2011 Conference Sessions
Session 1
1A A New Wave of English Language Exams on Your Campus
Since 2008, the University of Arizona has been administering the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) through its campus testing center. This workshop will provide an in-depth look at the inner workings of administering IELTS on your campus, including candidate marketing and registration, examiner recruitment, training and monitoring, test delivery and administration, and requirements for test centers such as equipment, staffing, and costs. We will explore the benefits of bringing IELTS to your community and academic institution, including off-campus testing opportunities to serve wider areas in-state and inter-state while looking at some of the issues unique to a college or university testing center environment.
1B A Diagnostic Accuplacer Testing Collaboration between AAAC and the Public High Schools
Anne Arundel Community College, along with a local high school, identified an at-risk population in order to increase college readiness. Accuplacer Diagnostic and Placement tests were given as pre-tests to assess skill levels in the fall. Post-testing was completed with the regular placement tests to evaluate changes. This presentation will outline steps/needs of the college, high school, and students involved. Included are high school/college collaboration steps, data and student outcomes, student "buy-in" for testing, and intervention preparation strategies. Aggregate test results on student growth will be discussed. Also reviewed will be costs, staffing needs, strategies for developing this collaboration, and both successes and missteps.
1C Riding the Waves of Collaboration: Maximizing Partnership Potential for Student and Departmental Success
Is your testing department maximizing its partnership potential? It does not matter if your testing department is in Academic Affairs or Student Affairs; collaboration is vital for your success and level of influence on campus. Testing and assessment departments are critical to the support of student success, faculty and staff support, and the reputation of your college. In this workshop, you will learn why collaboration is important and challenging at the same time. Hear from the College of Lake County and other schools on how to partner with internal and external partners for maximizing your department’s success, influence, and funding.
1D New Ability to Benefit (ATB) Regulations – How Do They Affect You?
New Ability to Benefit regulations were published in October, 2010, and go into effect on July 1, 2011. There are a number of new requirements including the certification of Test Administrators. In order to comply with the new regulations for test publishers, ACCUPLACER will be implementing some new requirements for ATB testing. This presentation will review the changes and will provide information on the requirements for using ACCUPLACER for ATB testing.
1E From CBT to DBT: How Technology Is Altering Electronic Test Delivery
This presentation will look at how recent advances in encryption technology and micro-computing are altering CBT. It is now possible to take a high stakes standardized test electronically without an internet connection in a location that has no computers. In addition, cutting edge developments are introducing advanced mobile devices with increased computing capacity that in the not too distant future may lead us from Computer-Based Testing (CBT) to Device-Based Testing (DBT). The potential for secure test delivery on test taker owned mobile devices will be explored. The future implications for college testing will be considered.
Session 2
2A The Technology of Cheating
It’s hard keeping up with the Joneses...if the Joneses are cheaters! Indeed, technology has served to make our lives easier, but if you are a testing professional, technology may have made your job just a little bit harder. This interactive session will go through various technologies cheaters employ to bypass test security procedures and remove test content from the testing area. Each of the devices discussed will be present for attendees to inspect as well as dissect how they can be employed by test takers. The session will also point out best practices to combat cheating methods employing technology. While most practices will focus around the administration of the LSAT, all are welcome to join the discussion.
2B Creating a Better Principle of Institutional Effectiveness
In the age of "Institutional Effectiveness," all institutions are required to define clearly what they do, have a system of evaluation, and show how they are using what they have learned to be better. P.I.E. is a principle used at ETSU to engage in the institutional effectiveness process and document it. All departments are required to have a P.I.E. This session will have all attendees engage in starting their own P.I.E. plus have a written outline to expand and adapt to their institutional requirements and guidelines once they return to their institutions. This session will help attendees to begin to define their center's purpose, their definitions of success, and ways of learning about success.
2C Going against the Tide: Implementing a Standardized Performance-Based Test
Using performance-based assessments for evaluating learning outcomes requires that fundamental standardization issues be addressed if the assessments are to be considered reliable and valid for administrative decision-making. This workshop provides participants with a workflow that takes them through the phases of test development and implementation with particular attention to standardizing grading rubrics, test prompts, test-taker expectations, and rubric use. Participants are invited to examine up close the logistics of carrying out a large-volume direct assessment of writing at CUNY. Reliability and validity data will be available along with data related to resources required and benefits accrued.
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.
2E Under One Roof: Accommodated Testing in a Traditional College Testing Center
Why and how do students receive testing accommodations? How do I implement reasonable accommodations while maintaining the academic integrity of the institution? What is the ideal structure of a testing center providing traditional (high stakes, revenue generating, placement, etc.) and accommodated testing? This session will answer these questions as well as provide an open discussion on how to provide services when money, space, management, or all of the above do not allow for the "ideal." Attendees will walk away with an ADA "quick reference" guide on how to accommodate students with disabilities that reviews what the law says about how students get accommodations through colleges and testing agencies and best practices to ensure that all students receive reasonable testing accommodations.
