Multilingual Approach Includes Videos

Julie Delazyn HeadshotPosted by Julie Delazyn

Questionmark customers are spread across the globe, and so it’s important for us that our product is multilingual. Here are some of the features available:

Now, we’ve added an extra resource: two new playlists on Questionmark’s YouTube channel, which feature testimonials, tutorials, overview videos and how-to’s in both Portuguese and Spanish:

Browse, watch and enjoy!

Questionmark en Espanol

Questionmark em Português

 

Integrating and Connectors – Cornerstone OnDemand

Doug Peterson HeadshotPosted By Doug Peterson

In my last Integrating and Connectors blog post, I noted that there are two ways that Questionmark can integrate with other systems:
1.    Using a dedicated connector, or
2.    By publishing an assessment as a SCORM or AICC content package and importing that package into your LMS.

Over the next several blog posts, I will present short videos giving examples of different integration approaches. Let’s start by looking at publishing a SCORM or AICC content package from Questionmark and importing it into an LMS, in this case, Cornerstone OnDemand.

This approach will work with just about any quality LMS available. The particulars of importing and setting up a content package will differ from LMS to LMS, but the overall approach and benefits are the same.

 

What’s new in the Blackboard Connector?

Steve Lay HeadshotPosted by Steve Lay

We recently published an updated version of our Blackboard Connector for Blackboard Learn 9.1. This version contains some compatibility improvements but is mainly to introduce support for more roles in the synchronization process.

Blackboard Learn supports the IMS LTI protocol so, in theory, you could integrate directly to Questionmark OnDemand without the custom building block.

Our development focus is definitely towards replacing the block, eventually, with an LTI-based solution, however, at the moment the building block provides more functionality than the LTI protocol allows so we’re recommending that Blackboard customers stick with the connector. That doesn’t mean development of the Connector has stopped though, as this latest version demonstrates.

Synchronizing Users

The Blackboard Connector contains synchronization logic which ensures that users of courses are synchronized with users and groups in the Questionmark repository. This synchronization is automatic and controllable using options in the Connector. It is possible to achieve some interesting use cases such as restricting access to the block on a course-by-course basis by controlling groups in your Questionmark repository. This level of control is not available in the LMS itself.

Until recently, we only supported three roles: Students, Instructors and Teaching Assistants. Students automatically become Questionmark participants and the other two roles are mapped to administrator profiles created in the repository. If either of the administrator profiles were missing, all users would be denied access to the Connector.

In the latest version, the situation is more controllable. Not only can you synchronize Course Builders and Graders too, but you can turn synchronization on or off for any of the default LMS roles simply by creating or deleting the corresponding profile in Questionmark Enterprise Manager.

A streamlined system for survey administration and reporting

Joan Phaup 2013 (3)Posted by Joan Phaup

It’s great to talk to customers who will be presenting case studies at the Questionmark 2014 Users Conference. They all bring to their presentations the lessons they’ve learned from experience.

Conference participants have always taken a keen interest in how to use surveys effectively, so I was quite interested to find out from Scott Bybee, a training manager from Verizon who will be talking at the conference about Leveraging Questionmark’s Survey Capabilities Within a Multi-system Model.

What will you be sharing during your conference presentation?

A lot of it will be about how our surveys, which are mostly Level 1 evaluations for training events and Level 3 self-assessments. I will tell how we can use one generic survey template for all the courses that are being evaluated. We do this by passing parameters from our LMS into the special fields in Questionmark. I’ll also talk about how we integrate data from our LMS with the survey data to create detailed reports in a custom reporting system we built: We have everything we need to get very specific demographic reporting out of the system.

Scott Bybee

Scott Bybee

How is this approach helping you?

This system integrates reporting for all level 1 and 3 surveys. This provides us a single solution for all of our training-related reporting needs. Prior to this, we had to collect data from multiple systems and manually tie it all together. Before, we had a lot of different surveys being used by the business. It became hard to match up results due to variances in questions. With this approach, everyone sees the same set of questions and the quality of the reporting is much higher.

The alternative would have been to collect demographic information using drop-down lists, which we’d have to constantly update and maintain. There’s also the issue of the participant possibly choosing the wrong options from the drop-downs. This way, we are passing everything along for them. They can’t make a mistake. Another advantage is that automatically including that information means it takes less time for them to complete the survey.

Do you have a key piece of advice about how to get truly useful data from surveys?

Make sure you are asking the right kinds of questions and are not trying to put too much into one question. Also, consider passing information directly from your LMS into Questionmark, so participants can’t make a mistake filling out a drop-down.

