Question Mark Program for Assessment

William D. Graziadei GRAZIAWD at SPLAVA.CC.PLATTSBURGH.EDU
Wed Apr 22 17:25:00 EST 1992


I have received several inquiries about Question Mark, an assessement,
tutorial, testing, etc. program, from individuals on several of the 
lists. I thought it might also be of interest to the BioSci community
as well.

------------------------------ Forwarded Message ------------------------------
>Subj:	Question Mark
>
>I read your posting on deos-news about the Assesment & Testing
>program. You seem to know something about it,
>and we would be very gratefull if you could forward any info
>about the software.
>Or maybe you know who we can contact to get such info ?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am in the very *early* stages of its use; but, here is some information
about it. It is very easy to use for creating tutorials, assessment mater-
ials, tests, etc. But, most importantly its use by students is *extremely*
easy.

I have been working on a *Computer Delivered* Tutorial & Assessment project 
for the past semester. This together with Cell_Molecular VAX Notes Conference
and EMail allows me to create a *virtual classroom* environment. 

The program is called Question Mark.

In the future assessment of the IVCBB Program and students, such tutorials,
assessments, tests, etc. will be available on a weekly basis. This will
allow the students to take the exam at their own pace in the lab, library,
dorm room, home, etc. Also, it will be delivered in several languages, 
especially spanish since we have a number of students here from South America.
Also, our participating faculty from various universities will be able
to participate in the assessment as well. They will be asked to submit
questions and expected response(s).

A brief description of the project and the form of *differnt* types of
questions follows. I have created an intial tutorial/question bank to
familiarize our current students with the program. In addition, the
final assessment in May will be delivered in this fashion.....just a
beginning. As soon as I get a feedback from the students on its use,
I'll post some of these student comments on the network to several 
of the SIGs who have inquired about ?Mark and its use.
 
                             ? Mark

What is Question Mark?

Question Mark  is a  computer program  to create,  give, mark and
analyze objective tests or assessments for IBM PCs and compatible
computers (MAC  Version is in beta test; also, PC and MAC created
tests and  use are  interconvertible).   Using Question Mark, you
enter questions (on any topic) into the computer; students answer
your questions  on screen,  and the computer can mark and analyze
the answers.   It  is suitable for use by individual trainers and
teachers, seeking  to create  tests for their students on site as
well as for distribution.

Question Mark can also be used in any situation where you want to
ask people  questions and  analyze their answers: questionnaires,
opinion poles, recruitment tests, and many sorts of form-filling.
It is  easy to learn, and you do not need to know about computers
to use  it!   You can  start using  it productively  after only a
short learning period (a few hours).

Using Question Mark, you can create tests and/or tutorials with:

o    up to 500 questions (either all or some chosen randomly);

o    each question  in one of 8 types - multiple choice (includes
     yes/no, true/false),  numeric, fill  in blanks, word answer,
     free  format,   matching/ranking,  multiple   response   and
     explanation;

o    a variety  of ways  to present the test including giving the
     student feedback  on answers  after each question, after the
     test or  not at  all, and  a range of options including time
     limits, hints  for wrong  answers, and letting students pass
     over questions;

o    flexible and intelligent computer marking methods, where you
     can define a variety of correct answers and scoring methods;

o    the ability  to call  up other  tests to follow on from this
     test, with the test chosen depending on the student score.

Students can answer the tests without needing to be familiar with
the use  of computers; and there are measures to prevent students
from getting  access to  the  questions  and  answers  illegally.
People answering  tests can  be invited  to enter their name, and
there are  security measures, including passwords, built into the
system to make it hard for people to disrupt the testing process.
Delivering tests  is easy,  safe and robust - and all the answers
can be  marked  immediately  and/or  stored  on  disk  for  later
analysis.   Up to 999 sets of answers can be stored in a Question
Mark answer file.

Under the terms of the standard purchase of Question Mark you can
use the  student software  to run tests to an unlimited extent on
one site;  additional licenses  are available  to distribute  the
student software.   After the questions have been answered, there
are sophisticated  but easy to use ways to review and analyze the
answers.   You can  collate and  analyze answers  from  different
students and  different tests,  sending output reports to screen,
printer, or disk.

The software  has four parts: the Question Mark main program, the
graphics companion, the Toolkit, and the Euro-Pack.

