Monday, 9 October 2017

New Feature - Bulk Question Upload

KS customers have a number of options for editing existing library content and also creating new assessment questions from scratch.


It is now possible to upload multiple questions in one go, via a new tool called, 'Bulk Add'.




From this page, you can bulk upload questions and answers from an Excel spread sheet, for 5 question types: True or False, Multiple Choice, Pick List, Order List and Free Text.


To use this feature, click on the link in the help notes box to download the template Excel file.





Replace the contents of this spreadsheet with your questions and use the controls on this page to upload your file.




Sanity check your content on the preview page.




Click 'Add Questions', to upload your new material.  You will see an advisory note which tells you that the upload was successful.




Click 'View questions', to see your new question displayed in your draft library area.




You can make further edits from here, using the normal editing controls.




Here are some more detailed instructions, which will help you when you are completing your Excel template:

The column names of your spreadsheet must match the column names in the template file. The first column denotes the question type. This can be one of 5 values: FT, MC, PL, OL, or TF. These represent the question types: Free text, Multiple choice, Pick list, Order list and True or false respectively.

For all questions, the QuestionName, QuestionSummary and QuestionText values are mandatory.

Enter your category tags and training tags in the fields provided. Separate each entry with a comma. These are extremely important for later gap analysis and charting, so be sure to include them!


Free Text
For free text questions, enter your answer into the Answer1 column. With free text questions, you can also provide the following details:
FTNumeric - enter True if the answer is numeric.
FTCaseWhitespaceVariance - enter True to enable case and white space variance. When true, the marking will disregard incorrect case and white spacing.
FTAllowVariance - for numeric questions, enter True to enable variance.
FTPercent - when variance is true, your can enter a percentage value.
FTLower - when variance is true, enter the lower threshold.
FTUpper - when variance is true, enter the upper threshold.
FTPrecisionHint - for numeric questions, enter True to enable precision hint.


True or False
For true or false questions, enter the correct answer into the Answer1 column. Valid values are True or False.


Multi Choice
For multi choice questions, enter the available options in the columns Answer1 through to Answer10. Prefix the correct answer with an * symbol. If more than one column contains a * symbol, the import process records the first answer with an * symbol as the correct option.


Pick List
For pick list questions, enter the available options in the columns Answer1 through to Answer10. You can prefix multiple correct answers with the * symbol.
PLPartialScoring - for pick list questions, enter True to enable partial scoring.


Order List
For order list questions, enter the answers in the columns Answer1 through to Answer10. You should enter the answers in the correct sequence.


R

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Assessment Suite - BIM Level 2 Capability

Introduction

Do you manage BIM projects? Do you have responsibility for implementing BIM in your business? Can you generate a detailed report for your management team of your current organisational BIM strengths and weaknesses? How does your firm compare to your peers in the wider AEC Industry?
To comply with PAS91, how do you assess BIM training and skills? How do you demonstrate on your PQQ that you have all the necessary metrics in place?

This comprehensive library of skills assessments will empower your organisation to capture helpful, relevant and accurate metrics, to better demonstrate individual and organisational BIM capability. The results data and gap analysis will also inform your training and hiring plans, so you can continuously improve your performance in this business-critical area.


BIM Management and Process

BIM01_UK BIM Level 2 Awareness
The foundation-level knowledge required by everyone involved with BIM in your organisation.
Understand the implications and value proposition of BIM. Understand the implications and value proposition of BIM within your organisation.
Modules include: What is BIM?, BS1192, PAS1192-2, PAS1192-3, PAS1192-2-EIR, CIC BIM Protocol, RIBA-Plan of Works.

BIM02_UK BIM Level 2 Management Fundamentals
Understand the implications and value proposition of BIM within your organisation.
Understand the requirement for the management and exchange of information between supply chain members and clients as described in the 1192 suite of standards and PAS55 / ISO 55000.
Modules include: Project Start-up Requirements, PAS1192-2-BEP, BS1192-CDE, BS1192-Container Naming, PAS1192-Roles, BS1192-4, PAS1192-5, Government Soft Landings.

