Saturday, 18 May 2013

KS Help Notes_Settings 08_Capturing Additional User Data

KS admins have the option of capturing additional user information, to gain a more rounded picture of a person’s background and experience.

Go to Settings > Test UI Options and Check the ‘Display user data capture pages’ box if you want to display the additional user information capture screens, at the start and end of a test session.

The first data capture page appears during the test login process, just before the start page.

You can present the 5 user datafields, including the option for these fields to be optional or mandatory, by checking the appropriate boxes on the Settings > User Datafields page.

You can also capture the following additional information:

- Primary Industry/Discipline
- Primary Role
- Country
- State (If USA selected)

Lastly, users have the option of providing a ‘self-rating’ of their knowledge of the topic, for which they are about to take a test.

Please rate yourself on your ability to use the software, for which you are about to take a skills assessment, on a scale of 1 to 5:

1 = Very basic knowledge; not enough to work confidently on a project
2 = Basic knowledge; can get by working on a project but could do better
3 = Good knowledge; can produce a good standard of work on projects
4 = Advanced knowledge; can teach the basics to others
5 = Expert knowledge; can perform and teach others at an advanced level

The second data capture page appears at the end of a test session, just before the results screen appears.

Here, you can capture the following additional information:

How many years have you been using BIM/CAD/Engineering software?

How often do you use BIM/CAD/Engineering software?
Regularly (daily)
Part time (weekly)
Occasionally (monthly or less)

What BIM/CAD/Engineering software do you regularly use?

How did you primarily learn to use BIM/CAD/Engineering software?
Formal training
On the job/self taught
Online/web based training

Where did you first learn to use BIM/CAD/Engineering software?

Plus an extra field for users to provide additional comments & feedback.

The information captured is presented at the bottom of each KS test report.


KS Help Notes_Invites 06_Self-Inviting to a KS Test

If you want to allow users to invite themselves to take a KS test, here is what you need to do.

Set up a new Full-admin profile for your KS account.  Go to the Accounts > Your Accounts page of your dashboard and select the 'Administrators' icon next to your test account.

Use the 'Add administrator' fields to add a new Full-admin to your account.

Use a general user name, i.e. XYZAdmin and a 'catchall' email address, such as training@xyzengineers, learning@xyzengineers, or similar.

Look out for the system mail with your new admin's login details.  Or, alternatively, re-set the password on your new admin profile.

Log in as the new administrator.  Now, hit the 'Change password' link, to create a new generic password, i.e. XYZ123.  These login details will be made available to all users, so should be easy to remember.

Last, change your new admin profile from Full-admin to Sub-admin status.  Don't forget, a Sub-admin user profile can only access a KS test from a browser.  It cannot be used to access your main KS dashboard.

Now that you have set up your new general Sub-admin profile, create some simple user instructions, so that all your users can log in and invite themselves to take a KS test.  Here is a brief guide to logging in to a test session from a browser.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

KS New Release

The next release of the KS software hits the live site this month.  Here's a summary of new features and updates.

Cleaner KS login page

We have simplified and tidied up the dashboard landing page...

... and the dashboard / assessment login pages:

User data capture pages

We are keen to continue providing interesting and relevant user demographic data, for statistical and comparative analysis. A regular feature request is the ability to capture additional background information for candidates, so we added two new data information pages (one at the start and one at the end of a test session):

These additional pages are optional. KS admins can choose to display (or not display) the data capture pages, with a new dashboard setting.

The 5 user datafields can be presented on data capture page 1, with an optional/mandatory status, by selecting the relevant fields on the Settings > User Datafields page.

Improved test report

We have updated the format of the KS test report, making it easier to navigate to the relevant feedback sections, adding a new field for number of logins/logouts and a new 'Additional Information' section for candidate profiling.

Improved content management

We added a number of improvements to the Library section of the KS dashboard.  This includes adding the training tag export tool to the main KS Tests menu page:

Allowing admins to edit answer options for multiple choice / order list / pick list type questions:

We improved the KS content editing process by adding the green information panel to the 'Your questions' box and 'Your modules' box, making it easier to identify KS content.

We also included the ability to re-order questions inside KS modules and modules inside KS tests.

Improved searching & grouping options

We added a new search table to the Invites > History page, making it easier to filter the data on this page.

We added a new field for 'Test name' on the dynamic grouping table, in the Results > Data page.

Improved user records page performance

We have made KS user records fully editable, deletable and added simple pagination to accounts with extensive user lists. This has improved the performance of the users page, including the ability to export records from linked accounts.