Session 3
3A Accommodated Classroom Testing: Challenges and Successes
Growing numbers of students with documented disabilities are seeking services at community colleges and four-year institutions. In response, institutions have increasingly sought to develop a network of services to support this population. Testing Offices are being asked to participate by providing their expertise with organization and coordination, test administration, and proctoring. This workshop will explore the experience of the University of Oregon Testing Office and its collaboration with the institution's Disability Services Office to develop and implement an institution-wide process for students to request and schedule at the Testing Office non-standard testing accommodations for classroom quizzes, midterms, and finals.
3B Everybody's Gone Certin'-Certin' NCTA!
As we complete the Certification Project, learn how centers are riding the waves of the process. Dudes (representatives) from centers who have completed the process will discuss how awesome (accomplished) their centers are and benefits they have gained during the radical (educational) certification experience. Dudes in the middle of the process will discuss their gnarly (difficult) challenges, and dudes just beginning will talk about which areas of their operation were bogus (not up to NCTA standards) and how stoked (excited) they are to get a chance to hang ten (satisfy all ten certification requirements). Are you ready to get started and join the growing ranks of totally tubular test centers (NCTA Certified Test Centers)?
3C How to Employ ACCUPLACER’s Scores for Comparison Group Equating
This presentation focuses on building a culture of evidence about student success by using valid and practical ways to compare student groups. We will discuss how University of Houston uses ACCUPLACER’s score reports to construct evidence of academic success and demonstrate how to arrange the evidence for presentation to internal and external constituents. Attendees will learn the importance of insuring that groups are matched on ability before we compare them. We will discuss measurement of a new tutorial method by comparing performance of matched groups. Medium ability students who took a tutorial should be compared with only medium ability students who did not take a tutorial.
3D Walk "In" the Line
During this session we will be exploring the pros and cons of operating a Walk-In Testing Center to assist in determining if it’s the right choice for your institution. Topics include advantages and challenges, staffing concerns, hours of operation, time management, and how it can help improve your bottom line. For those of you who have to generate part or all of your operating budgets, this session could be extremely helpful. After the initial presentation, the panel will open up the session for questions, opinions, or suggestions from the attendees. We hope that the information presented will be helpful to those who are thinking of going to an all Walk-In testing format.
3E The Chicken and the Egg: Increasing Course Testing with Limited Resources
Weber State University wrote custom software to automate paper-based (mostly bubble-sheet) academic assessment in 7 testing centers on 3 campuses where it delivers over 300,000 tests per year (standardized and coursework assessments). In addition, it delivers 250,000 coursework assessments outside of its testing centers. Utah Valley University is in the process of adopting this software. We will discuss the testing software, the center management features, the scheduling system, the logistics of implementation, how it allows Weber State to handle this volume within its infrastructure, and how UVU plans to implement the software.
Session 4
4A Put NCTA Grant $$$ to Good Use!
In 2010, we submitted a grant request for the formation of a Kentucky chapter of NCTA. We were awarded the grant and formed KATAC (Kentucky Association Testing Administrators Chapter). Our main objective was to share information with others and meet others we have spoken to but never had the opportunity to meet. Come hear about our very successful mini conference and how we spent the grant money.
4B Become a Certiport Testing Center
Learn the benefits of becoming a public Certiport Testing Center in this informative session. Certiport certifications provide lasting credentials to students and offer beneficial professional development tools to instructors. Benefit your institution by offering certifications from leading providers, such as Microsoft, Adobe, CompTIA, and Intuit. Plus, if interested, earn additional testing revenue by opening your testing center publicly to candidates in your community. By attending you will learn how to become a Certiport Authorized Testing Center and how to gain access to promotional materials that drive awareness of your center locally. Don’t miss this opportunity to add valuable certification options to your institution.
4C Riding the Wave of the Future: Baby Boomers, Xers, Yers, and Me
The panel will lead a discussion on issues that confront today’s test administrators including those specific to the multiple generations who enter our institutions. Topics will include a dialogue on how we, as test administrators, can use ACCUPLACER, CLEP, and other tests to help students achieve their academic, personal, and career goals regardless of their age. In addition, we will look at the impact that multiple generational groups have on our current policies and procedures and discuss how changes in the testing environment will impact future generations of students. The moderators will ask questions and provide topics for discussion as well as accept topics from the audience.
