Online Assessments Facilitate Marketing Courses and Certification
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the largest and most prestigious marketing association in the world.
With 26,000 students participating in courses each year, the CIM has identified that there was a real demand for it to offer some of its courses online. To this end, the organisation began to examine the options for online assessment. The assessment software system from Questionmark offered just the features and qualities that the CIM had been searching for.
With 26,000 students participating in courses each year, the CIM has identified that there was a real demand for it to offer some of its courses online. To this end, the organisation began to examine the options for online assessment, which would make the courses more accessible to a wide and growing audience. It was three years ago that the CIM was introduced to Questionmark, the assessment software system from Questionmark. It seemed to offer just the features and qualities that the CIM had been searching for.
Questionmark software makes it easy for educators and trainers to write, administer and report on assessments, tests, quizzes, exams and surveys using PCs, local area networks, the Internet and intranets.
CIM identified three areas where online assessment would be appropriate. The first was for the Introductory Certificate where mock exams and certificate tests are available to test students’ knowledge and understanding of the marketing discipline in general. This course leads logically into a range of other complementary courses. The mock can be used to give students an insight into the subject so that they can decide whether they wish to progress things further. The online test supplements course assignments that are carried out throughout the duration of the course and accounts for approximately 40% of the final mark.
Another key use for Questionmark is in the relatively new area of e-marketing. Once again, Questionmark provides a quick and easy means by which to test knowledge and understanding within the subject.
The area of questionnaires is one in which the CIM is likely to increase use of Questionmark in order to receive quick feedback from students on courses run and to give input into potential future courses.
Julie Delahoy, Assessment and Quality Manager at the CIM, comments, “We piloted the online tests with four or five colleges. Now we have around 30 that offer them. This means we now have approximately 1000 students taking the online assessments each year. Using Questionmark allows us to deliver results to students instantly which we know they like.”
June Davies, Education Information Services Manger for the CIM, added, “We have extended our license already to cater for demand for the online courses. However, the scale of the course registrations has not caused any technical problems at our end. We can quickly and easily set up the server to schedule the necessary tests for our registered colleges. All they have to do is book the course with us and supply a list of names and passwords. We do the rest. We schedule the tests and set the time limits on their behalf. So far, it has worked extremely efficiently.”
The CIM has employed the skills of contract examiners to write the test questions. These are tested internally to ensure that each one is not open to the incorrect interpretation. They are also analysed to certify that they are not too easy for the level of course to which they apply. The questions are then delivered randomly to the students in an invigilated exam to make sure that the risk of copying is minimised.
June Davies concludes, “In order for online assessment to work for us it has to give us greater flexibility and efficiencies than a standard written exam. We believe that the Questionmark tests meet this requirement and there are, no doubt, many other applications of the software that will become apparent to us as we look further into this exciting area.”
Questionmark was founded in the UK in 1988 and was one of the first software companies to provide an authoring framework to create tests and assessments to run on PCs. Today the company offers a full range of software for the testing and assessment marketplace spanning Windows 3.X and 95, DOS, Macintosh and web environments. Businesses, governments, and universities in over 40 countries now use Questionmark software.