2010 Conference Session Descriptions
Session 1
1A Sweet Distractions on My Mind or "Stressed" Is "Desserts" Spelled Backwards
How difficult can it be to give a test? You’ve probably heard this from your family, friends, and perhaps even your supervisor, but as testing professionals, we know it can be challenging and stressful. In this workshop, attendees will explore stressors you might encounter in your work day and ways to handle them by way of desserts and entertaining. The presentation, a participatory format layered with stories and examples, glazed with handouts, and dipped in humor, will offer a creative view of stress, as well as, a quirky sprinkling of creativity to get you through the day. The interactive workshop will have you wanting a second helping but you’ll be ready to get back to work to try your new recipes for success.

Susan Sistar, Winthrop University
1B What PEACHES Are in Your Backpack?
A conference is a time to share! Testing professionals are creative and use resources wisely. Whether paper and pencil testing or computer based testing, as technology evolves it is imperative that testing center procedures and practices evolve. We will share our "peaches" by contributing some great process improvements made in our testing centers that were inexpensive but provided excellent benefits. We will also share feedback from our employees and customers which validate the effectiveness of our innovations. You will also have an opportunity to drop your "peaches" in the backpack by sharing your best use of technology, time-saving tips, and best practices. Something you may be doing can help someone else be more efficient. Together we will share efficiencies and innovations that will benefit our budget-limited centers which can have a long-lasting effect.

Mary Vaughn, Mississippi State University
Theresa Scott, Florida Atlantic University
1C LSAT Test Security: Items Prohibited or Not?
Most standardized tests have a definitive list of items allowed into the testing area, and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is no different. The LSAT, however, leaves a little room for interpretation when it comes to prohibited items as not every "illegal" item is spelled out. That is the focus of this workshop. The presenters will lead attendees through a specific part of the LSAT check in process: the iconic LSAT plastic bag. What exactly are candidates allowed to bring into the room and why do we prohibit other items?

The workshop will begin with an overview of test security (for paper and pencil tests), highlighting the main categories of concerns: Preknowledge, Impersonation, Copying/Communication, and Stealing. It is meant to be an interactive and informative session, focusing on the various techniques candidates may use in compromising test integrity. During the workshop, attendees will be given plastic bags that LSAT candidates may carry into the testing area. Many of the bags will contain prohibited items and attendees will have the opportunity to examine the bags and identify these items. A discussion on the inclusion or exclusion of these items and the reason for the prohibition will be throughout the exercise as the answers are revealed.

Faisel Alam, Law School Admission Council
Nancy Miller, Law School Admission Council
1D Standards the Whole Day Through: How They Can Help Your Test Center
This session will highlight key topics from the NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines in a way that will encourage you to think about best practices for your test center. Material will be presented regarding day-to-day operations so that standardized conditions for testing can be followed and yet a pleasant environment for test-takers and testing staff can be created. The presenters will share how the NCTA Standards can be used to develop and evaluate test center procedures and how these standards can promote best practices on your campus. Roundtable discussion among attendees on how to implement the standards and guidelines will be encouraged.

Vicki Black, The University of Memphis
Gayle Veltman, Wichita State University
1E A Mindset for Professional Development
This session will focus on a dynamic way to improve productivity in your testing center or other departments. Discovering and developing the strengths of your entire staff create an environment of fun, innovation, productivity, and the possibility of outstanding performance by all employees. The presenter will share how her testing center created a powerful team by using “Strength Finder 2.0” by Tom Rath and materials from Marcus Buckingham. The presenter will share materials and methods used and brainstorm with the audience ideas that they may use in their own centers.