BIM03_UK BIM Level 2 Learning Outcomes Framework
Understand the requirement for the management and exchange of information between supply chain members and clients as described in the 1192 suite of standards and PAS55 / ISO 55000.
Understand what BIM is, the contextual requirement for BIM Level 2 and its connection to the Government Construction Strategy and Industrial Strategy 2025.
Topics include: UK Govt BIM L2 LOF Part 1, UK Govt BIM L2 LOF Part 2, UK Govt BIM L2 LOF Part 3.

BIM04_Practical BIM Fundamentals
This assessment looks at knowledge of a range of general BIM management tasks, including; General BIM Principles, Implementation, Modelling, Information Exchange and Project Coordination.

BIM05A_BIM Authoring with AECOsim (Fundamentals)
This assessment for Information Originators looks at basic concepts of BIM authoring and knowledge of the DPSM (Digital Production Standards Manual), for firms using Bentley AECOsim. Topics include: Purpose, Documents, Coordinates, Parameters, Validation, Model Types, File Naming, Layer Naming and Drawing Coordination.

BIM05R_BIM Authoring with Revit (Fundamentals)
This assessment for Information Originators looks at basic concepts of BIM authoring and knowledge of the DPSM (Digital Production Standards Manual), for firms using Autodesk Revit. Topics include: Purpose, Documents, Coordinates, Parameters, Validation, Model Types, File Naming, Layer Naming and Drawing Coordination.

BIM06A_BIM Authoring with AECOsim (Advanced)
This assessment for Information Originators looks at more advanced concepts of BIM authoring and knowledge of the DPSM (Digital Production Standards Manual), for firms using Bentley AECOsim. Topics include: Project Setup, Compound Cells, Project Items, IFC Import, IFC Export, IFC Modelling, IFC Validation.

BIM06R_BIM Authoring with Revit (Advanced)
This assessment for Information Originators looks at more advanced concepts of BIM authoring and knowledge of the DPSM (Digital Production Standards Manual), for firms using Autodesk Revit. Topics include: Project Setup, System Family, IFC Import, IFC Export, IFC Modelling, IFC Validation.

BIM07A_BIM Software Management (AECOsim)
This assessment for Task Information Management (Reviewers) looks at basic concepts of BIM Software Management, for firms using Bentley AECOsim. Topics include: Uniclass1.4 / Uniclass 2015, Information Validation, Project Review.
 
BIM07R_BIM Software Management (Revit)
This assessment for Task Information Management (Reviewers) looks at basic concepts of BIM Software Management, for firms using Autodesk Revit. Topics include: Uniclass1.4 / Uniclass 2015, Information Validation, Project Review.

BIM08R_BIM Coordination (Revit)
This assessment for BIM Coordinators looks at basic concepts of BIM Software Coordination, for firms using Autodesk Revit. Topics include: Revit Configuration, Project Resources, Parameters, View Templates, Family Editor.

Project Process (Revit)
This assessment for BIM Coordinators and Managers looks at the impact of using Autodesk Revit in a Project environment. Topics include: Views, Families, Worksharing and Schedules. Sample data sets for the task based questions are based on Revit Architecture.


BIM Software 

AutoCAD Civil 3D Fundamentals
This online skills assessment covers a selection of core AutoCAD Civil 3D skills. The content is split into 4 parts, as follows:
Part 1: Surfaces, Alignments and Profiles
Part 2: Corridors, Sections and Parcels
Part 3: Pipe Networks, Grading and Finalizing a Project
Part 4: User Interface, Civil 3D Environment and Survey Tools

AutoCAD Civil 3D – Xpress
A short skills assessment for AutoCAD Civil 3D, designed for interviews. This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic AutoCAD Civil 3D skills.

