Using the Success Case Method with Questionmark Perception, part 2

john_smallPosted by John Kleeman

In a previous blog post, I explained the Brinkerhoff Success Case Method (SCM), which is a way of conducting training evaluation by finding examples of success or failure. You then do to the people who have experienced success or failure, and use these to identify the potential of a new training program. It’s particularly effective to identify early on whether a new initiative is successful and what its potential is.

A key step in the SCM is that you need to identify the participants who’ve been successful, usually via a survey. Questionmark Perception provides a great way of sending such a survey that participants can respond to quickly and easily which identifies how successful they’ve been in applying the training course in their jobs.

For example, following a training program to train someone in a new tool, you might name some possible business applications of the tool, and then ask a 4-point Likert scale question on each application, perhaps:

Have you used the training to get some specific benefit

  • Yes and had clear and concrete positive results
  • Yes but no clear results yet
  • To some extent but don’t expect any results
  • Have not applied the training in this area at all

Participants who give the first choice on a few different applications are candidates for success interviews, and candidates who answer the last two choices are candidates for failure interviews. The main purpose of the survey is to identify success and failure candidates for interview, but a secondary purpose can be to look at the overall results and see how successful overall the program has been as rated by participants.

This is an example of a Perception assessment to ask questions like this.

Pretend you are a respondent who answers it, and you’ll see whether you are a candidate for an interview. You can take it more than once by clicking on Next Assessment at the end of one attempt. Such an assessment could be delivered inside a wiki or blog posting like this, or pushed to respondents via an email link or other system.

In comparison to other methods of evaluation, the Success Case Method is very quick and inexpensive to do, and seems an interesting way of evaluating training.  And Questionmark seems a great way of delivering SCM surveys.

I’d welcome feedback from anyone who tries the Success Case Method with Questionmark software.

Translatability in Questionmark Perception Version 5

john_smallPosted by John Kleeman

Making assessments and questions translatable was a key goal for Questionmark Perception version 5.

There always has been a need to translate assessments, particularly in countries like Switzerland and Canada, which have have different languages within their borders. But the Internet has made the world much more connected, and so many organizations have employees and stakeholders in different countries or speaking different languages. Some typical translation needs that fed into version 5 were:

  • A bank that operates in many parts of the world and wants to deliver course evaluation surveys (level 1s) to participants in training in many languages. It’s crucial for them that they can schedule the assessment and allow their participants to choose the language in which the assessment is taken
  • A telephone company that trains employees in Europe and wants to give similar questions to all employees. They want to author the questions once and then translate them for use by training teams in each country.
  • A university that creates and delivers questions in English but is expanding internationally, is in partnership with universities overseas and wants to translate some of its material into other languages
  • A software company that deliver certifications to consultants and partners worldwide in around 20 languages and needs assessments and questions translated so that the certifications can be given fairly to anyone who speaks the languages they support.
  • A manufacturing support company that authors questions in English and then translates them into 8 European and Asian languages for delivery to their partners and employees worldwide.

Some customers use external translators and want Questionmark to export XML that translators can use in specialist tools, whilst other customers have internal expertise and want to translate in house and need screens within Questionmark Perception to make the translations themselves. For all customers, it’s not just the initial translation that they need help with but the management of the process. When questions change, if you have them translated into a dozen language, it’s a nightmare to keep track manually of what needs updated, and Questionmark software needs to flag when a question has changed and remind you to update the translation.

The basic concept of Questionmark’s translation management system is that you create a question in a base language and then translate it into as many target languages as you want. And then you do the same with an assessment.


Questions and assessments are linked so that you can report across language.

And to do the translation, you can translate in Perception by typing in the text in a simple user interface shown below.


Translating within Questionmark Perception works well if you have an in-house translator, but if you are working with external translators, it’s usually best to export to XML and send them the text to translate – and they will return it to you to import into Perception. Text is exported in an industry standard XML called XLIFF that standard software packages used by translators can process.

Whether you translate interactively or by export to XML, Questionmark keeps track of when questions change in the base language and prompts you to update translations to keep translated questions up to date. So we help you not just manage the initial translation process, but also the ongoing process of translations as questions and assessments change and evolve.

We’re very excited about how easy it is to translate questions in Perception version 5, and we look forward to your feedback as you use it to create quizzes, tests, exams and surveys that can be used in many languages.