Integrating with other systems: video tutorials

Julie Delazyn HeadshotPosted by Julie Delazyn

Although you can use Questionmark as a stand-alone Assessment Management System (AMS), it also integrates seamlessly with other key systems – everything from learning management systems and content management systems to portals and scanning technologies.

Questionmark Connectors make these integrations possible.

Some of these, such as the Blackboard Connector, the SAP Connector and the SharePoint Connector, are designed for use with specific systems.

We also support integrations with LTI-, AICC– and SCORM-compliant systems.

You can find video tutorials about many of these connectors in the Questionmark web site. There you’ll find videos on integrating with Moodle, SuccessFactors and Cornerstone OnDemand, as well as other systems such as SharePoint, Canvas, and Ning.

Here is a sneak peak – click to view each video:

blackboardcornerstonesharepoint9-3-2014 10-06-56 AM

Integrating and Connectors – Moodle

Doug Peterson HeadshotPosted By Doug Peterson

This installment of the Integrating and Connectors series focuses on Moodle. Technically, it’s really about the Questionmark LTI Connector and how it can be used to integrate with Moodle. (We’ll take a look at integrating with Canvas using the LTI Connector in a future installment.)

LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability. LTI is a specification published by the IMS Global Learning Consortium with the goal of providing a way for different learning tools to talk to each other and work together. Moodle (a Learning Management System, or LMS) and Questionmark (an Assessment Management System, or AMS) integrating their functionality is a perfect example of the concept.

So far in this series, we’ve looked at using SCORM or AICC to do a simple launch-and-track, and in the case of SuccessFactors, a simple Single Sign On (SSO) from the Learning LMS into the Questionmark Enterprise Manager. This is a very high-level integration. The assessment is simply launched and reports back to the source of the launch. The SuccessFactors SSO requires some manual intervention to set up an admin ID within Questionmark – the connection doesn’t just happen “automagically”. The LTI Connector allows for a much deeper integration.

As you’ll see in this video, once the LTI Connector is configured in the Moodle environment, a Moodle instructor can log into Moodle and add a Questionmark assessment to a course – from within Moodle, without having to have an ID and password and log into Questionmark at all.

Similarly, a student can log into Moodle and launch a Questionmark assessment – again, from within Moodle, without a second set of credentials. Furthermore, an instructor can also use Questionmark’s authoring and reporting functionality – you guessed it – all from within Moodle.

The LTI Connector allows for a deep integration with Moodle, giving the instructor and student a seamless experience in what behaves to them like a single environment, even though they are actually moving back and forth between Moodle and Questionmark.

qm and moodle vid

Learning Tools Interoperability fulfills its promise!

Posted by Steve Lay

In previous blog posts I’ve discussed the new specification that the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) has been working on called Learning Tools Interoperability or LTI for short.  See my first post on this subject here and the later update here.

In March, IMS released the final version of the specification.  This clears up any confusion between the earlier variants (Basic and Simple have been used as prefixes in the past) and sets a single standard for embedding tools in learning management systems (LMS) and portals.  The final specification also introduced an important new feature: a method of returning grade information from the tool to the LMS gradebook.

At Questionmark we have developed a number of connectors for integrating with popular learning management systems and portals, such as Blackboard and Moodle.  LTI provides us with an opportunity to replace those connectors with a unified approach to integration, so I can’t wait to get started with the new specification.

To this end we are now working on adding LTI support to our own software.  I recently attended an IMS workshop called “Creating Enterprise Aware, Multiplatform Apps with IMS Interoperability”.  At this workshop we heard about the latest developments in both IMS Common Cartridge and IMS LTI.  It was a great to meet some of the key people in the community and take a deep-dive on some of the technical details involved in implementing the specifications.

So how will Questionmark integrate using LTI?

In LTI terminology there are tool providers and tool consumers.  A tool consumer is typically an LMS or other type of portal that deals with user registration and assignment to courses where learning and assessment activities are aggregated.  A tool provider is a web-based service that provides a specialized experience to the learner such as an assessment.

