Question Mark Professional (1993)

Question Mark Professional manual coverQuestion Mark Professional also known as Question Mark for DOS version 3 was launched in 1993 and marketed worldwide (with minor enhancements over the years) during the 1990s. The software was gradually superseded by Question Mark for Windows and Question Mark Perception.

Question Mark Professional consisted of:

  • Question Mark for DOS
  • Graphics Companion
  • Toolkit
  • Euro Pack (test delivery software in Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish)

There were various add-ons to the software including a Multimedia Editor and a Report Generator. Here are a few paragraphs from the user manual:

Question MarkTM is a computer program, which you can use to create, give, mark and analyse objective tests on a computer. Using Question Mark, you enter questions (on any topic) into the computer; students answer your ques­tions on-screen, and the computer can mark and analyse their answers.

Question Mark is suitable for use both by individual trainers and teachers, seeking to create tests for their students, and by courseware developers who want to create tests for distribution. Question Mark can also be used in any situation where you want to ask people questions and analyse their answers: ques­tionnaires, opinion polls, recruit­ment tests, and many sorts of form-filling.

Question Mark is easy to learn, and you do not need to know about computers to use it. You should start using it productive­ly after only a short learning period.

Using Question Mark, you can create tests with:

    • up to 500 questions (either all or some chosen random­ly);
    • each question in one of 9 types – multiple choice (includes yes/no, true/false), numeric, fill in blanks, word answer, free format, match­ing/ranking, multiple response, logical and explanation;
    • a variety of ways to present the test including giving the student feedback on answers after each question, after the test or not at all, and a range of options including time limits, hints for wrong answers, and letting students pass over questions;
    • control over the way the screen looks when the test is delivered, including the capability to include your own graphics in questions;
    • flexible and intelligent computer marking methods, where you can define a variety of correct answers and scoring methods;
    • the ability to call up other tests to follow on from this test, with the test chosen depending on the student score.

Students can answer the tests without needing to be familiar with the use of computers; and there are measures to pre­vent students from getting access to the questions and answers illegally.

After the questions have been answered, there are sophisti­cated but easy‑to‑use ways to review and analyse the answers. You can collate and analyse answers from differ­ent students and different tests, sending output reports to screen, printer or disk.

Evidence of its release and availability:

Evidence of its functionality:

Question Mark for Web (1995-96)

QM Web Manual coverQuestion Mark for Web (QM Web) is believed to be the world’s first commercial web testing and surveying product. QM Web version 1 was released in October 1995. Version 2 of QM Web was released in September 1996.

To quote contemporary descriptive language: “Using QM Web, you create your questions and load them onto a Web or Intranet server. People anywhere in the world can then answer the questions using just a Web or Intranet browser (e.g. Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer). Their answers can be sent back to you for analysis, or else marked on the server with immediate results.  If you need to gather information from people and analyze the results, using the Web or an Intranet, then QM Web is the answer for you. Typical uses of QM Web include:

  • Distance education. If you are presenting courses at a distance, you can add assessment – finding out what people know, checking what they have learnt, or offering a formal end of course exam to validate performance.
  • Self-assessment teaching material. Add interactivity to your training and educational material. Create quizzes that people can take to find out how much they know, or as practice tests prior to important exams.
  • Checking employee competence. Ask questions to prove your sales staff understand the products they are selling or that your employees know safety regulations.
  • Recruitment skill tests. Get a prospective employee to take a test to give you objective information on their capabilities, or gather information on the Web prior to selecting people for interview.
  • Surveys and questionnaires. Ask employee attitude surveys, get feedback from trainees on the quality of courses or ask your customers or people accessing your site what they think of your service.

QM Web gives you instant assessment, instant learning and instant results, anywhere in the world.”

QM Web took questions and assessments created in Question Mark Designer for Windows (a Windows assessment management system) and converted them into HTML for use on the web. A server-side program then allowed scoring, feedback and results reporting.

Evidence of its release and availability:

Evidence of its functionality:

QM Web functionality grew from its original release in 1995 to fuller capability in 1996. Manuals on this site have been uploaded with the permission of the copyright holder.

Feel free to ask me any questions about QM Web.

John Kleeman, May 29 2012

Question Mark Guardian (1995)

Questionmark Network Guardian manual cover

Question Mark Guardian (also called Network Guardian) was an add-on companion to Question Mark Designer for Windows which allowed you to control who has access to exams, tests, surveys and quizzes – including:

  • Maintain user records for testing
  • Limit access to particular users
  • Limit access to groups of users
  • Generate unique passwords
  • Provide time-windows for tests
  • Limit number of times for a test
  • Ensure tests are taken in sequence
  • Import user names and passwords

According to contemporary documentation, Question Mark Guardian helps you resolve your security problems. With Guardian you can:

  • Give users or groups of users access to certain question files, and prevent others from accessing the same questions;
  • Prevent people from giving a false name when they answer questions, by assigning a password to each user;
  • Stop users from being able to take a test more than once;
  • Stop people from running a test before it is released or after it has expired;
  • Ensure that users cannot attempt an advanced test without passing a simpler one first;
  • Keep a record of who does what and what their score is, thus preventing unscrupulous users from attempting a test and trying to hide this from you;
  • Assign users to groups within Question Mark Guardian so that you can look at results on a group basis.

Evidence of its release and availability:

Evidence of its functionality:

The first version of Network Guardian was called version 2.1. The user manual was printed in May 1995, ISBN 1 872089 13 5. The user manual has been uploaded to this site with the permission of the copyright holder.

Feel free to post any questions on Question Mark (Network) Guardian, and I will try to answer.

John Kleeman, May 25, 2012

Question Mark Perception v2 (1999)

Question Mark Perception Server v2 manual cover

Question Mark Perception version 2 was released in July 1999 and was a significant milestone in this assessment management system, building on the release of version 1 and adding security, reporting, multimedia and integration amongst other capabilities.

The main function of the software was to enables users to create their own tests, surveys, questionnaires, and assessments for use via the web or an intranet.

Key capabilities:

  • Author questions and organize in topics
  • Select questions (including at random) and put in assessments
  • Control access to assessments securely, with a functional and innovative security model (see chapter 4 of the server manual for a description)
  • Deliver over the web
  • Support of a secure browser
  • Integrate with Learning Management and other systems
  • Report on the results

Evidence of its release and availability:

Evidence of its functionality:

Feel free to post any questions on Perception version 2 and I will try to answer.

John Kleeman, May 23 2012