Plus a number of smaller updates and bug fixes, including:

Improvements to test UI performance, including removing the 5-second page f'licker', when the KS software pings the server to register latest test data.
Update to question csv export, to include distractor answers for multiple choice / pick list question types.
Update to the naming convention for imported tests.
Uniform date format on the Results > Data page and related csv exports.
Update to error messaging for non-admins attempting to log in to a KS dashboard.
Update to error messaging for incorrect file uploads.
Update to error messaging for duplicate questions appearing in a test session.
Update to results searching & editing in our own KSadmin database.
Update to management of user records in our KSadmin database, including the ability to merge two user records.
Better handling of apostrophe's in KS user names, e.g. Rory O'Vance.
Bug fix to address amended KS account names not displaying correctly on invite mails.
Bug fix on administrator notification mail failure for new account setup.
Bug fix on user record deletion on the Move Users page.
Update to specification of KS Rackspace cloud server box.

We have a further software release scheduled for June, which completes the latest round of KS devs.

As always, our thanks to the KS user group for your feedback, suggestions and ideas for continual advancement and improvement of the KS system.


Monday, 13 May 2013

Building Information Model... Model

Saying “BIM Model”, or “Building Information Model Model”, is a tautology. Extensive research by Professor James Vandezande, supported by a leading team of linguistics scientists at HOK, have proved beyond all reasonable doubt that, when said in conjunction, the phrase causes the heart of a fluffy kitten to stop!

This affliction is sometimes referred to as RAS syndrome (short for "redundant acronym syndrome syndrome"), also known as PNS syndrome ("PIN number syndrome syndrome", which expands to "personal identification number number syndrome syndrome") or RAP phrases ("redundant acronym phrase phrases"), referring to the use of one or more of the words that make up an acronym or initialism in conjunction with the abbreviated form, thus in effect repeating one or more words.

Instead, try saying “The model”, “The BIM” or any number of other harmless phrases.


Thursday, 9 May 2013

BIM Show Live TopGun

Last week, we hosted the inaugural BIM TopGun skills contest, at BIM Show Live 2013.

In its third year, the conference was a huge success, with over 600 BIM-savvy souls networking, sharing and learning over two action-packed days at the Crowne Plaza in London's Westminster, just a stone's throw from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

This year, KnowledgeSmart was approached by the show's organising committee to replicate the popular 'Top DAUG' competition format from Autodesk's annual user conference in Las Vegas.  Never one to shirk a challenge, we worked with the BSL committee to create a vendor-neutral, general BIM knowledge quiz, covering topics including BxP's, COBie, IFC data, file formats, what happens when you say 'BIM Model' whilst presenting on stage (see below) and other such exotic matters!

The overall quiz comprised 15 questions, plus a bonus question, to be completed in 10 minutes or less. (In fact, we generously added 3 extra minutes to allow for the in-house Wi-Fi connection, which was creaking at times!).

After a slightly tentative start, we soon had a steady stream of willing BIMMER's, all competing to be crowned the UK King (or Queen) of BIM!  As well as competing for bragging rights and the title of BSL 2013 BIM TopGun, the winner was also to be presented with a coveted BIMMY award, by the Conference Committee.  So, frankly, the stakes could not have been higher.  To add fuel to the fire, many prominent members of the world-renowned #UKBIMCrew were also in attendance, each one determined to crush his or her competitors into the dirt! (Don't let the slightly enigmatic smiles fool you, this was BIM WAR!).

Over the course of the two days, we posted 74 scores, ranging from 25% to 83%.  Here is a breakdown of the results:

Overall average score & time = 53% in 11mins 56 secs.

Average score & time for the boys = 53% in 11 mins 53 secs.

Average score & time for the girls = 53% in 12 mins 34 secs.

Here is a breakdown of the Top 10 Leader-Board, after the final results were tallied:

The Top 10 scores ranged from 83% to 71%.

And massive congratulations to our overall WINNER, Mr Dave Lee, from HDR's London office, who is now officially the UK's most prolific BIM Champion (probably).

Here is a piccie of Dave accepting his BIMMY, from BSL Chair, Rob Charlton.

It should be noted, for the record, that several #UKBIMCrew members were conspicuously absent from the list of TopGun participants, come the end.  We thought long and hard about publishing a 'Wall of Shame', but decided in the end that this might be a step too far! :)

Congratulations to everyone who took part and thanks for making it such a fun event.