Friday, 5 August 2016

KS Dev Update - Exam Mode

The impact of BIM on the global AEC industry has created a need for firms to be able to demonstrate evidence of their actual ability (and capability) to perform and deliver on client projects. This includes individual and team technical skills, as well as business process and standards methodology.

Skills assessments are a key part of the mix and KnowledgeSmart has been working in this space for over 10 years, enabling firms to capture real evidence and benchmark data to include in training plans, hiring programmes and project bid documentation.

More recently, however, we have seen a significant rise in demand for a more formal output at the end of a test session, than the current gap analysis report which highlights where individual improvements can be made to help improve productivity.

So, we have created a new work flow, called 'Exam Mode', which enables AEC firms, educators and industry member organisations to deploy a more formal certification exam type experience, with a final result output along the lines of traditional exam models.

To clarify; this is not designed to replace formal large software vendor exams, for example commercially available Autodesk, Adobe, Cisco or Microsoft qualifications.

But we are well placed to offer firms and member organisations the opportunity to create custom exams, with their own result bandings and levels of achievement, enabling them to demonstrate capability (and excellence) across their teams.

Here is a preview of the new functionality:

The main KS login page will have a new button, called 'Exam':

This tool can be used by KS admins and sub admins, to log in to a new exam session.

Users enter their details at the candidate info screen.

When the candidate is ready to begin, they click 'Start' to open their exam session. All sessions are timed.

There are 9 different types of questions to choose from and the candidate works through the questions which display on the Exam UI.

When all the questions have been answered, the candidate clicks 'Finish' and their final grade displays.

From an authoring perspective, KS exams are broadly similar to the existing KS assessments, with a few key differences.

You can now select 'Exam mode' when editing or creating a KS assessment. The default result bandings are: Fail (0-40%), Pass (41-60%), Merit (61-80%) and Distinction (81-100%).

Result bandings can be edited, if you wish to select a different score range and/or different labels for the various exam outcomes. An error will display, if the banding values are not concurrent, or if they exceed 100%. Click 'Finish' to save your changes.

When exam mode is enabled, the user data capture pages at the start and end of a session are disabled. The 'Request training' button is also disabled on the exam UI.

You will notice some new choices on the Settings > Branding page.

It is possible to add a corporate/organisation logo to the top of the exam UI and at the top of the exam certificate. (On a related note, we have also included in this release the ability to add branding to user pages and user test certificates).

As with KS test reports, administrators can control when candidates are presented with their exam certificate, via the Settings > Feedback page.  If 'No exam certificate' is selected, users will see a message at the end, as per the current 'No Report' option.

If a result is emailed to a candidate, it will send a plain text email, with a link to their exam certificate.

KS admins can easily distinguish KS exam results from test results on the Results > Data page, by looking for the orange 'Rosette' icon, next to the score.

KS admins will still be able to see a link to the old style test report, which shows the question mix and answer feedback, but this view will not available to users. Clicking on the Rosette will display the exam certificate.

There is a new search filter on the Library > Draft Content > Draft Tests page, which allows admins to search for assessments and exams.

Users will see a new section on their personal dashboard page, called 'My Exams'.

This displays a new area, with a history of exam results and links to exam certificates.

The new functionality is scheduled to go live in the autumn. In addition to traditional skills testing and survey capability, the new KS exam mode offers customers, educators and industry member organisations a stable, customizable, web based platform, capable of capturing and presenting a wide range of formal exam and certification-style results.