Saturday, 17 March 2012

KS Help Notes_Invites 01_User Guide to Taking an Assessment


Most assessment invites are sent by email. Or you might log directly into an assessment session via a browser. Either way, you will find your way to the start page.

Here is a typical KS invite:

The KS system assigns a username and password to each user. You can access your assessment by clicking the link at the bottom of the invite mail.  This takes you to the assessment login page, where you will be prompted to enter your username and password.
(NB if you lose or forget your KS password, hit the Reset password link to receive a new one by email).

Hit the Log in link and you may be presented with an additional information page, where you can submit a brief user profile.

Click Continue and you arrive at the main assessment start page. Here you will see a summary of the assessment you are scheduled to take and any special instructions from your system administrator.

At this point, open up your copy of the software, for which you are taking an assessment.

There are 9 types of questions, which typically comprise a KS assessment. Let's take a brief look at each one:

Free Text
This type of question requires a specific answer, which needs to match the answer stored in the KS database. Look out for precise instructions on how to format your answer, for example, precision, case sensitive answers, spacing, accurate spelling, and so on.

Multiple Choice
Here, you will be offered a selection of possible answers - and you need to select the best one. Watch out for 'distracter' entries, which are designed to make you think before selecting your answer.

Pick List
This question type offers you a range of options, which could represent a correct answer. Choose the best answers from the list provided, using the check boxes, to the left of the answers. Partial marks are often awarded for entering some of the correct answers.

Order List
This question type requires you to place a number of items in the correct sequence. Drag and drop the answer options, until they are in the right order.

True or False
This question type is pretty straightforward. Read the statement or question and decide if you think it is true or false.  Enter your answer using the radio buttons.

Matching List
This question type asks the user to correctly identify, or match the relationship between 2 lists of data.

Complete the Blank 
This question type asks the user to fill in one (or more) blank fields, or select from a list of available options in a sentence or paragraph.

This question type asks the user to review a list of short words or phrases and select a radio button option that relates to the ‘correct’ description. 

This question type asks the user to write a longer answer to a question. This will not be automatically marked and requires manual scoring by system admins.

OK, so when you arrive at the start page, before you begin, you might need to download some sample data files to use during your assessment. The usual way is to select the orange, Download files button.

Clicking the orange button prompts you to extract and save the files locally on your work station. You will need to navigate back to this folder during your assessment, so most people choose their desktop, or My Documents, etc. The data sets do not need to be saved during a session, so can simply be deleted after the assessment has been completed.

Sometimes firms choose to zip up all sample test files and host them locally, on their own servers. If this is the case, then the orange button will not display. Instead, your administrator will provide special instructions on the assessment start page, explaining which file path to follow, in order to find the files.

Either method is fine - you simply need to know which folder to navigate to, in order to access the files for your set of assessment questions.

When you have opened your software, located your sample files and read any other instructions from your administrator, hit the green Start button and your assessment will begin.

Each assessment is timed, although the time taken to finish does not impact your overall score. The assessment user interface (UI) is easy to navigate. All sessions start on question one. There is also a small timer, which allows you to keep track of how long you are taking during your session.

Each question has a name and brief summary, which explains the main features of the software being addressed.

If a question is task-based, i.e. the user has to use the software in order to answer the question, the corresponding sample data set can be found in the zip folder you downloaded at the start. The orange instruction box explains where to find the files for each question.  (Quick tip: the files for task based questions share the same name as the question, to which they belong).

You can answer the questions in any order. The 'Question Navigator' allows you to move around the questions and generally familiarise yourself with the exercises. The simple color code helps you to keep track of your progress. Green squares indicate questions for which an answer has been submitted. Orange represents the current question. Red squares are questions that have yet to be attempted.

If you make a mistake, you can re-visit the green squares at any time, to edit your answers.

Some system administrators include the option to ‘skip’ questions and/or ‘request training’.  You will see additional buttons appearing on the test UI, if either feature is enabled.

An assessment finishes when all the questions have been answered. (Sometimes, an administrator will set a time limit for an assessment, in which case the session will automatically close after that time has elapsed. Answers submitted will be marked and any questions which have not been attempted will be scored as zero).

You have one last opportunity to review and edit your answers, before hitting the green Finish button, which triggers your assessment to be graded.

Next, you may be presented with another user profile page, as your assessment is being marked.

When the session is finished, you will receive a summary report, with feedback on any dropped marks. The level of feedback received can vary, depending on the settings prescribed by your account administrator.

A helpful summary of the questions, feedback on incorrect answers, coaching notes and training tags may be viewed, by selecting the Show question detail link at the top of your summary report.

The training tags (for questions where marks were dropped) combine to form a personal curriculum of suggested training workshop topics.


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