Conference Wrap Up: Tips, Advice & Pictures from Napa

Julie Delazyn HeadshotPosted by Julie Delazyn

flickrThe Questionmark Users Conference is the most important learning event of the year. With over a dozen sessions to attend and topics ranging from penetration testing to measuring and understanding your assessment results, there is so much knowledge packed within three days.

Assessment security was an important topic at the Conference in Napa. Questionmark Chairman John Kleeman took to the blog last week to lay out some security advice he heard from attendees. You can check out his blog post, Assessment Security: 5 Tips from Napa, to learn more.

Frequent blog contributor, Psychometrician and Reporting and Analytics Manager, Austin Fossey, presented a number of  sessions at the conference this year. According to Austin, “regardless of their individual roles or organizations’ goals, Questionmark users are first and foremost measurement professionals.” Impressed by our customers’ commitment to look for ways to always improve their measurements, validity, and impact for stakeholders, Austin wrote a blog post highlighting some of the example that struck him. You can read more about the stories he heard from our customers about their assessment programs in his blog post: 2015 Users Conference – A Gathering of Measurement Professionals.

If you did not have a chance to attend the Conference in Napa, there is always next year! Look out for dates and a special location announcement on the blog. For those of you who attended and would like to relive some of the special moments spent in Napa, you can check out the pictures now on our Flickr page. The photos highlight moments from the conference as well as from our special evening event at Markham Winery.

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Measuring the Effectiveness of Social and Informal Learning

Posted by Julie Delazyn

How you can use assessments to measure the effectiveness of informal learning?  If people are learning at different times, in different ways and without structure, how do you know it’s happening? And how can you justify investment in social and informal learning initiatives?

The 70+20+10 model of learning – which explains that we learn 70% on-the-job, 20% from others and 10% from formal study – brings out the importance of informal learning initiatives. But the effectiveness of such initiatives needs to be measured, and there needs to be proof that people are performing better as a result of their participation in social and informal learning.

This SlideShare presentation:  Measuring the Impact of Social and Informal Learning, explains various approaches to testing and measuring learning for a new generation of students and workers.  We hope you will use it to gather some new ideas about how to answer these important questions about learning:  Did they like it? Did they learn it? Are they doing it?



Top 5 Questionmark Blog Posts of 2013

Headshot JuliePosted by Julie Delazyn

We use this blog to share everything from research findings and tips on best practices to technology updates and success stories related to assessment and measurement.

I frequently read and answer comments  from LinkedIn,Facebook, Twitter and Google+ about the value of these posts as well as the ways in which they are being shared and used.

To welcome the New Year, we took a look to see the five most requested posts in 2013. Here they are, in no particular order:

Feel free to comment, share and let us know in which ways these have helped you!

Case study: streamlining training with cloud-based assessments

Joan Phaup HeadshotPosted by Joan Phaup

We love to feature customer case studies about using Questionmark technologies in innovative ways. Founded in 1968, Spaulding for Children is of the first child welfare agencies in the country to specialize in finding and training adoptive families for special needs children. Believing that every child is born with the right to a loving home and family, the agency works closely with other organizations to improve the lives of children who have Logo-spauldingsuffered abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

More than 800 trainers affiliated with the agency collect evaluations from learners including social workers, care providers and others involved in adoption, foster care and related services.

Having moved from paper-based surveys to Questionmark Perception several years ago, Spaulding recently switched to the Questionmark OnDemand software-as-a-service platform. This change to cloud-based assessments has freed staff from dealing with technology. This in turn has given them more time to look after their core responsibilities.

For a more details, check out our case study.

Learning Café: Video to help you align learning solutions with strategic goals

Headshot JuliePosted by Julie Delazyn

We’re thrilled to be continuously adding rich new material to our Learning Café.

“How-to” videos and brief presentations about best practices, will give you valuable pointers about authoring, delivery and integration.

For instance, here’s a video that will make your learning initiatives more relevant and effective. It describes the A-model, which provides a framework for progressing from analysis and design right through to measurement and evaluation — using solid, results-based guidance for developing effective learning programs that serve organizational goals.

Watch the video on Learning Café and download a white paper about the A-model


Assessment types and their uses: summative assessments

Posted by Julie Delazyn

To use assessments effectively, it’s important to understand their context and uses within the learning process.

Over the past few weeks I have written about diagnostic assessments, formative assessments and needs assessments. My last post in this series is about summative assessments.

Typical uses:

  • Measuring or certifying knowledge, skills and aptitudes (KSAs)
  • Providing a quantitative grade and making a judgment about a person’s knowledge, skills and achievement
  • Determining whether the examinee meets the predetermined standard for specialized expertise
  • Determining a participant’s level of performance at a particular time


  • Licensing exams
  • Certification tests
  • Pre-employment tests
  • Academic entrance exams
  • Post-course tests
  • Exams during study

Medium, High


Summative assessments are easy to explain: they sum up the knowledge or the skills of the person taking the test. This type of assessment provides a quantitative grade and makes a judgment about a person’s knowledge, skills and achievement. A typical example would be a certification that a technician must pass in order to install and/or do repairs on a particular piece of machinery. In passing the certification exam, a candidate proves his or her understanding of the machinery.

For more details about assessments and their uses check out the white paper, Assessments Through the Learning Process. You can download it free here, after login. Another good source for testing and assessment terms is our glossary.