Posts tagged ‘Delivering Assessments Safely and Securely’

Assessment Maturity Model

Over the last few years I have been working with customers and friends on an Assessment Maturity Model. It started with brainstorming, it was developed using a wiki and it has been tested by representing the idea to a number of groups around the world.  Now I feel that it is ready to take to the next step.

Over the last few weeks I have been formalizing the model to make it easy to understand and building a web site 

The premise behind the Assessment Maturity Model is that if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it. But to measure it you need to know what "it" is. 



The Assessment Maturity Model proposes that there are six key performance indicators, known as Measures, within the three key Areas of Assessments, namely:

  • Assessment Development
    This area includes all aspects of authoring (creating and maintaining) the items and assessments.
  • Assessment Delivery
    This area includes all aspects of administering the assessment to candidates, respondents, participants, etc.
  • Presenting Results
    This areas deals with presenting results in a trustworthy way to the stakeholder in meaningful context.

Six key performance indicators, known as Measures, are tracked to provide an indication of maturity and these are:

  • Stakeholder Satisfaction
  • Security
  • Strategic Goals
  • Processes
  • Data Management
  • Communications with Stakeholders

image By tracking these Measures an organization can determine where they are and can plan for where they want to be. These can be tracked by a single Area, as shown in the graphic to the left, or with the three Areas combined for an overview. The graphic to the left shows how an organization can track by area based on "Quality" and "Efficiency".

If you manage any type of assessment program I’d encourage you to take time to learn more about the Areas, Measures and Phases of the Assessment Maturity Model.  or just

Please feel free to link to the Assessment Maturity Model web site at, cross link from other web sites and blogs, twitter about it, email me about it, comment here about it and/or even tell your friends about it! 

Watch out for more – this isn’t finished yet!


August 14, 2009 at 12:14 am Leave a comment

Delivering Assessments Safely and Securely

We have just updated a Questionmark White Paper called “Delivering Assessments Safely and Securely” and I wanted to share a little about what it took to get to this point. These documents aren’t as simple to create as they might seem!

We produced the first edition of this a few years ago when there was confusion around the security requirements for the various types of assessments.  It was painful, but also amusing, to hear people engaged in vague conversations about “Assessment Security” when they did not clearly understand the distinctions among low, medium and high stakes assessments (see previous post on Distinguishing Low Medium and High Stakes Assessments) and/or the different types of assessments (see previous post on Types of Assessments Formative Diagnostic Summative and Surveys).

When you understand these distinctions it is easy to see that the security demands for each type of assessment are different.  So the first edition of this paper dealt with the issues at a high level, clarifying the different types of assessment and their differing security requirements.

Since then, through our participation with industry groups, trade associations and our Questionmark Perception users, we have developed a deeper understanding that we wanted to share. We have also seen many changes that we wanted to address, such as the changes that we’ve seen with certification exams and testing center paradigms, the wide availability of hand-held devices and the increased use of bandwidth-intensive content such as video.  It’s taken about 2 years of learning and about 3 months of writing, re-writing and gaining consensus. But finally we can share our work publicly.

This updated “Delivering Assessments Safely and Securely” white paper not helps provide us will not only help readers with key distinguishing but will also help organizations prevent costly and time wasting over-engineering of low-stakes assessments and/or the under-engineering of high-stakes assessments which would expose the stakeholders to unnecessary risks.

Enjoy your learning!

March 29, 2009 at 8:12 pm 1 comment

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