AutoCAD Civil 3D Road Design (Advanced)
Web based skills test for more experienced users of AutoCAD Civil 3D, with a particular focus on Roadway Design.

InfraWorks 360
Detailed skills assessment and training needs analysis for InfraWorks 360.
This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic InfraWorks 360 skills, relating to Importing, Data, Options, Styles, Exploring models, Menus, Themes, Objects and Measuring.

Revit Architecture Fundamentals
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit Architecture skills, including: Basic Element Creation; Views & Sheets; Detailing; Keynotes & Annotation; Worksharing; Dimensions & Rules; Interoperability; Families & Parts; Scheduling; Coordinates & Orientation; Output.

Revit Architecture Xpress
A short skills assessment for Revit Architecture, designed for interviews. This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit Architecture skills. Modules covered include; Basic Element Creation; Views & Sheets; Detailing; Keynoting & Annotation; Worksharing; Dimensions & Rules; Interoperability; Families & Parts; Scheduling; Coordinates & Orientation; Output.

Revit Architecture Occasional
Skills assessment and training needs analysis for casual/novice users of Revit Architecture. This test comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit skills. Modules covered include; Navigation, Views & Sheets, Measuring, Exporting Data, Families, Element Selection.

Revit Architecture Advanced
Detailed skills assessment and training needs analysis for Revit Architecture. This test comprises questions covering a range of advanced Revit skills.

Revit Content Creation
This assessment looks at Content Creation and Families in Revit. Sample data sets for the task based questions are based on Revit Architecture.

Revit Architecture for Interiors
A short skills assessment for Revit Architecture, as it is applied to the Interiors discipline. This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit skills.

Revit MEP Fundamentals (Mechanical)
Detailed skills assessment and training needs analysis for Revit MEP, as it is applied to the Mechanical discipline.

Revit MEP Fundamentals (Electrical)
Skills gap assessment and staff training needs analysis for Revit MEP, as it is applied to the Electrical discipline.

Revit MEP Fundamentals (Plumbing)
Online skills assessments and gap analysis tests for Revit MEP, as it applies to the Plumbing discipline.

Revit MEP Xpress
A short skills assessment for Revit MEP, designed for interviews. This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit MEP skills, across all disciplines.

Revit MEP Advanced
These assessments comprise questions covering a range of advanced Revit MEP (Mechanical and Plumbing) skills.

Revit Structure Fundamentals
Detailed skills assessment and skills gap analysis for Revit Structure, covering a variety of core skills, including: The Project Environment; Creating the Model; Editing the Model; Detailing the Model; Documenting the Model.

Revit Structure Xpress
A short skills assessment for Revit Structure, designed for interviews. This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit Structure skills. Modules covered include; The Project Environment; Creating the Model; Editing the Model; Detailing the Model; Documenting the Model.

Revit Structure Advanced
Skills gap assessment and staff training needs analysis for more experienced users of Revit Structure.

BIM 360 Glue fundamentals
Skills assessment and training needs analysis for BIM 360 Glue. This test comprises questions covering a range of basic BIM 360 Glue skills, including: Objects, Clashes, Administration, Model Management and General Operation.

Navisworks Manage fundamentals
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic Navisworks skills, including: Quantification, Rendering, TimeLiner, Appearance Profiler, Clash Detective, User Interface, File Formats, Measuring and Operations.

Vault fundamentals
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic Vault skills, including: File Details, Version History, File Check Out, File Relationships, Searching, Saving, Working Folders, Opening Files.

Solibri fundamentals
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic Solibri Model Checker skills, including: User Interface, Model Review & Annotation, Data Interrogation, Model Checking, Model Comparison.

Bentley AECOsim Building Designer fundamentals (Architectural)
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic AECOsim Building Designer skills, including: Families and Parts, Element Creation, Element Modification, DataGroups, Annotation, Drawings, Data Exchange, Setting Out, Scheduling (Output), Spaces.