Deborah Anderson, Front Range Community College
Session 2
2A Evaluating Professional Growth and Development
Whether you are new to the profession of testing and assessment or at the stage of considering what to do with the rest of your life, taking responsibility for your career is up to you. Working in higher education for 22 years, I have experienced many changes and trends such as less job security caused by diminishing revenue in higher education, technological changes, and even the flattening of organizational structures that have had a significant impact on my career. In the end it came down to whether I took responsibility for my career path by being proactive or did nothing and accepted whatever came along. This workshop will be designed to help you assess where you are in your career and where you would like to go. By the end of the session, you will leave with the start of a written plan for professional development.

Lea Brown, East Tennessee State University
2B The GED in the 21st Century: Working Together for a Brighter Future in Career and College Readiness
The session will describe exciting new developments within the GED Testing Service to broaden the scope and reach of the GED Program, known as the GED 21st Century Initiative. National forces and trends will be presented that have resulted in reinvention of the GED Program in three components:(1) accelerated approaches to adult learning, (2) a revised, more rigorous GED assessment aligned with national career- and college-ready content and performance standards, and (3) pathways to career and postsecondary education opportunities. Discussion will include milestones achieved to date, plans for the remainder of 2010 and beyond, and ideas about how GED Testing Service, college testing professionals, and the postsecondary and adult education community can establish a new level of engagement and partnership nationally.

David Espinoza, University of Oregon
Martin Kehe, GED Testing Service
Three veteran COMPASS consultants from ACT will give an update on the COMPASS program. Participants will be introduced to new features, capabilities, and enhancements planned for the upcoming year. A real-time projection of the COMPASS program will be featured for live demonstrations. Time will be allocated to allow participants to have their questions about COMPASS answered in person by experienced ACT staff.

Don Pitchford, ACT
Frank Potter, ACT
Tim Osborn, ACT
2D Testing Goes Global
With globalization becoming more and more a fact of life, the US model of academic testing has been expanded into an international setting. International testing brings with it unique challenges as these three presenters can attest. Come hear about the importance of global testing and the types of challenges experienced and goals to be met in three different settings: a Caribbean university; a testing site in Doha, Qatar; and a network of testing centers abroad supported by a US based headquarters.

Laura Hammami, AMIDEAST
Leisha Griffith-Mark, St. George’s University (Grenada)
Sirine Sidani, Doha (Qatar)
Session 3
3A The FACTA Journey: The Development of the Florida Association of College Test Administrators
The NCTA is encouraging every state to establish and organize a state organization. Have you been planning to develop a state organization but aren't sure how to get started? Here is your opportunity to hear how the state of Florida did it. Welcome to the Florida Association of College Test Administrators (FACTA) Journey! The inception of FACTA began May 2008 and has continued to develop into a fully organized association with a name and logo, mission and vision statement, annual meeting plus two additional meetings throughout the year, elected officers, a representative council, committees, a listserve, a website, and business members/ sponsors. FACTA has been a vital link for colleges and universities throughout the state of Florida as well as a support for various issues that have been occurring through the state of Florida which have impacted our institutions. We would very much like to share the information on how to establish a very active state organization with other members of the NCTA and show how beneficial the organization can be.

BJ Stasek, University of South Florida
Winnie Cooke, University of Florida
Greg Hlad, Pasco Hernando Community College
Theresa Scott, Florida Atlantic University
Cynthia Cerrato, Valencia Community College
Steven Daniello, Indian River State College
Silvio Rodriguez, Miami Dade College
Marc Webb, Palm Beach State College
3B NCTA Grants
The NCTA Grants Program Committee will give an overview of the new grants program. We will begin with a discussion of the purposes behind the grants program and general information on the types of grant applications we’re looking for. A discussion will include best practices in writing a grant proposal. We’ll then discuss the complete process and time line including how to apply, the application review process, how and when the grants are awarded, how the committee will track and account for a recipient’s expenditures, and the reporting process from a recipient following the grant. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions from session attendees.

Brian Endicott, The Ohio State University
Mike Davis, Austin Community College
Jill Carlson, San Juan College
Lea Brown, East Tennessee State University
Roberto Voci, University of Oklahoma
3C Managing Your Testing Center’s Usage Data
This program will introduce participants to the Testing Sign-in System (TSiS) and how it works within a testing center. The TSiS data collection features will be highlighted to show how they can help your testing centers collect, organize, and use the data to help you manage your centers and create stunning data analysis.

