Creating a Testing WikiPosted: April 24, 2009 | Author: Jamie Madigan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
If you work for a large company that uses a lot of pre-employment tests across a large number of jobs it can sometimes be hard to keep track of all the various information associated with a test. This is especially true when new people rotate in and out of roles connected with testing (e.g., recruiters).
There are plenty of collaboration tools out there, but one solution to this kind of issue that I tried experimenting with was to create a departmental wiki that I could keep updated and point people to in order to get basic information instead of hunting around for files scattered across drives or cabinets. For those of you who don’t know, a wiki (derived from a Hawaiian word for “fast”) is a collection of web pages designed so that anyone with a given set of permissions can edit them. These pages are organized and linked to each other so that you can search for information or follow links from one related topic to the next.
Wikepedia.org is probably the most well-known example of a wiki, but you can take that basic concept and create one of any size and purpose. Doing a Google search for “free wiki software” or something similar will net you a ton of links, but if you want to experiment with the idea and do a quick proof of concept like I did, I’d recommend TiddlyWiki to begin with. I liked it because it’s entirely client side without anything to install on web servers and works in just about any web browser and OS. You can just plunk it down on your local hard drive to get it going, then move it to a shared network drive when you’re ready to share it with your team.
Using a wiki to track test information need not be complicated. To start, you could create a wiki page for each test, each with the following sections:
- Name of test, along with common acronyms, abbreviations, or other names
- A brief description of the test
- A list of jobs that it is used for
- Cut scores and other guides to interpreting results
- Titles of technical reports and their locations
- Contact information for vendors, if applicable
- Retest policy
- Related links
REMEMBER, the concept is that anyone in your group would have access to this info, which is handy but it also means you should be careful about what you put on there. You wouldn’t, for example, want to use the wiki to store test results or other sensitive information.
From there, I’d encourage you to build out the wiki to include other sets of pages related to testing. Wikis can also include links to files on your intranet or shared drive, which can be an extremely useful way to organize things. There are lots of possibilities, but here are a few:
- Procedures for scheduling candidates for testing
- Links to practice tests, study guides, or brochures
- Procedures for scheduling testing rooms and other facilities
- Templates for test result letters, e-mails, or phone calls
- Procedures and tools for test scoring
- Procedures for looking up test results for previous candidates
- Testing schedules
- Lists of certified test administrators
- Troubleshooting tips for test scoring/scanning
And the great thing about the above is that in line with the collaborative spirit of the whole wiki concept, anyone with access to the wiki can edit an existing page or create a new one. So the people who schedule candidates for testing can be the ones to create and maintain the wiki pages dealing with those procedures. If you get everyone on board, pretty soon you’ll have a thriving, perpetually updated tool that will make things easier for everyone.
Have you had any success with a departmental wiki for testing or other issues? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a message by clicking on the “Comments” link below.