4D Online Registration...Paperless and Painless
This session reveals how online registration helps you manage your testing center more efficiently. Find out how you can spend more time focused on testing without the tedious headache of paperwork and payment processing. RegisterBlast is the proven online registration system offering students the simplest and quickest way to register, schedule, and pay for exams. RegisterBlast provides easy-to-use tools to manage your testing schedules, revenues and rosters. Watch a demo and see how effortlessly students register and are required to acknowledge essential information before completing their registration. You'll be surprised how trouble-free it is to implement RegisterBlast at your own testing center.
4E How to Create a Test Center Manual
I have worked in a testing environment for eleven years, and in every test center I have worked, there was no testing manual that showed me how to administer a test. Last year, with the help of my lead proctor, we created a test center manual that shows an individual how to proctor from start to finish COMPASS, CLEP, and HESI. Also, the manual includes how to manually upload COMPASS test scores into Banner. Most people are visual, so with our manual there are screen shots of each screen from start to finish.
Session 5
5A Using More than Test Scores Alone for Course Placement
Research has shown time and again that test scores are very poor predictors of success in college courses. In some studies, test scores explained as little as 12% of course grade variance. Many students are set up for failure by starting their college studies in the wrong course. This program will demonstrate using background information supplied by the student to augment ACCUPLACER scores for course placement as well as show how it improves placement accuracy for those students who "just miss." The presentation will include illustrations and a "how-to" handout with sample background questions and weighting examples. Audience participation is encouraged.
5B Watch for Sharks Lurking under the Waves
Under the ocean waves lurks a predator, a stealthy shark waiting to strike when opportunity presents itself – sensing a test proctor’s guard is down. This forum is designed to exchange information about techniques effectively employed to prevent academic dishonesty. Examples of the latest research in the field of academic integrity will be shared. Emphasis will focus on the findings within higher education. Attendees will be given the opportunity to share tall tales about the big fish that almost got away: the colorful cheating attempts foiled by testing professionals. The discussion will include processes and procedures successfully used to promote academic honesty.
5C Catch the Wave or Wipe Out: The Testing Director's Dilemma
Given the choice to "sink or swim," most of us would opt for the opportunity to catch the wave rather than face the possibility we will wipe out and end up gasping for air. On a day-to-day basis, testing center directors face numerous challenges. Some of these are dealt with successfully allowing us to float along happily, but others may make us feel that we've had sand kicked in our faces. This panel discussion will focus on situations three long-time Georgia testing professionals have faced and the consequences of their decisions. Those attending this session will have a chance to share their own experiences when dilemmas they faced provided them an opportunity to catch the wave. . .or led them to wipe out.
5D Transition of Power: Moving from a Human- to Computer-Generated Scoring System
Historically, Triton College has used departmental readers to review handwritten essays. The process had, at times, seemed cumbersome for students. In January 2010, we began piloting the COMPASS E-write. We have gathered data on two samples of students to compare scoring results and placement. This study was administered in two phases. Phase 1 of the pilot study involved placing students in rhetoric courses using the readers’ scores. Phase 2 involved placing students using the E-write results. The results of this study will be presented--the procedures, peaks, and pitfalls of transitioning to the computer-generated scoring system. Additionally, participants will be able to discuss best practices related to scoring and placement.
5E The New World of GED Testing: From Computer-Based Tests to the New Assessment System in 2014
Representatives from GED Testing Service® will review the new direction for GEDTS® and the GED testing program – including the addition of computer-based testing, plans for a completely new assessment system in 2014, and the GED 21st Century Initiative. Attendees will have the chance to learn more about the organization, where to look for the most up-to-date information, and meet staff who will serve as resources.
Session 6
6A Computerizing Paper Testing: A Collaborative Effort between Student Testing Center and WSU Online
Weber State University already had an online assessment platform built in-house but used a commercial platform for paper and scantron-based course testing. The commercial platform did not meet our needs, so we undertook to write additional custom software to automate paper-based testing. We will demonstrate how it works, how it integrates with the online assessment and the scheduling portions of the software, and how we developed it. We'll also show how it sends scores to the student portal and to instructors, thereby reducing paper waste and increasing efficiency of our testing centers.
6B Improving Student Outcomes with Diagnostic Placement Testing
This session presents a new approach to diagnostic assessment and the placement process for developmental math.  It uses the computer to deliver online, criterion-referenced tests with student-generated responses.  The result is a detailed diagnostic profile of student knowledge in foundational topics necessary for success in college algebra.  This diagnostic profile results in more precise specification of the student’s developmental needs.  This session will address the rationale for the approach, strategies for using the diagnostic profile for making placement decisions, and results from initial applications.