David Ehrenreich, Anne Arundel Community College
Nancy O’Shea, Brookdale Community College
3D Going Further with COMPASS
A panel of three exemplary COMPASS users from around the country will share their insights and experience using the COMPASS program to help more students achieve academic success. The panel will discuss in depth their insights regarding subjects such as how to evaluate and fine-tune cutoff scores for more effective placement outcomes; how to use the COMPASS diagnostic tests to better inform developmental education interventions; and how to improve student readiness through a high school outreach program that utilizes COMPASS features.

Frank Potter, ACT
Linda Casalina, Kent State University
Nichole Kennedy, Technical College System of Georgia
Shannon Siebler, Northwest Arkansas Community College
3E College Graduates: Can Hindsight Become Foresight?
With respect to current attention to student success and cultures of evidence, this presentation addresses prediction of student success by tracing academic backgrounds of successful students beginning with placement test scores. What information about student success is salient? What information about successful students is gathered and stored in our university student information systems? What information would we like to have about forecasting student success?

This presentation is an interactive illustration about evidence that might point to prediction of student success and will demonstrate how researchers can assemble local data about graduates. The purpose of this presentation is to show how student records can be sifted for predictive evidence. In other words, which characteristics of successful students might be clues of success?

It’s well-known that some characteristics (age, gender, ethnicity) weakly predict while other characteristics (test scores, attendance, GPA, HS rank, percent completion of courses, working on campus, being in a campus organization, time spent on campus) more strongly predict. If educational researchers can work toward accurate identification of significant predictors and then reliably measure them, our prediction of student success would more closely resemble science.

So join me to explore predictors. Let’s view some models and speculate about additional ones. Let’s also plan how to construct an investigation of predictors of success among your students. This is our common goal for the near term.

Gary Greer, University of Houston Downtown
Session 4
4A Using Technology to Raise the Bar of Exam Integrity
The administrations at Andrew Jackson University and ProctorU Inc. refused to accept that delivering exams online required a compromise in exam integrity and convenience. Using a simple process and widely-used technology, they have proctored thousands of exams for students at home.

Using their combined years of independent research, the presenters will discuss what types of technology are considered "intrusive," realistic expectations of a student's technical aptitude, and whether or not online exams should be expected to meet or beat the security levels of brick and mortar testing centers. They will also share how the ProctorU process works and how other methods can be used.

Jarrod Morgan, ProctorU Inc.
Don Kassner, Andrew Jackson University
4B Serving Students and Managing Your Business with Online Registration
This session reveals how implementing online registration helps students and your staff through the scheduling process, with an easy-to-use system to manage your revenues and student rosters.
Learn about PCI Compliance, the ease of payment processing, real-time reporting and customizable content management tools for modifying data. You’ll see a demonstration on how students are required to acknowledge necessary testing information before being allowed to register online. Listen to the experiences of a test center supervisor as she discusses the process of implementing online registration. Online registration takes your testing center to the next level of student customer service.

Dwight Pittman, RegisterBlast
Khesha Duncan, University of Missouri
4C Testing on Military Bases
Veterans have suffered incalculable hardships and losses. College campuses throughout the country have a lot to learn from their experiences and also a lot to give back. Providing meaningful opportunities for higher education is a critical component, and a college degree is a step toward a better livelihood for many soldiers. In most cases, this may begin and end with testing.

This session will identify some of the scenarios that we encounter and how we address them; how we have been able to reach out and provide testing services to our military students and their dependents at home and abroad; and tools we provide to make testing more comfortable on test day.

While the government has endorsed "no child left behind," we have initiated "no soldier left behind."

