Software-what are you looking for?
Whether you’ve just starting to look, or have been looking for a while, you’ve probably discovered that choosing a testing software product can be a confusing and time-consuming process. This is especially true for large organizations where there are lots of variables to consider and implementing anything involves a team: IT, HR and management.
What's in A Name?
You may refer to it as a test generator, test maker, quiz maker, exam builder -- call it what you will -- it's an application that enables you to create, deliver and administer tests to your testing audience.
You want the software to store test data and enable you to analyze the results in some meaningful way. You may also want to print and/or export the data.
Depending on your frame of reference what we refer to as a “test” may be known to you as an assessment, paper, exam or quiz. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s a method used to measure competencies, achievement or proficiency.
Who Are You Testing?
Your testing audience may be fortunate enough to have access to the company intranet or the internet. They may have a computer on their work desktop and another at home, or they may be working “
Decision Maker. You’re the person who is initiating the search and will authorize the purchase. You’re the fact-finder, the evangelist and you have a pretty good idea what you want.
IT Person. You’re the technical services manager, or the IT person tasked with finding a testing solution requested by management.
Committee: You represent a group tasked by management with the responsibility of finding a testing solution that satisfies the group’s testing requirements.
Researcher: You’re an administrative assistant or intern who has been tasked with going out and gathering information and presenting your findings to upper management.
- You're looking for a feature-rich application
- You need to test several test takers at the same time
- You want to store, analyze, print and export your test results
- You're not looking for the cheapest thing you can find
Any test authoring application worth looking at has probably involved a lot of time and effort in its development and support.
Our advice: look for product that will continue to evolve as your testing needs grow, and one that is backed by great support.
If you're working on a limited budget, you might take a look at some of the open-source testing solutions out there. Implementing these types of solutions may require technical resources to support it.
We do Paper-and-Pencil Testing and...
- It’s time-consuming and inefficient
- You must grade your tests manually or
- You must run them through a scanner
- You can’t easily randomize your tests
- Your test data is not readily available or easily analyzed
- Your paper tests “walk”, there's not test security
You Are Experiencing Software “Issues”You’re using an “in-house” solution and…
- The person who created it left the company or
- The software isn’t supported in Windows 10 or
- The software is “kludgy” and doesn’t work half the time
Your Current Testing Software
- Technical support is non-existent
- There’s no training and/or the application is difficult to use
- The application does not support the latest Windows OS
- Does not support AD/LDAP, SSO or SCORM
- Does not support installations in a Unix environment
- Customization services are not available
- Can’t be installed on our own servers
- Does not offer a secure browser option
You Provide Industry-Specific Online Training…
- You want to publish tests to your online customers.
- You want to allow your customers to self-register for online testing
- You also want to provide an online, e-commerce registration form.
You have an LMS? Yes, but...
- Doesn't support the question types I want to use.
- Minimal question banking options
- Randomization options are limited
- Reporting options are pretty basic
- They won't customize the testing
- The testing features I need are not supported
Deployment: Your Current Testing Software…
- Is subscription only and you want to own it
- Will only allow you to host on their servers, not yours
- Charges you for each registered user
- Charges you for additional administrative-level users
- Charges you per test created and/or test given
- Charges you to store your test data
When choosing a vendor, look for someone who is going to be responsive and genuinely interested in helping you succeed. You want someone who will help guide you through the implementation process. If you’re the “evangelist” who’s herding cats toward a more efficient method of testing, make sure the vendor has your back.
Here are some related links that you might find helpful.