We offer a range of technical articles for free download in pdf format. These cover the spectrum of work we engage in and have been featured in a variety of electronic and traditional publications, as credited.
Articles about testing
The Role of Analysis in Multiple Choice Question Tests. A review of how multiple choices tests ought to be reviewed in the light of evidence available from candidates who have sat them. This is a blueprint for improving the effectiveness of such tests. Published in T&C News.
False Passes: Assessing the Impact of Guessing in Multiple Choice Tests. An examination of how we can quantify the effect of poor question design in terms of a likely increase in false passes through an increased capacity for accurate guessing, plus how to guard against this effect. Published in T&C News.
Why aren't our Test Scores Reflected in our Sales Quality?. An analysis of how multiple choice test success might not be an accurate predictor of a candidate's ability to apply knowledge and understanding in the field. Published in T&C News.
A Rough Guide to Item Writing: Multiple Choice for Beginners. An exploration of good question design principles, examining common question flaws and establishing item construction standards. Essential reading for anyone involved in writing multiple choice questions and multiple choice tests. Published in T&C News.
Train Your Item Writers. A look at the problems that can arise when the untutored are given responsibility for test question design and some general training principles to inform their training. Published in T&C News.
Articles about general subjects
An Open Letter on the Borg and Virus Hysteria. Required reading for anyone about to act on the impulse to forward on one of those helpful email warnings about the latest virus threat.
Articles about Microsoft Access
Coding Queries on the Fly from an Access Form Interface. How to give your Access users sophisticated search and filter options without them having to build or amend their own queries, but using simple list box functionality. You can also download the example database file. Published in TechTrax Ezine.
Save and Load Searches in Access VBA. How to allow your Access users to load and save form states in Access through VBA to provide cross-session saving and retrieval of search or other information (follows on from the above article). You can also download the example database file. Published in TechTrax Ezine.
Custom Reports on the Fly from an Access Form Interface. How to give your Access users flexible reports using simple combo box functionality. You can also download the example database file. Published in TechTrax Ezine.
Articles about Microsoft Excel
Excel Formula Development (Name field reconcatenation in Excel explained through building worksheet formulae and custom VBA functions). An examination of how to reformat name strings to last name, first name format, including dealing with all sorts of different complications. This is a good example of the Excel development cycle. Published in the ABC (All 'Bout Computers) Newsletter.
Automatic Chart Harmonisation in Excel (Why Excel is missing a charting feature and how that feature can be recreated using VBA). A look at how automatic scaling and manual scaling can both fail to deliver when presenting statistic data for comparison in separate charts - and a great solution. Published in the ABC (All 'Bout Computers) Newsletter.
Beyond Excel's Holy Grail (Moving beyond a dependence on array formulae in Excel). An introduction to the D-functions and how these can overcome some serious problems experienced when over-using array formulae in Excel. Published in the ABC (All 'Bout Computers) Newsletter.
UPDATED Throwing Dice with Excel (Generating random numbers in Excel using only built-in functions and eliminating the volatility issues to produce a more controllable randomness). An interesting examination of the development of an application requiring better randomisation tools than those which come with Excel. Published in the ABC (All 'Bout Computers) Newsletter.
More Excel Dice (Making a VBA routine to provide a range of non-repeating, non-volatile random numbers). Another extension to the Excel random number arsenal, but this time it's more of a bingo bag than dice throws. Published in the ABC (All 'Bout Computers) Newsletter.
Excel Performance Analysis the Professional Way (Analysing performance data in Excel using array formula and dynamic range name methods). A step-by-step look at how to use Excel's advanced features to work performance data magic. Published in the ABC (All 'Bout Computers) Newsletter.
Excel Lookups Explained (Using VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, INDEX and MATCH in Excel to interrogate data tables). An introduction in simple terms to one of Excel's most powerful aspects, plus going beyond the basics to perform a backwards lookup. Published in the ABC (All 'Bout Computers) Newsletter.
Finding the last cell in an Excel Range (Using built in Excel functions to locate the last cell containing data in a range of cells). A look at different methods of finding the last cell, culminating in a new formula which combines two different methods to always offer a reliable and accurate result. Published in the ABC (All 'Bout Computers) Newsletter.
Highlighting a Single Data Point in an Excel Bar Chart. Another missing charting feature is identified and a solution found.
No More Excel Nested IFs (Techniques with Excel to simplify the nested IF formula structure. A different point of view on a perhaps overused structure, including a challenge for competitive readers. Published in the ABC (All 'Bout Computers) Newsletter.
Unhiding multiple worksheets in Excel. Two ways to overcome Excel’s insistence that you unhide your hidden sheets one at a time, culminating in a very useful free add-in.
Articles about Microsoft PowerPoint
Slides from Hell (or "How to build truly horrendous PowerPoint presentations"). A humorous look at some of the ways PowerPoint slide design goes wrong at the hands of the unwary. Also a very practical guide to making slides which will enhance a presentation. Published in T&C News and Indezine.
The New Grammar of PowerPoint (Preserving Clarity in a Bullet-point Age). A review of how and why good grammar helps PowerPoint communicate more effectively, and what new grammar rules are evolving in the bullet-point format. Published in Indezine and Presentation Directions.