Micky Pickens, Pierce College at Ft. Lewis
4D Certification on My Mind: Why, What, When, and How
Certify, Certify
The whole year through
Just a new sweet idea
Keeps certification on my mind.

The idea of a national test center certification process has been around for at least as long as NCTA has been in existence. But now that the idea is becoming a reality, there are many questions that come to mind. Why would I want my test center to be certified? What would I need to do? When can I do it? How will my center be evaluated? This session is a nuts and bolts walk through the process from initial application to final certification. Bring your questions and let’s see if we can’t keep certification on your mind!

Steve Saladin, University of Idaho
Duane Goupell, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Theresa Scott, Florida Atlantic University
Jack Turner, University of South Carolina
Joseph Fenty, Washtenaw Community College
Kimberly Moody, Temple University
Linda Trevarthan, Michigan State University
Session 5
5A Using Assessments to Create Success
Two case studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio will be presented that show how assessments can create success for students. The first involved collaboration between the College of Business and Testing Services to shorten the pathway to credit for business majors and others by using MY IT Lab. The second involved collaboration with the UTSA mathematics department in which Testing Services funded and coordinated a pilot Math Boot Camp program. Come hear what we did and how we did it and the resulting impact it had on the students.

Joleen Reynolds, University of Texas at San Antonio
5B Interactive Multimedia in Examinations: The Next Step
Computer based examinations allow educators to assess students in ways never seen before. Since the widespread availability of computers and multimedia, we have been discovering innovative ways to improve testing. In our experience, these technologies enabled us to go beyond traditional static media and become increasingly interactive. Interactive multimedia gives us a way to test knowledge that text-based questions cannot easily accomplish. This demonstration will show how to effectively incorporate interactive multimedia into a testing environment. Among other things, we will demonstrate how we integrated virtual microscopy in our exams. We will also show how to utilize audio, video and even 3D models in an examinations setting.

Joshua Simon, University of Connecticut Health Center
5C A Little Short in Your Lineup? Ways to Stretch Your Work Force
Need to find imaginative ways to stretch your work force? I’ll show you how to share staff with other departments by using creative scheduling and still manage to keep the staffing professional. You will see how I manage three testing centers with five part-time employees and one full time director, without overworking the staff or failing to accomplish the necessary work. This workshop will give you some ideas on how to convince your superior that sharing staff is a great idea for the college in these hard economic times when all that is talked about is cutting staff and funding. Come to this session to see the key to effective scheduling and staffing!

Charlotte McGowan, Southwestern Michigan College
5D Addressing Challenges of Administering Paper-and-Pencil Tests
This session will encourage attendee participation. We will brainstorm about issues specific to paper-and-pencil testing. Drawing from the wealth of experiences that NCTA members bring to the Atlanta conference, attendees will discuss the challenges faced by paper-and-pencil test administrators and share knowledge about what works and doesn’t work. Staff from the Law School Admission Council and the University of Delaware will facilitate.

Terri Neuman, Law School Admission Council
Susan DeMarco, Law School Admission Council
Frances Mercedes, Law School Admission Council
Mary Ruth Pierce, University of Delaware
Session 6
6A NCTA’s Electronic Resources
In these times of rapidly evolving electronic media and connectedness, this session will review and update attendees on the electronic resources available to NCTA members. Included in the presentation will be an overview of the revamped NCTA webpage and its features and use; the updated Wiki software and use of the NCTA Wiki; the rules, etiquette, and protocol related to the NCTA list serve-- including how to subscribe and un-subscribe to the list; and the new NCTA group pages on Facebook and LinkedIn. The session will specifically address the generational divide between those who rely primarily on email and the list serve and those who use social networking sites as their primary means of communication.

Criss Gilbert, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Brian Endicott, The Ohio State University
Gayle Veltman, Wichita State University
6B CLEP 101: An Orientation for New Test Administrators
This session is specifically for the new CLEP test administrator. During this session, participants will see a demonstration of the CLEP software, learn how to register students and collect payment, and become familiar with the exam functionality that students see when taking a live exam. We will also discuss program policies and procedures, scheduling, security, navigating the CLEP website, technical questions, test prep, and much more.