Our first steps with LTI are aimed particularly at users of the Moodle LMS, though anyone with access to a web server running PHP and a suitable database will be able to integrate this way.  We’ve teamed up with an LTI specialist, Dr Stephen Vickers, to create an open source Community Edition connector that makes it easy for Moodle users to talk to Questionmark software using the new LTI protocol.  The project is hosted on the OSCELOT community development system.

This is just the beginning for Questionmark and LTI – so stay tuned for more updates on the role LTI will play in future Questionmark assessment technology solutions!


Passing Demographics from Moodle to Questionmark Perception Surveys

It’s easy to link external resources to Moodle courses using resource links. This technique can be used to launch assessments and surveys in Questionmark Perception. But you can also pass demographic information from Moodle to Perception this way!

In this video I show you how:

Embedding Questionmark Assessments in Moodle

Embedded assessment in a Moodle pageEmbed a Questionmark Perception assessment, survey or quiz within your Moodle page.

  • To see how this would look, see a snapshot of an assessment embedded within a Moodle page.
  • Check out this How-to on our developer Web site.
  • Moodle™ is an open-source e-learning software application that uses a modular design, and is designed to help educators create effective online learning sites. Moodle is free to download and use, and can be run on Windows, Mac OS X, UNIX, or Linux servers. You can easily include your Perception assessments within Moodle in various ways.

Conference Close-up: Technical Standards and Questionmark’s Open Assessment Platform

Posted by Joan Phaup

The program for the  Questionmark Users Conference is full of informative sessions about everything from item and tests analysis analytics to techniques for writing assessments measure skill and ability as well as knowledge. Questionmark Intetegration Team Lead Steve Lay will conduct a session on Technical Standards and Questionmark’s Open Assessment Platform.

Q: What’s your role at Questionmark?

Steve Lay

A: I’m the Integration Team Lead, so I look after all aspects of the product  concerned with integrating Questionmark with other systems — both within an organization and over the Internet.  I am Product Owner for our Connector products, which enable integrations of Questionmark Perception with other key systems such as Sharepoint Portal Server, Blackboard, Moodle and others. And I am heading our Open Assessment Platform Initiative.

Q: You just mentioned the Open Assessment Platform. How would you describe that?

A: We’re creating a software platform as a way of making Questionmark the perfect complement to other systems people have within their organizations. We are documenting, in an open way, how you can interact with Questionmark software at both the Web service and Web development level to make integration projects go smoothly and easily.

Q: What standards will you be discussing during your Best Practices session?

A:  I am going to be talking about some of the standards in development now that we are are looking at as having the potential for support in the future.  The IMS Global Learning Consortium, for example, are in the process of publishing an interesting specification about how learning tools can be put together – learning tools interoperability.  I will also be talking about standards for exchanging data about people, IMS Learning Information Services and specifications from HR-XML — and the possibilities they open up for synchronizing people and organizational information with Perception. I’m also be going to talk about some of the more generic standards that might be having an impact on us too, such as XHTML 5 and the emerging standards for authentication and authorization such as OpenID and OAuth.  And of course, I’ll be touching on SCORM, too, although I will also be co-facilitating a separate discussion devoted entirely to the future of SCORM with Daniel Rehak from Advanced Distributed Learning.

Q: How do you see people using the information they learn in your session?

A: I hope people get a deeper understanding of what’s happening in some of these developments and take that back into their own organizations in order to figure out the impact the standards will have on them. As well as providing feedback to Questionmark, I’d like them to feel able to talk about their requirements with all their suppliers and understand how they can influence the ongoing standards process. I hope people take a way more than just the acronyms and what they stand for – I’d like them to get some ideas about how they might start conversations within their own organizations to help them prepare for future adoption.

Q:  What are you looking forward to most at the conference?

A: Of course, like every Product Owner, I’m looking forward to meeting all the new and returning customers!  It will be good opportunity to talk in a little more depth with people about integration issues, how they are thinking of using the new version of Perception and what opportunities our Open Assessment Platform presents. I have to add that I’m looking forward to a bit of sunshine as well!

Learn more about the many  conference activities by visiting www.questionmark.com/go/conference. And register soon to attend the conference, which will take place March 14 – 17 in Miami.