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