Bentley AECOsim Building Designer fundamentals (Structural)
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic AECOsim Building Designer skills, including: Families & Parts, Setting Out, Data Exchange, DataGroups, Element Creation, Element Modify, Annotation, Drawings & Views, Scheduling.

Graphisoft ArchiCAD fundamentals (Parts 1-4)
This test comprises questions covering a range of ArchiCAD skills, including: User Interface, Navigation & Workflow, General Drafting, General Modelling, Model Management, Printing & Plotting.


Capture helpful, relevant and accurate metrics to demonstrate individual and organisational BIM capability. Use results and gap analysis data to inform training and hiring plans, with the aim of continuously improving performance in this business-critical area.

If you would like to find out more about our suite of BIM assessments, please get in touch.

"This suite of educational resources and assessment material from KnowledgeSmart is World Class and an essential resource for any AEC business that is serious about upskilling their team's BIM knowledge and practical capability. Most firms claim to have the ability to deliver projects to BIM Level 2, but how many really know where their strengths and weaknesses lie? Now, there can be no excuses. Capturing performance metrics and measuring staff capability should be a mandatory part of every BIM deliverable."

Global BIM Lead, Top 20 UK Multidisciplinary Firm

R

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

New Test Title - BIM Level 2

KnowledgeSmart's skills assessment library helps AEC businesses capture evidence of individual and corporate skills capability, across a wide variety of essential technical software titles and business processes.

This includes popular software products from major vendors, including Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Graphisoft, Oracle, Adobe and Microsoft.

One of the most popular requests in recent months has been to create new assessment content for BIM Level 2.

This assessment looks at knowledge of BIM process and policy, across 3 key sections:

1) Understand what is BIM, the contextual requirement for BIM Level 2 and its connection to the Government Construction Strategy and Industrial Strategy 2025.

2) Understand the implications and value proposition of BIM within your organisation.

3) Understand the requirement for the management and exchange of information between supply chain members and clients as described in the 1192 suite of standards and PAS55 / ISO 55000.

The official AEC Industry BIM Learning Outcomes Framework (LOF) document can be downloaded here.

This question set enables AEC businesses to undertake a gap analysis for all staff involved in delivering projects using the Government' s published documents and tools.

Section 1 of the LOF sets out the requirement for an awareness of the industry concerns, the global context, the changes required in communication and collaboration and the relevant standards that address information requirements, contracts, team appointment, project planning, collaboration, roles and responsibilities, data security and operational information requirements.

This assessment is not intended to formally 'certify' BIM knowledge. Rather, to help clarify the understanding of 'why' we should work in this manner and what is needed at project and company levels in order to reduce waste and increase efficiency. This will help to identify further training needs and ensure the project delivery has all the aspects of project management that it needs to succeed.

Applicable to company directors through to project delivery teams, this question set is an ideal start to your BIM implementation business success.

This set of questions has been written in partnership with our friends at Evolve Consultancy and digital green.

R

Sunday, 30 July 2017

New Test Title - MS Excel

KnowledgeSmart's skills assessment library helps AEC businesses capture evidence of individual and corporate skills capability, across a wide variety of essential technical software titles.

This includes popular software products from major vendors, including Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Graphisoft, Oracle, Adobe and Microsoft

One of the most popular requests in recent months has been to create assessment content for MS Excel software.



This assessment looks at knowledge of using MS Project, across a range of core functions. We have written both basic and advanced assessments. Modules covered include:

Excel Fundamentals

Edit Workbooks
Adding and Formatting Charts
File Tasks
Collaborating with others

Excel Advanced

Basic Formulas and Functions
Advanced Formulae and Functions
Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts


This set of questions has been written by our friends at Evolve Consultancy and goes live in August. Later in the year, we will also be adding an assessment for MS Word.