Janet Swandol, College Board
6C How a Services Unit Becomes a Learning Unit
Testing Services at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne was predominantly a service oriented department. After years of collecting usage and satisfaction data, Testing Services decided to also focus on its role in student learning. The department wrote learning outcomes, developed and implemented an assessment plan, and is now using all of its data formatively. Over the course of two years with substantial and sometimes challenging changes in survey design and data collection, the program has yielded data used in measuring Testing Service’s impact on student learning as well as in refining the department’s learning outcomes. The presentation will detail how the data has been used to shape the program.

Julie Nothnagel, Indiana Purdue University Fort Wayne
6D Developing a Comprehensive Manual for Test Center Procedures and Practices
College and university testing centers are always searching for guidelines for communicating with staff on procedures and having those guidelines serve as a readily available resource. Test center staff from three universities will share their procedural manuals and share how each manual was developed and how it is currently being used.

Connie Williams, University of Texas at Austin
Joleen Reynolds, University of Texas at San Antonio
Theresa Scott, Florida Atlantic University
6E Getting Placement, Course Success, and Retention Right
Join this panel of testing center directors from three different colleges to learn about their success with A+dvancer. This online software is used in all three colleges with a variety of student populations. Learn how this program has assisted hundreds of students in achieving their goal of college success. We are using the software in high schools, learning labs, classrooms, and retesting. The panel will share the programs they created in their colleges, and the audience will have the opportunity to brainstorm and ask questions. Materials will be provided.

Deborah Anderson, Front Range Community College
Kathie Montognese, Hennipin Technical College
Sharon Jacobsen, Rock Valley College
Session 7
7A A Peach of a Test: The New Accuplacer Diagnostics
Over twenty-five years ago, the ability to accurately measure the academic skills of our incoming students--especially the disadvantaged, minority, and non-traditional-- became a critical component in helping students succeed in college. In the early 1980’s, the new adaptive Computerized Placement Tests, developed by The College Board, provided institutions with the information they needed to accurately place students in remedial/preparatory courses. Because of this unique access to higher education, many students have successfully entered careers and earned upper division degrees that might have otherwise been unattainable. Today, newer and better technology allows us to reach those students earlier in their academic careers by evaluating skill levels and remediating those students to increase college preparedness and academic performance prior to entering our institutions. The new ACCUPLACER® Diagnostics tests, built into the i3 platform, are intended to provide information critical to academic intervention programs for those students who are not academically proficient prior to their freshman year in college. ACCUPLACER® Diagnostics is a computer-adaptive test that consists of four subtests: Reading Comprehension, Sentence Skills, Elementary Algebra and Arithmetic. Each subtest contains 40 questions and provides comprehensive diagnostic proficiency statements in each of five skill areas providing educators with a detailed analysis of a student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Attend this session and find out how beneficial the new diagnostics tests can be to your students, your high schools, and your local GED and technical programs.

Dot McGinnes, Santa Fe College
Ron Gordon, Gordon Associates
Jonell Sanchez, College Board
Ed Hardin, College Board
7B Survival 101: Navigating the Transitional Testing Waves
Change is inevitable in all areas of life. Changes may come from foreseen and unforeseen circumstances in a university setting. University testing centers must be prepared for change and make adjustments accordingly. This session will share the reactions, challenges, and adjustments from the changes faced by a university testing and advising Center. These included policy changes that the test center had no control over; administrative governance changes; changes in test volume and revenue; changes to test administration formats; changes in how we collaborated with other university units; changes in how we worked with external entities; and staff retention and turnover within the testing center work unit.