Using the Graphics Companion, you can add pictures to your tests,
using it  to illustrate questions with maps, graphs, diagrams, or
whatever else  you need  to make your assessing come to life.  To
add pictures  into your  tests, you  first  need  to  create  the
pictures.   The Companion  allows you  to snapshot these pictures
off the  screen and  into Question Mark; it does not allow you to
create the  pictures in  the first  place.   For this  you need a
graphics package,  scanner,  or  other  software  which  displays
pictures on the screen.

To create  a graphical  test, you  first create  your test  using
Question Mark  main program,  leaving space  in the questions for
your pictures.   You  then use the Question Mark snapshot program
to grab  the pictures  you want  from other  programs, and assign
them to the questions in the test using the Companion editor.

The Toolkit is a collection of useful utilities that let you:

o    Convert an  answer file into a format (Lotus 1-2-3) that can
     be read  by  most  spreadsheet  packages,  allowing  you  to
     analyze the data with your favorite spreadsheet.

o    Export the  information in  an answer  file to  a dBase  III
     compatible database.

o    Add bonus  marks and  add comments  to sets of answers in an
     answer file,  letting you  review the  computer marking  and
     respond to your students individually.

o    Import a text file into Question Mark test without having to
     retype the  text, allowing you to take advantage of existing
     questions stored on computer.

o    Create your own help files to go with tests to give guidance
     and feedback to students.  You can create a page of help for
     each question  with a  word-processor, and  the student  can
     press F1  to get  help after seeing the right answer to each
     question.

o    Collate a  number of  answer files  on floppy disks into one
     master answer  file on  a hard  disk.    Ideal  if  you  are
     administering tests in more than one place.

The Euro-Pack  consists of  the student  software translated into
five languages:  French, German,  Spanish,  Italian,  and  Dutch.
Each is the same as the English student software, except that on-
scree directions  and instructions  are translated.   You can use
the English  teacher software  to create  foreign language tests,
and then deliver tests in any of these languages.

Other add-on  features to  the above are QM Record and Multimedia
Editor.   QM Record  is a hardware/software combination that lets
you record  speech or  other sounds onto your hard disk, and then
play them  back through  the PC  speaker or  an external speaker.
Computer sound  has limitless  uses; in  education and  training,
these include the following:

o    You can  use speech  and  sound  to  reinforce  feedback  to
     students, either  as simple  reward or  penalty by sound, or
     with voice messages reinforcing on-screen ones.

o    In language  teaching,  you  can  use  speech  passages  for
     dictation exercises,  spelling checks,  special needs  work,
     strategies for  problem solving,  and many  more imaginative
     uses.

o    In a  vocational  training  environment,  you  can  use  the
     computer to  playback real  world sounds, e.g., of an alarm,
     of instruments, of a debate or controversy, etc.

o    Just as  a picture  can be  worth a  thousand  words,  so  a
     computer that  can playback  speech and  audio can  be worth
     twenty that  cannot.   However, whereas computer graphics is
     difficult and  complicated to  create, computer  speech  can
     simply be recorded from your own voice, from a cassette tape
     system, or from anything you hear.

o    Two key  advantages of QM Record are: The recording hardware
     plugs into  the parallel  port, so you don't need to open up
     your computer  to use  it.   You can playback sounds without
     the hardware  using the  PC  internal  speaker  so  you  can
     distribute royalty-free  sounds or  speech to  people who do
     not have QM Record.

The Multimedia  Editor is  a add-on  to the Question Mark program
that lets  you call  other programs  from  within  Question  Mark
tests.  Using the editor, you can command the computer to present
sound, video,  or animation with your tests, or else you can call
other  programs   -  word-processors,   spreadsheets,  scientific
software, and  control the  calls to these programs from Question
Mark.   You can  define up  to 250  program calls  from  a  test.
Program calls  can be  in questions, in the introduction page, or
at the  end of  the test.   You  can call programs from different
positions in  a question,  and you  can call  several (up  to 10)
programs from  each question.  Programs called can be any .COM or
.EXE  program  on  any  path.    There  are  facilities  to  pass
information, e.g.,  answers or  scores, from Question Mark to the
called programs,  and you  can also  let students  repeat  called
programs, e.g., repeat a video clip.


Compatibility

Question Mark  runs on  any IBM PC, or 100% compatible.  You need
512K of  memory (640K  r



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