It’s one thing to train, another to prove training

Simone Buchwald Posted by John Kleeman

I recently published an interview in the SAP Community Network with Simone Buchwald, who was the product manager of SAP’s Learning Solution (LMS) when it first came out and now works in the SAP Ecosystem as a consultant at EPI-USE. She shared some information on assessments within SAP and trends in compliance, which I thought readers of this blog might enjoy, here is an extract from the interview:


Why do people use assessment in the SAP Learning Solution (LSO)?

Assessments play a vital role in LSO as they broadly do in every LMS, especially as a big focus for LSO use is compliance management. Assessments are a crucial part of a compliance solution, because organizations have to test and document that people understand what they are supposed to learn.

I remember when I was at SAP and we made contact with Questionmark – we immediately decided that we would not extend the LSO test authoring system much, but would instead suggest Questionmark as the assessment partner tool for LSO because of its strong capabilities.


What is the best way to document training for compliance purposes. Is it okay just to record that someone has been through training or do you need to assess to check understanding?

I see a trend both in regulated and non-regulated environments that it is not enough just to track the completion of training, you also need to validate the understanding of learning.

So I think it is important to check understanding by assessments, both for tracking purposes and in case an auditor wants to see the records. It is one thing to do something, and another to prove it. This even extends nowadays outside of the core regulatory use cases to courses where the company wants to track the completion and the understanding, for example  in sales training to prove the value of the learning for the company.


What trends do you see in compliance; how are things changing?

A lot of the compliance processes that we have seen in the past that have been mandatory in compliance-driven businesses —  like pharmaceuticals, chemicals and mining — we are now seeing also expanding in other industries and customers. For instance we see needs for mandatory training of certain business processes, sometimes imposed by regulation, but sometimes just imposed by the business itself. For example, when organizations roll out equal opportunities training, the company may decide to implement the same process as for compliance-required training – checking who has completed it, checking who has done the assessments and been validated. And often this is driven from internal business needs, not external regulators.

People are seeing the advantage of conducting learning and assessments not just when the regulator requires it, but for their own business purposes.


You can see the full interview here.

A conversation on the value of asking good questions

Joan Phaup

Posted by Joan Phaup

I enjoyed  a blog post by Andy Klee of  Klee Associates about a  recent conversation he’d had with our own John Kleeman, Questionmark’s chairman. Klee, whose organization provides JD Edwards and SAP training and consulting, showed a great deal of interest in how good questions and tests can improve learning outcomes.

Click here to follow their wide-ranging discussion, which covers such topics as the challenge of creating high-quality test questions, the correlation between performance on certification exams and  future job performance, and trends in exam design and administration.

It’s great to see more and more people recognizing that asking questions adds value to learning. If you would like to read more on this subject, check out this paper by Dr Will Thalheimer of Work-Learning Research: The Learning Benefits of Questions.

Sharon Shrock & Bill Coscarelli Interview on Criterion-Referenced Testing

Posted by Joan Phaup

I enjoyed talking recently with Sharon Shrock and Bill Coscarelli, who spoke at the Questionmark 2009 Users Conference. Their keynote address covered the 25 years of progress in Criterion-Referenced Test Development and gave everyone at the conference some excellent background on this increasingly important subject.

I had some questions for them about this topic and am happy to share their answers in this podcast.