Peas in a Pod Discussions

Combining Learning and Testing – How can Assessment Expertise Improve Digital Learning Solutions?

Facilitator: Saskia Wools, Cito

When new technology is developed the availability of data on student learning increases—whether generated through assessment tasks or by tracking learning activities. This data then leads to new possibilities for the measuring, tracking, or monitoring of proficiencies. It also allows for more efficient and effective student learning by presenting appropriate materials at the right time and in the right format.

And although learning and testing were often separate fields of expertise, some aspects are also very closely related as well. Personalized, adaptive, or individualized learning, for example, are very similar to formative assessment practices, and these learning solutions all rely heavily on psychometric and measurement expertise necessary to make inferences from the available data. When measurement expertise is used in a learning context, however, several topics need to be discussed. Valid inferences, reliability, privacy, and data handling, for example, must all be considered.

During this “peas in a pod” session, participants will be invited to discuss the relation of adaptive learning environments and assessment through such questions as: (1) which possibilities and challenges lay ahead when assessments and learning become more entwined, (2) what assessment expertise is necessary to facilitate adaptive learning, (3) how are concepts as validity and reliability affected when used for measurement in a learning context, (4) what are the political consequences in the different countries and educational systems, (5) are these systems ready to implement these new approaches to learning, (6) which specific logistic challenges need to be addressed, and (7) what are issues regarding data security and privacy that should be addressed?


Multi-National Business Considerations

Facilitator: Camille Thompson, ACT

In this session, attendees will be invited to share challenges and lessons learned with others involved in multi-national testing. This session will provide an opportunity to discuss everything from exam development and security to practical considerations surrounding due diligence, translation, cultural differences, and more. This session promises to be a great opportunity to share and learn about trending business considerations—and challenge—from others in the industry!


Using Big Data and Predictive Analytics for Test Security

Facilitator: Michael Clifton, ACT

Predictive analytics enable testing organizations to identify potential concerns before a test event happens. Use of predictive analytics and different data types, however, can vary across organizations.

This peas-in-a-pod session will provides opportunities for statisticians and test security professionals to explore new and innovative uses of big data and predictive analytics to protect exam integrity and results.


Dangerous Misconceptions: Prevalent Myths in Testing

Facilitators: O'Neal Hampton, Scantron Corporation, and Quinn Sutton, Alpine Testing

How many times have you heard the following? “Tests are designed to be deliberately tricky.” Testing companies make the tests harder so they can make more money on retakes.” “It’s ridiculous that this one score is the sole factor considered in my educational or career advancement.”

Many of us hear these statements from within our professional and social circles. In addition, media headlines paint a portrait of the testing industry that is both inaccurate and downright harmful to both the assessment industry as well as the public at large. Further, the volume and visibility of these messages has increased considerably in the last five years. But despite the extensive inaccuracies that are consistently underscored in the media, the assessment industry does little to proactively provide accurate information in terms that are understandable and relevant to the individuals impacted by the various types of assessments that they take throughout their lives (as lifelong learners, students, employees, and professionals).

This informal, face-to-face conversation will provide the opportunity for assessment professionals to discuss the prevalent misconceptions in the media today, how those misconceptions impact their organizations, and how we can work together to change the negative assessment culture that seems to be on the rise. Participants will be encouraged to bring to the discussion those myths that have impacted their organizations, the activities that they have undertaken within their organizations to address these misconceptions and the positive and not-so-positive results from those attempts.


Data Privacy: Trends and Compliance

Facilitators: Michael Clifton, ACT, and O'Neal Hampton, Scantron Corporation

Data Privacy obligations impact just about every organization in the testing industry, and are the subject of increasing litigation, liability, and risk. With the recent development of data privacy regulations in the US and abroad, data privacy and protection is as important as ever. In this Peas in a Pod session, participants will share their insights and experiences in a conversational style as we explore the legal and moral obligations of test publishers and sponsors. The discussion will focus on the current legal landscape for privacy and data protection, company policies, compliance, and issues raised by new technologies.


IT Certification: Top Trends

Facilitator: Jim Lucari, Hewlett Packard and Kristen Wall, IBM

IT certification programs face their own set of challenges, due to their scale, commercialization, and pressures for profitability. Participants will be asked to explore current challenges in IT certification programs, including decreasing development time/cost, legal defensibility while facing pressure to cut corners in development processes, exam security, badging, and alternative test delivery methods. Moderators from the IT Certification Council will lead the discussion, bringing their own experience at IT certification programs to share.


Millennials in Testing: How to Engage in the Testing Industry

Facilitators: Sean Gasperson, Castle Worldwide, and Pamela Ing Stemmer, Comira

The millennial generation is unique in a number of ways. Millennials as defined by the Pew Research Center were born after 1980 and were the first generation to reach adulthood in the new millennium. They are also the first generation that grew up always knowing the internet and smartphones, and a critical subgroup for the testing industry since most are aged 18 to 35. How does this viewpoint impact their view of testing, and are there ways of approaching millennials that might improve their view of standardized testing and their experiences with the testing industry? Further, as individuals retire from the testing industry, how are we recruiting millennials to the testing profession and using their knowledge to help us reach this population?


Performance Testing: Opportunities, Challenges, and Lessons Learned

Facilitators: Ellen Julian, Inteleos, and Rory McCorkle, PSI Services

While performance testing has been around for decades, technological innovation has made the creation and implementation of performance based testing programs more accessible than ever. Hosted by moderators from the Performance Testing Council, participants will be asked to explore their own interests in performance testing, while learning from others who have implemented these programs. Questions that will also be explored are if and how performance based testing can add value to a program and how programs can typically implement such assessments. Challenges and lessons learned will also be discussed.


Using National Tests for Accountability Under ESSA

Facilitators: Amanda Jewell, Scantron Corporation, and Sue Steinkamp, Scantron Corporation

The Every Student Succeeds Act (2015) creates both opportunity and risk for testing programs in the context of primary and secondary education. Accountability can be a double-edged sword. National tests can be created to support accountability standards in either productive or counter-productive ways. Participants share experiences and discuss ways to effectively think about and communicate relationships between national testing and accountability.


Value of Testing: How to Find and Communicate Your Program's Value

Facilitator: April Cantwell, FurstPerson, Inc.

Participants will share common experiences in connecting the importance and critical role of testing programs to broader strategic objectives for organizations. How would an organization look without such programs? What value would be lost if the program did not exist? And how do participants effectively link the importance of testing to an organization’s larger goals?


View the Full Program
March 5-8, 2017 | Westin Kierland Resort & Spa | Scottsdale, AZ
March 5-8, 2017
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Scottsdale, AZ