Connie Williams, University of Texas at Austin
Kendall Tolliver, University of Texas at Austin
7C Testing at Orientation
In this practical workshop, we will examine ways to integrate testing during freshman orientation in a smooth and efficient manner. From materials presented to prospective students, to online registration, to coordinating multiple testing labs and rooms, and to troubleshooting unforeseen problems, this workshop will give you tools and ideas for initiating your own testing program during new student orientation. At Abilene Christian University’s “Passport” sessions we administer placement tests, the Residual ACT, CLEP, and departmental exams. Come see how we do it, and share your own success stories or testing woes.

Karen Witemeyer, Abilene Christian University
7D Tips for Providing Fair, Accessible, and Efficient Online Tests
How do you know what students know? Through well-written, fair, and accessible quizzes and tests. This session will provide new perspectives on changes taking place in the world of online assessment and explain how educators can utilize current technologies to create and deliver high-quality tests that are accessible, inclusive, and efficient.

Ideas to be covered during this session include question-writing tips to enhance the quality of content provided by subject matter experts, methods for making tests accessible to people with disabilities, considerations for mobile delivery of quizzes and tests, and techniques for understanding item and test reliability and validity.

Jeff Place, Questionmark
Session 8
8A VSA and the Assessment of Learning Outcomes
The Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) is an initiative by public 4-year universities to supply basic, comparable information on the undergraduate student experience through a common web report. One of the components of this web report is information on learning outcomes. Testing personnel are assisting with the selection of the learning outcomes instrument for their campus and administering the tests. This session will review the VSA, and the panel will review planning and implementation of the learning outcomes measures (CAAP, CLA, and MAPP/Proficiency Profile) on their campus, highlighting the challenges of student recruitment and motivation.

Sally Frazee, Temple University
Criss Gilbert, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Susan Morgan, Appalachian State University
8B The Nuts and Bolts of Being an IELTS Test Center in a College Setting
Since 2008, both the University of Washington and the University of Arizona have been administering the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) through their campus testing centers. This workshop will provide an overview of the IELTS test and an in-depth look at the inner workings of administering IELTS on our campus including candidate registration, recruiting qualified examiners for the speaking and writing test components, examiner training and monitoring, IELTS test delivery, post-test administration, equipment, staffing, and costs. We will explore the benefits of bringing IELTS to your community and academic institution while also looking at some of the issues unique to a college or university testing center environment.

Deborah Smith, University of Washington
Akiko Aharonian, University of Arizona
Richard Halstead, IELTS International
8C Developing and Implementing Online Test Processing Software
This workshop will demonstrate how one institution processes out-of-class proctored tests for online and on-campus classes. This Online Test Administration process was developed and created by the institution’s staff to facilitate the processing of test administration requests by faculty. The software includes processing requests from instructors and sending out testing materials to distance proctors as well as preparing the test for on-site administration. This Online Test Administration has been in effect since 2006, and the institution is currently working to develop a new component that will centralize the proctor approval process. This new process includes collecting proctor information from students and proctors via an online form and approval or denial of proctor suitability by one centralized source. Participants will gain ideas and knowledge about how an online approval and test administration process might work, how to transition to a centralized proctoring process, and how to ensure academic integrity at their own institution.

Jenna Anderson, Franklin University
E’lise Flood, Franklin University
8D Using Assessment at the Secondary Level to Improve Post-Secondary Outcomes
This presentation will review the Bridge Partnership, a joint effort to make students more successful in high school, to make them academically college-ready when they are graduating from high school, and to try to reduce the number of developmental courses that students have to take when entering college. The program will trace the steps needed to implement high school/college collaborations on testing and the joint effort in providing academic interventions. Intervention strategies will be discussed as well as longitudinal statistics to show the effectiveness of this early-alert program. Costs, staffing needs, strategies for developing this collaboration, and successes (and mis-steps) will be reviewed.

Lois Burton, Anne Arundel Community College
Kristen Vickery, Anne Arundel Community College
Other Sessions
President's Opening Session Address
The University System of Georgia Model for the Assessment and Accommodation of Cognitive Disorders in College Students