R

Friday, 30 June 2017

New Test Title - MS Project

KnowledgeSmart's skills assessment library helps AEC businesses capture evidence of individual and corporate skills capability, across a wide variety of essential technical software titles.
This includes popular software products from major vendors, including Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Graphisoft, Oracle and Adobe. And now, for the first time, we have added Microsoft to our stable of vendors.


One of the most popular requests in recent months has been to create assessment content for MS Project Management software.


This assessment looks at knowledge of using MS Project, across a range of core functions.

Modules covered include:

- Starting Up and Navigation
- Creating a New Project
- Calendars
- Creating Activities
- Formatting
- Relationships
- Constraints
- Layouts
- Filters
- Scheduling/Setting a Baseline
- Updating an Unresourced Schedule
- User Preferences
- Creating Resources
- Assigning Resources
- Managing Resources
- Organising Project Data
- Security

This set of questions has been written by our friends at Prima Skills and goes live in August.

Later in the year, we will be adding assessment content for MS Excel and MS Word.

R

Friday, 21 April 2017

How To Explain Skills Assessments To Your Teams

A common question asked by KS customers is how to present the topic of skills testing to your teams.

Here is an example of a recent customer mail:

"Do you have experience with encouraging employees to take the assessments? We want to encourage staff without being off-putting or making it seem like the point of the exercise is to determine their tenure within the organization.

What do you think is the best approach to engage our staff? Do you give it a different name besides assessment?

Your assistance is greatly appreciated."



Here is our reply...

The key to your communication is to emphasize the 'What's in it for me?' aspect of the assessments. No-one likes to take tests. As human beings, we'll avoid it where at all possible! But, conversely, people are curious as to how well they are doing. And they want to improve. Also, they don't know what they don't know. Or how they measure up to their peers and wider industry. So you need to focus your message on the training needs side of the learning path. You can't take them on a focused training journey, if you don't know their starting off point.  And you can't assume everyone knows the basics, therefore deserves advanced training. They need to prove it.

When you have a clear firm benchmark, you can also hire more confidently and intelligently. Which is good news for incoming staff and existing teams.

So don't make the assessments optional. This needs to be managed and mandatory, but with a light touch. And the results need to be analysed and fed into a relevant training plan.

Also, people have a natural fear of failure. So make it clear that nothing bad will happen if they screw up. They don't need to feel apprehensive or nervous. This is about positive improvement, not picking on people who happen to have gaps in their knowledge.

And make it clear that the results are confidential. Only to be accessed by people with a position of responsibility for leadership and staff development.

Here is a useful User FAQ guide, which will help you shape your communications in this space:


WHAT IS KNOWLEDGESMART?
KnowledgeSmart is a web-based skills assessment tool, which enables architectural and engineering practices to measure the software skills of their teams. Since 2003, by carrying out in excess of 30,000 individual assessments globally, a helpful independent benchmark has been established for basic proficiency, across a range of subjects.

Here is a microsite which provides helpful industry benchmark data for our Top 5 skills assessment topics: http://www.2dim4bim.com.

The KnowledgeSmart tools help to identify skills associated with design and engineering software applications, such as AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Plant 3D, Revit, Inventor, MicroStation, ProjectWise, 3ds Max, ArchiCAD, Primavera P6, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, SketchUp and Rhino. The process aims to assess current performance in order to identify areas where individuals can benefit from additional training.


WHAT IS THE POINT OF KNOWLEDGESMART AND WHY SHOULD I DO IT?
This process is not about a big-brother style test to check up on unsuspecting users. Nor is it a matter of pointing out who is the more knowledgeable software user. Rather, the point of the exercise is to highlight how much each individual currently knows – in order to identify those areas where focused training can improve basic knowledge.

Everyone uses software in a different way. Some people use these tools full time in their role; others may only use the tools from time to time. The objective is not to teach a veteran user how to perform basic tasks. But the fact remains, a more detailed knowledge of basic commands and operations can alleviate apprehension in using technical software applications and assist in speeding up routine tasks.

