Posts filed under ‘Types Of Assessments’

Learning Mashups

Every day I am asked to explain mashups and their impact on the world of learning and assessments and I felt that it was about time that I shared something more widely.  In the context of learning and assessments mashups can be categorized as follows:

  1. Portlet – configured by an end user
  2. Page (Web, Wiki or Blog) – configured by a web author
  3. Data – configured by a programmer

Portlet Based Mashup

image Portlet based mashups provide different “windows” that interact with different and separate applications and users can move these portlets around their screen to meet their own personal requirements.

This is explained in the YouTube video below:

How is this applicable to learning and assessment?

As organizations standardize and align on their IT architecture there will be a framework in which to view applications in the context of someone’s job role.  The job roles for CLOs, Training Managers, Instructors, Teachers, Professors, Instructional Designers, Psychometricain, students and other stakeholders are different and have different preferences, priorities and organizational styles.  Portlet based user interfaces allows users to view their screens in the way that they find them most useful to perform their tasks.

Page Based Mashup

Page based mashups are configured by the author of the web page, wiki and or blog to determine where application data and interactions might occur.  As an author of a blog I have inserted a YouTube video above and another below that explains how to embed a video and assessment into the same wiki page:

To learn more about inserting assessments into web pages, blogs and wikis check out:

Back to mashups…

This blog posting is presented as an HTML web page, with HTML text and a video feed from YouTube and a assessment feed from a Questionmark server.

image The diagram to the left shows this diagrammatically.  The main page contents are coming in from the web server, and in this case, a Questionmark assessment is coming in from another server.  The author of this web page is the person that chose how this design would be rendered.

How is this applicable to learning and assessment?

Documentation, learning content and assessments are often available throughout an organization’s infrastructure but challenging to find and they are especially difficult to find in context.  Wikis, blogs and web pages can be used to expose existing resources, wrap context, to provide a meaningful learning and/or assessment experience. Learning mashups can improve learner experiences and learning outcomes.

Data Mashups


A data mash up is where data is drawn from different data sources and displayed within a single page.  In this style a programmer constructs a program to retrieve the data, from different data sources, and then display it within a web page.


The diagram to the right illustrates the data that is mashed up to provide a presentation of the price of taxis in New York City.

This form of data mashup used to require that the application had direct access to the database.  These days, with web-services, it is possible to read and write data anywhere in the world with a single application.

How is this applicable to learning and assessment?

With more data being accessible via web-services, applications can now provide powerful reports to assist decision making to improve learning outcomes, drive qualifications when required and boost performance.


Standard tools and technologies supporting blogs, wikis and web pages can provide new styles of easy-to-maintain stimulating and powerful learning environments.

Did you learn something from this mashup?


September 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm 3 comments

Keeping In Touch with The Assessment Maturity Model

I have been busy today finalizing links, logos and systems to help people keep in touch with what we’re doing with the Assessment Maturity Model.  Added links for email subscriptions (using Constant Contact), Twitter and an RSS feed to the blog.  Also made the blog to be a sub-domain for easier access (i.e.

If you want to keep in touch click here to discover your options.

August 23, 2009 at 12:34 am Leave a comment

World Values in an Assessment Context

clip_image002Last week a good friend of mine, Eugene Burke of SHL, introduced me to the Values Map, developed by The World Values Survey (WVS).  The map shown to the right came from the PhD work of John Sponney that was shared with Eugene some years ago.

Divided by categories like Self-Enhancement, Individual Dynamics, Group Dynamics, and Consideration for Others, the diagram clusters countries together in cultural patterns to explain educational standards, which directly affect the value systems of individuals.

It was great to have my friend reveal to me the potential impacts of culture in the assessment context.  No perfect models exist for cultural analysis, especially in the context of current migration patterns, but consider the following possibilities:

  • Folks with Anglo-Saxon tendencies might have more of an analytical approach to the individual.  In regard to testing, organizations and individuals may draw more comfort from the results of an assessment of knowledge/skills/aptitude/attitudes that from an interview or knowledge of a person’s family background.
  • Whereas, in a Latin European context, tests are given less credibility and face-to-face interview and confirming that an individual can stand behind their presentations, thesis, etc., holds more credence in the eyes of the beholder.  An individual might undergo a series of face-to-face interviews that allows the interviewee to express themselves, which also gives the interviewer room to establish an opinion based on an emotional connection.

Try judging which is right and which is wrong and enjoy the barrage of comments!  Some people passionately believe in a measured/testing approach and others in a personal connection/interview/q&a approach.  From my point of view value comes from considering the knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes required and the context of the assessment (couching, decision making, diagnostic, prescriptive, etc) and then using the right balance of one-on-one and testing approaches.

Within the diagram it’s easy to see the intuitive differences that might drive us to use different kinds of assessments. An example that jumped out at me relates to a contrast in the values system. Cheating, it could be concluded, is wrong.  But the minute we take into consideration the cultural context we might discover that cheating may be thought of as solidarity within a culture that promotes collectivism and loyalty.  This adds the nuance that “helping” is not “cheating”.

The clusters represented within the diagram are oversimplified based on location and migration patterns will cause some cultural traits to commingle, which will cause further challenges to conducting multi-lingual assessments of knowledge, skills and abilities that are valid and reliable.  But let’s not give up; let’s reminded ourselves of the differences in order to provide the right stimulus in the right context in order to track the right measure in a timely fashion and then provide the right feedback to the right person at the right time!

Every cloud has a silver lining and every silver lining has a cloud!

March 10, 2009 at 3:31 pm 2 comments

Add to Technorati Favorites

Recent Posts