Need Customized Reports? Try Out Our OData API

Sample Attempt Distribution

Sample Attempt Distribution Reportlet

Joan Phaup 2013 (3)Posted by Joan Phaup

The standard reports and analytics that our customers use to evaluate assessment results meet a great many needs, but some occasions call for customized reports. The Questionmark OData API makes it possible to access data securely and create dynamic assessment reports using third-party business intelligence tools.

Once these reports are set up, they provide a flow of data, updating the results as new data becomes available. OData also makes it possible to cross-reference your assessment data with another data source  to get a fuller picture of what’s happening in your organization.

My recent interview with Austin Fossey goes into more detail about this, but you explore this idea yourself thanks to the OData tutorials and dashboards  on Questionmark’s Open Assessment Platform for developers.

The site provides example open source code to show how your organization could provide reportlets displaying key performance indicators from many types of assessment data.  The examples demonstrate these sample reportlets:

  • Attempt Distribution
  • PreTest PostTest
  • Score Correlation
  • Distribution

Questionmark OnDemand customers can plug in their own data to create their own reportlets, and developers can use tutorials to get detailed instructions about connecting to OData, retrieving data and creating charts.

You can also learn a lot about the power of OData at the upcoming Questionmark Users Conference in San Antonio March 4 – 7, so we hope you’ll join us there!

Securing online assessment content, exam results and personal information

Joan Phaup 2013 (3)Posted by Joan Phaup

How safe are your online assessment content and exam results?
How secure is the personal information you store?
How would a data breach impact your organization’s reputation?

Secure test delivery and painstaking protection of data are crucial for successful online testing and assessment programs.

Find out in this video about the many measures we take to provide a secure assessment platform and keep information safe.

You will find more information in the Questionmark White Paper, Delivering Assessments Safely and Securely


Early-bird savings on conference registration end today: Sign up now!

Joan Phaup 2013 (3)Posted by Joan Phaup

Just a reminder that you can save $200 if you register today for the Questionmark 2014 Users Conference.

We look forward to seeing you March 4 – 7 in San Antonio, Texas, for three intensive days of learning and networking.

Check out the conference program as it continues to take shape, and sign up today!

This conference truly is the best place to learn about our technologies, improve your assessments and discuss best practices with Questionmark staff, industry experts and your colleagues. But don’t take my word for it. Let these attendees at the 2013 tell you what they think:



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.

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.

Integrating your LMS with Questionmark OnDemand just got easier!

Steve Lay Headshot

Posted by Steve Lay

Last year I wrote about the impact that the IMS LTI standard could have on the way people integrate their LMS with external tools.

I’m pleased to say that we have just released our own LTI Connector for Questionmark OnDemand. The connector makes it easy to integrate your LMS with your Questionmark repository. Just enter some security credentials to set up the trusted relationships and your instructors are ready to start embedding assessments directly into the learning experience.

Moodle TestBy using a standard, the LTI connector enables a wide range of LMSs to be integrated in the same way. Many of them have LTI support built in directly too, so you won’t have to install additional software or request optional plugins from your LMS hosting provider.

You can read more about how to use the LTI connector with Questionmark OnDemand on our website: Questionmark Connectors.

You can also find out which tools are currently supporting the LTI standard from the IMS Conformance Certification page (which we hope to be joining shortly).

From Content to Tool Provider

The LTI standard, in many ways, does a similar job to the older SCORM and AICC standards. It provides a mechanism for an LMS to launch a student into an activity and for that activity to pass performance information (outcomes) back to the LMS to be recorded in their learning record.

Both the SCORM and AICC standards were designed with content portability in mind, before the Web became established. As a result, they defined the concept of a package of content that has to be published and ‘physically’ moved to the LMS to be run. The LMS became a player of the content.

Contrast this approach with that of IMS LTI. In LTI, the activity is provided by an external Tool Provider. The Tool Provider is hosted on the web and is identified by a simple URL; there is no publishing required! When the Tool’s URL is placed into the LMS, along with appropriate security credentials, the link is made. Now the student just follows an embedded link to the Tool Provider’s website where they interact with the activity directly. The two websites communicate via web services (much like AICC) to pass back information about outcomes.

The result is simpler and more secure! It is no wonder that the LTI specification has been adopted so quickly by the community.