IS IT THE SAME ASSESSMENT FOR EVERYONE?
There are a number of assessment modules to choose from, created by a team of expert authors. Firms can also create their own material in-house. For Revit skills, as an example, there is a choice of material, ranging from introductory level, all the way up to more advanced concepts. Summary reports take into consideration whether an individual is a full time user, or someone who only uses the software occasionally as part of a wider role. Follow-up comparisons and training recommendations should be reflected accordingly.

WHAT KIND OF TOPICS DOES EACH ASSESSMENT COVER?
KnowledgeSmart assessments typically break down complex technical software applications into a series of stages or modules.
For example, the fundamentals assessments (for AutoCAD & MicroStation) cover a range of basic commands, including; basic object/element creation, layers/levels, blocks/cells, annotation, referencing & printing, UCS/ACS and preferences.

Assessments typically comprise 20-30 questions and present scores as a percentage, based on the accuracy of the answers presented. There are 2 question types and 9 question styles. Question types are either task-based (i.e. you need to perform a task using the software in order to work out the answer) or knowledge-based (i.e. you are being evaluated on your understanding of certain software functions, without having to actually use the tools). Question styles include; Free text, Multiple choice, Pick list, Order list, True or false, Complete the blank, Matching list, Matrix and Essay.

WHAT IF I DO NOT SCORE VERY WELL?
This exercise is not about who is the best. You will identify areas where you can improve your own performance with the help of more targeted training workshops.
Following the assessment everyone receives an overall result and summary report with feedback on dropped marks, training recommendations and coaching notes.

WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE ASSESSMENT TAKE PLACE?
Your administrator will have details of your assessment program. If you are unavailable to make the date or time arranged please contact your administrator to reschedule.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
There is no limit to how long the exercise will take. The average time is approximately an hour, but this is not a strict rule.
Try to work at your usual speed. Don’t rush, as many simple mistakes are made by people not reading the instructions carefully. Conversely, don’t take too long to complete each task, as your score plus time taken will be looked at in the overall results analysis.

WHEN DO I GET MY RESULT?
You will receive your score straight away when you finish the assessment. You may also be emailed with a link to your assessment report, including feedback on any marks which have been dropped.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The amount of time you take will not affect the accuracy of your score.
Before you start, you may be presented with a zip folder containing files which you’ll need to refer to during your assessment. Save the zip folder locally on your machine and extract the sample data sets from the zip. And remember where you save it – as you will need to navigate back to this folder during your assessment!
Please read the written instructions carefully for each question. This is also an assessment of your ability to follow instructions. Often, marks are dropped through candidates simply not doing what they have been asked to do.
During your assessment session, you can answer the questions in any order, using the KnowledgeSmart question navigator. You can also edit your answers during the session and review your work once more at the end, before you select Finish.
The time taken to complete an assessment varies depending on the individual, but an average is about an hour. You don’t have to complete the assessment in one sitting; you can log out and return later if you prefer. When you resume, your previous answers will have been saved.


R

Friday, 31 March 2017

New Test Title - Oracle Primavera P6

KnowledgeSmart's extensive skills assessment library helps AEC businesses capture evidence of individual and corporate skills capability, across a wide variety of essential technical software titles.
This includes popular software products from major vendors, including Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Graphisoft and Adobe. And now, for the first time, we have added Oracle to our stable of vendors.



One of the most popular requests in recent months has been to create assessment content for Project Management software. Starting with Oracle's Primavera P6 tool.



This assessment looks at knowledge of using Primavera P6, across a range of core functions.

Modules covered include:

- Starting Up and Navigation
- Creating a New Project
- Calendars
- WBS Nodes
- Creating Activities
- Formatting
- Relationships
- Constraints
- Layouts
- Filters
- Scheduling/Setting a Baseline
- Updating an Unresourced Schedule
- User Preferences
- Creating Resources
- Assigning Resources
- Managing Resources
- Organising Project Data
- Security

This set of questions has been written by our friends at Prima Skills and goes live in April.

R