Featured Speaker Sessions

We are excited to announce some of our featured speaker sessions for this year’s Innovations in Testing Conference!


Psychological Testing in the Service of Disability Determination

This presentation describes the results of a recent report/book published by the National Academy of Medicine as funding by the Social Security Administration (SSA), which controls two disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is oriented for disabled individuals, and their dependent family members, who have contributed to the Social Security funds, and Supplemental Security Income (SSSI), which is in part a means-tested program for disabled adults and children. Given that both program are aimed, at least in part, for individuals with disabilities, it is imperative that assessments of disability, in this case, mostly cognitive disabilities are required so that malingering is avoided. Assessment are needed to determine both if claimants have a legitimate disability and meet specific medical criteria to qualify for benefits. SSA also establishes the presence of a medically-determined impairment in individuals with mental disorders other than intellectual disability through the use of standard diagnostic criteria, which include symptoms and signs. These impairments are established largely on reports of signs and symptoms of impairment and functional limitation. The report called for the greater use of psychological testing and assessment, including both neuropsychological and personality testing, both of which will be described in this paper.

Speaker: Kurt Geisinger, Buros Center for Testing


Challenges in Identifying Tomorrow's Leaders in Asia

Given the rapidly changing business environment in the countries across Asia, identifying tomorrow’s leaders is increasingly important to companies with operations across countries. This session will highlight some of the challenges and opportunities for using personality assessment to assess future leaders across major markets in Asia. Speakers will discuss issues in translation, norms, cultural/country differences, and also present case studies on implementation of a personality assessment in several Asian countries.

Speakers: Alex Zhang, Russell Reynolds and Krista Pederson, Hogan Assessments


Is Remote Proctoring Appropriate for High Stakes Certification and Licensure Tests?

Remote proctoring has increased dramatically in its acceptance in recent years, with remote proctoring programs beginning to be accredited under testing standards and broader use in multiple certification sectors. This session will tackle the question of whether remote proctoring is appropriate for certification and licensure examinations with a debate among experts. Two experts on each side of this issue will debate each other to answer the question, debating its impact on candidate convenience, security, marketing, and more in a moderated debate format. In addition to prepared questions, the audience will be invited to add their own to test the panel.

Speakers: Rory McCorkle, PSI Services; Liberty Munson, Microsoft; Clyde Seepersad, Linux Foundation; Phil Dickison, NCSBN; and Peter Mackey, CFA Institute


The Future of IO Testing is Bright, but Different

Testing has evolved slowly over the past 60 years. The computerization of tests brought changes, but the skills and knowledge required of psychologist were hardly challenged. Now, in the age of digitization, wearable implants, machine learning and rapidly advancing neuroscience, things look different. Many of these disruptions are already visible and not all are being promoted by players in our industry. In this session, the speakers will review a range of new approaches to measurement. They will focus on mobile sensors such as smartphones and fitness trackers which are increasingly used to improve health and wellness. The data unobtrusively collected by sensors already can provide information on daily behaviors and physical, psychological and social contexts. The speakers will discuss reasons these developments can be exciting for test users and practitioners who need not have diminished roles and can transfer their skills to the interpretation of new measurement outputs.

Speakers: Deniz Ones, University of Minnesota and Robert McHenry, Independent


A Chink in the Armor: Update on US Copyright Secure Test Registrations

On July 12, 2017, an interim rule establishing new procedures for handling secure test registrations with the US Copyright Office went into effect and a Request for Comment period ended on December 11, 2017. Under this proposed rule, applicants are required to submit an online application, a redacted copy of the entire test, and a brief questionnaire about the test through the electronic registration system. The Office noted that it would no longer examine databases of items used to create individual secure tests under the special procedure for secure tests. In short, item banks (and test item databases) were no longer registered because the applicant cannot present for examination a “complete copy” of the test. Attend this session and learn about what is the current status on this critical test security strategy.

Speakers: Jennifer Semko, Baker & Mckenzie and Alan Thiemann, Law Office of Alan J. Thiemann


Law Enforcement Engagement: A Practical Guide for Successful Engagement

In September 2017, Equifax reported a massive data breach that could affect half of the U.S. population. Industry experts expect identity theft cases to be on the rise. This doesn’t include the wide variety of cases involving public safety. So how does a testing sponsor compete with these cases to get the attention of law enforcement? This session will explore how test sponsors and test delivery vendors have successfully engaged law enforcement for their test security cases.

Speakers: Joe Brutsche, Pearson VUE; Bryan Friess, Pearson VUE; and Ray Nicosia, ETS


The Time is Now: The Need for Data Mining for Performance Assessment for NGSS Practices

Dr. Janice Gobert will present an overview of the need for use of data mining techniques to realize teachers' assessment needs and students' learning of NGSS. Additionally, both the challenges and benefits will be discussed. Lastly, an overview to Inq-ITS, an innovative platform for science inquiry assessment and learning, will be given. With Inq-ITS, while "students" show what they know and get real time feedback from Rex, our cartoon dinosaur, teachers get real-time, actionable reports and alerts, identifying which students need help, and on what subcomponents of the respective inquiry practices.

Speaker: Janice Gobert, Apprendis


Don't Pull the Fire Alarm! Preventing Accommodations Escalations from Becoming Crises

It's easy to panic when an angry candidate claiming to have a disability-- or their parent or their lawyer-- calls your boss, the CEO, or Legal office demanding an explanation as to why their test accommodation was denied. Call an emergency meeting! Send out an e-mail to everyone in the company! And most definitely, PULL THE FIRE ALARM!

If a testing accommodations situation escalates into a crisis, there is significant legal and business risk if the situation is not handled properly. Organizations need strategies for dealing with accommodations escalations before they become crises. This session will discuss the most common types of testing accommodations situations that can escalate into crises, and provide participants with calm, sensible strategies for avoiding these escalations. The panelists will describe specific examples to demonstrate effective strategies, as well as the pitfalls of not having such strategies in place.

Speakers: John Hosterman, Paradigm Testing; Isabelle Gonthier, Certified Financial Planner Board; and Heather Case, International Council for Veterinary Assessment


Using a Generalizable Taxonomy of O*NET-Defined Competencies

The IO division must help communicate the value of testing by demonstrating how assessments can ensure equal opportunity for individuals seeking employment and help employers select and develop high-performing talent. The speaker of this session will discuss strategies for doing this using a generalizable taxonomy of workforce O*NET-defined competencies. This approach provides a variety of benefits. First, this approach will inform individuals about optimal career choices and education choices. This approach can also help employers define job requirements and identify the best applicants. Last, this can provide insight to educational institutions for balancing their instructional programs around the supply-demand of occupations. Overall, a national workforce system with legally defensible, evidence-based assessments of generalizable, O*NET-defined competencies will be transformational for the national economy.

Speaker: Jim Sharf, Metrics Reporting, Inc.


Improving Language Learning and Assessment with Data

Student learning data can and should be analyzed to develop and deploy new instructional technologies, such as personalized practice schedules, adaptive placement tests, and data-driven language assessments. These provide great opportunities for combining modern machine learning with computational linguistics and psychometrics to improve learning, testing, and student engagement. In this session, you will learn how Duolingo -- a language education platform with more than 200 million students worldwide -- accomplishes this through research, AB testing, and vast amounts of data.

Speaker: Burr Settles, Duolingo


This year’s conference offers every attendee, whether you are new to ATP or an experienced conference attendee, a valuable and inspiring experience.


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