What do you hope people will take away from your session?

I hope they find out there are some really creative ways to use Questionmark to get what you want. For instance, we realized that by using Perception Integration Protocol (PIP), we could pass in all the variables needed for user-interface as well as alignment with back-end reporting.  I also want them to appreciate how much can be done by tying different systems together. The investment to make Questionmark work for surveys as well as assessments dramatically increased our return on investment (ROI).

What do you hope to take away from the conference?

This will be my fourth one to go to. Every time I go I learn something from the people who are there – things I’d never even thought about. I want to learn from people who are using the tool in innovative ways, and I also want to hear about where things are going in the future.

The conference agenda is taking shape here. You can save $200 if you register for the conference by December 12.

 

Integrating and Connectors – playing nicely with other systems

Doug Peterson HeadshotPosted By Doug Peterson

You’ve just finished putting together the world’s greatest assessment in Questionmark. You also have the world’s greatest Learning Management System (LMS) installed on your company’s network. How do you get the two systems to play nicely together so that your learners can launch the world’s greatest assessment from the world’s greatest LMS?

At first glance, Questionmark appears to be a stand-alone Assessment Management System (AMS), and while it can certainly be used in that fashion, the truth is that Questionmark integrates very nicely with other systems such as SharePoint, an LMS, and even social networking and blogging sites such as Facebook and Ning.

One way that Questionmark integrates with other systems is through the use of connectors. Questionmark has a connector for Blackboard as well as an LTI Connector that can be used with systems like Moodle. We also have a SharePoint Connector – a web part that you can install in your SharePoint system that allows a learner to log into SharePoint and see and launch Questionmark assessments for which they have been scheduled. I encourage you to visit the Questionmark web site, roll your mouse over Learning in the navigation bar and select Learning Café. Under the Featured Videos, click on see all videos and scroll down to the Integration section. There you’ll find videos on integrating with Moodle, SuccessFactors and Cornerstone OnDemand, with more videos on integrating with other systems such as SharePoint, Ning, and Wikispaces coming very soon.

The great thing about integrating with Questionmark is that you don’t need to have a system for which we have provided a specialized connector. Questionmark allows you to publish your assessment into an AICC or SCORM content package, which you can then import into an LMS that uses the SCORM or AICC protocol (which is just about every LMS out there). The assessment is then a content object in the LMS that can be added to a course and launched by student – from the LMS! Be sure to check out these resources for more information on AICC and SCORM:

LTI certification and news from the IMS quarterly meeting

Steve Lay HeadshotPosted by Steve Lay

Earlier this month I travelled to Michigan for the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s quarterly meeting. The meeting was hosted at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the home of “Dr Chuck”, the father of the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) protocol.

I’m pleased to say that, while there, I put our own LTI Connector through the new conformance test suite and we have now been certified against the LTI 1.0 and 1.1 protocol versions.IMS

The new conformance tests re-enforce a subtle change in direction at IMS. For many years the specifications have focused on packaged content that can be moved from system to system. The certification process involved testing this content in its transportable form, matching the data against the format defined by the IMS data specifications. This model works well for checking that content *publishers* are playing by the rules, but it isn’t possible to check if a content player is working properly.

In contrast, the LTI protocol is not moving the content around but integrating and aggregating tools and content that run over the web. This shifts conformance from checking the format of transport packages to checking that online tools, content and the containers used to aggregate them (typically an LMS) are all adhering to the protocol. With a protocol it is much easier to check that both sides are playing by the rules  — so overall interoperability should improve.

In Michigan, the LTI team discussed the next steps with the protocol. Version 2 promises to be backwards-compatible but will also make it much easier to set up the trusted link between the tool consumer (e.g., your LMS) and the tool provider (e.g., Questionmark OnDemand).  IMS are also looking to expand the protocol to enable a deeper integration between the consumer and the provider. For example, the next revision of the protocol will make it easier for an LMS to make a copy of a course while retaining the details of any LTI-based integrations. They are also looking at improving the reporting of outcomes using a little-known part of the Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) specification called QTI Results Reporting.

After many years of being ‘on the shelf’ there is a renewed interest in the QTI specification in general. QTI has been incorporated into the Accessible Portable Item Protocol (APIP) specification that has been used by content publishers involved in the recent US Race to the Top Assessment Program. What does the future of QTI look like?  It is hard to tell at this early stage, but the buzzword in Michigan was definitely EPUB3.