The SIF Association’s Assessment Life Cycle

julie-smallPosted by Julie Delazyn

While educators rely on a wide range of technologies, their primary focus and strength is teaching. Having  data systems that work together seamlessly supports them in their efforts and helps drive innovation.

The SIF (Schools Interoperability Framework) Association is working to make this happen. SIF, whose members include software vendors as well as federal, state and local educators, has been defining specifications for efficient, accurate and automatic data movement between applications.

Enhancing interoperability options between assessment management systems is an important part of this. Questionmark’s CEO, Eric Shepherd, wrote about this aspect of SIF’s work in a recent post on his own blog. He drills down into the processes involved in six key data-consuming/generating activities within the life cycle and how they relate to each other:

  • Content Development
  • Pre-Test Administration
  • Test Administration
  • Scoring
  • Reporting
  • Post-Test Administration

To read more about SIF’s assessment life cycle, click here to read the whole post. If this and other topics about assessment and learning interest you, check out Eric’s blog.

The Value of Open Standards

julie-smallPosted by Julie Delazyn

We can hardly imagine navigating through our daily tasks without social technologies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on. We constantly use them to connect with colleagues and share information – activities that hold a lot of value for learning and assessment communities as well as for individuals! But how do these networks communicate data and information in ways that seems so effortless?

Questionmark CEO Eric Shepherd’s latest blog post, Open Standards, notes how interoperability standards enable us to log in safely to our accounts, work with apps and send information back and forth. He describes several important elements that are defined by open standards:

  • Data
  • Signatures
  • Orchestration
  • Transfer Protocol
  • Wire Line Transport

To illustrate the value of these technologies, Eric highlights OpenID and OAuth and muses on the capabilities these open standards can bring to the world of learning and assessment.

If these and other topics about assessment and learning interest you, check out Eric’s blog .

Socializing Learning Environments

julie-smallPosted by Julie Delazyn

“Social agents” –- the technologies that make it easy for us to  “follow” and/or “share” with people we’re connected to online — help personalize our web experience and link up with those who share our interests.

In a blog post called  “Socializing Learning Environments,” our CEO, Eric Shepherd, asks how we might extend the use of social agents to provide individualized learning resources. By adding the functions of “searching”, “finding” and “learning” to the existing capabilities of social agents, could we produce searches that bring appropriate resources to learners? And how would we ensure that those resources match up with a learner’s delivery platform? What role can assessments play in making all of this happen? If these and other questions about assessment and learning interest you, check out Eric’s blog.