC or mobile – without any extra steps for the author or administrator. Plus, you can capture key demographic information to the assessment results from an assessment URL.

Delegates at the 2012 Users Conference had two choices for providing session evaluation feedback: scan a QR code with their mobile and answer the survey online, or fill out a paper form (which would be scanned and uploaded via Questionmark Printing and Scanning following the event).

For those using mobiles, scanning the QR code would launch the assessment. The intro screen would display the name of the session they had just attended (just to be sure they scanned the right code).

While I was happy that the mobile smile sheet delivery would ease the burden of post-conference scanning and uploading of results, it was particularly useful to get a real-time view on how delegates were reacting to sessions – during the conference we ran our Course Summary report (see below) a few times a day to get a sense of which sessions were bringing the most benefit to our customers.

This was the first year we offered this option, and I was pleased to see to that more than 20% of all the session evals submitted were done via mobile device! Next year we’ll shoot for 80% and for 100% in 2014!  Paper-free and loving it!

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.

Conducting Observational Assessments: New Feature in Questionmark

Posted by Brian McNamara

We’re very pleased to announce the availability of a new feature available for users of Questionmark OnDemand:  Observational Assessments.

We’re all familiar with how traditional tests and quizzes work:  we are presented with questions and submit our answers for scoring.  Observational assessments work a little differently:  an observation of the participant is conducted, and the “observer” then answers questions to rate the participant’s performance, skills or knowledge.  For example, in a workplace setting an observational assessment could be used to measure and record how well an employee performs a certain task, rating areas such as skills, safety practices and adherence to required procedures.

The new feature we’ve introduced enables observers to log in to Questionmark Perception OnDemand, select the desired assessment, select which participant is to be rated, and then complete the assessment. Questionmark’s existing “Coaching Report” provides an ideal mechanism for sharing results and feedback from Observational Assessments with stakeholders.

In many cases, conducting an observational assessment requires mobility – and we’re excited that the many new mobile delivery features and Apps introduced this year really add to the flexibility of how and where you can now conduct these assessments via Questionmark.

I invite you to take a couple of minutes to watch this video, which provides a brief conceptual overview followed by a short demonstration of how Questionmark Perception is used to deliver and report on this type of assessments.

New Questionmark App for Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch now available at iTunes!

Posted by Brian McNamara

Are you one of the millions of people with a new iPad?  Or one of the thousands of people waiting in line outside an Apple store today – about to get your hands on a shiny new iPhone 4?  If you’re not, chances are that many of the participants who take your assessments are.

So we are delighted to announce that version 2 of the Questionmark App – which enables streamlined assessment delivery via the Apple® iPad™, iPhone® and iPod touch® — is now officially available for download from the iTunes store.  In addition to adding support for the Apple iPad, the new version is completely configurable, — so your participants can access assessments scheduled for them in your Questionmark Perception v5 repository.

If you don’t have Questionmark Perception v5 yet, you can still try this new app – simply install it and choose the “demo” option, and the app will let you try out several assessments available from Questionmark’s demonstration site.

For more info about the Questionmark App and where to download it, click here.

Using SharePoint and Questionmark Together

Posted by Brian McNamara

Over the past few months this blog has featured several examples of how you can easily embed assessments intimately within learning and informational content to help focus attention on key points and provide real-time feedback.  Today we’ll take a look a look at how to access Questionmark assessments from Microsoft SharePoint, a platform used by thousands of corporate, government and academic organizations and which is increasingly used to manage and provide access to learning content.Snapshot of assessment embedded into SharePoint

There are several ways you can use SharePoint and Questionmark Perception together:

  • Embed a quiz or survey in a SharePoint portal page, wiki or blog.
  • Provide single sign-on access to assessments – allowing participants to view and launch Questionmark assessments assigned to them from within SharePoint.

This is possible:

– Using a standard SharePoint page-viewer web part (if your organization uses Windows authentication)
– Using Questionmark’s SharePoint Connector. Learn about the connector.

To see how this would look, see a snapshot of an assessment embedded within SharePoint.

Check out this How-to on our developer Web site for more details.
To learn about Questionmark’s SharePoint Connector, click here.