6C Promoting Testing in the University Environment
It is often challenging for testing offices to gain the recognition they deserve in campus communities for the important role they play in students’ lives from entrance tests through post-graduation certifications. Administrators and faculty may be unaware of the services available or unclear on how these services support the institutional mission. In this workshop, we will share a fun, interactive presentation in the form of a quiz that can be used to publicize and promote testing services on campus. This tool can be used in many settings to entertain faculty, staff, and students while educating them about the services offered by campus testing facilities and the vital part they play on campus.
6D Nobody Told Me It Was Important
Nobody told me that assessment was important. Nobody told me that my assessment scores would determine which classes I could take. Nobody told me how to prepare. These complaints are common in assessment centers everywhere. At College of the Canyons, we have designed a mixed media tutorial that is embedded on the assessment webpage. Topics include the function of placement, the high-stakes nature of the tests, what adaptive scoring means, and becoming familiar with the content and format of the tests. It features student narration, illustrations, animation, and a segment with a college counselor advising how to use placement results to choose appropriate classes. A separate interactive video delves into sample questions to practice on and provides correct answers. After demonstrating the video, we will show you how easy it is to write, storyboard, and produce your own assessment tutorial.
6E The Concept and Development of an NCTA Professional Journal
As NCTA has grown there have been increased opportunities to benefit the membership and influence the testing field. A professional journal hosted by NCTA is an opportunity to highlight testing-related research, technology advances, and business trends in a way that is relevant to our membership and beneficial to their professional development. This workshop will describe the partnership formed between NCTA and the Measurement Services Group within the American Educational Research Association (AERA) to develop a formal proposal for "The Journal of the National College Testing Association" to be submitted to the NCTA Board. Workshop attendees will be invited to comment on the concepts and plans being discussed. Opportunities for ongoing involvement in the project will be available.
Session 7
7A UExcel® - Turn Knowledge into Credit
With college costs rising, students are looking for ways to conveniently and efficiently earn a college degree. The new UExcel exam program helps students earn college credit and meet lower-level undergraduate requirements. Created by two leading education providers, Pearson and Excelsior College (the developer of the Excelsior College Examinations (ECE) program), the new UExcel examination program offers exams in popular introductory college subjects. Students can earn up to a full year of college credit on a transcript from Excelsior College, an accredited institution of higher learning.
7B CLEP 101: What Every Test Center Administrator Needs to Know
This session will provide an overview of CLEP and ways to support students who want to earn college credit by taking CLEP exams. Participants will learn about the different testing options available for students, best practices for test administrators, tips on advising students, and how to promote CLEP on campus. Discussion will include an overview of CLEP publications and resources, score reporting, how to prepare for exams, and more.
7C Psychometrics 101: Foundational Knowledge for Testing Professionals
In any professional field it is important to have a theoretical foundation upon which to build your skills and competencies. Psychometrics is the study of the theory and techniques of educational and psychological assessment. While this stuff can be a little dry, a basic knowledge in this area is essential in being able to understand and evaluate testing instruments and procedures. On a practical basis it can help understand the need for some of those silly rules and just how much confidence to place on test scores. After this workshop you will be able to identify good and bad tests as well as good and bad uses of the test results.
7D From Bogus to Radical: Get Ready to Apply for Test Center Certification
Ride the wave of certification by getting a sneak peek at the application! We will go through the sections of the NCTA Test Center Certification Application giving tips on how to complete it to meet certification requirements. We will have samples of test center documents needed for certification and invite you to "hang ten" – learn about the 10 certification standards. Get your questions about the application process answered, and receive the information you need before your test center pursues certification.
7E Make Waves with Your Presentation
Have you ever been in one of those seminars or presentations where the presenter makes you want to grab your surf board, head far into the ocean, and be devoured by a shark because that would be less painful than sitting through the session? Well, the Frankie and Annette of Oklahoma Testing are here to help you ride the waves to the ins and outs of a successful presentation. We will give samples of those bummer approaches taken by many out there and show you how to turn your presentation into a way cool groovy session that will make you the Big Kahuna of presentations for your school.
Session 8
8A Exploring the Role that Testing Plays within Student Affairs Outcomes-Based Assessment
This follow-up session is for those who want to explore further the theories, issues, and questions raised in Marilee Bresciani’s presentation to the membership. Specifically, the questions of how testing centers would support value-added outcomes-based program review within student and academic affairs will be posited and discussed.
8B Avoid the Political Undertow with CLEP Policies and Promotions
This session focuses on how to work with your campus to establish CLEP policies and how we took an active role in implementing or changing the policies at our institution. Along the way we learned how to surf the political currents of academic affairs and enrollment management to implement the changes. Once the changes were enacted, we learned how to promote CLEP to our communities. As we know, The College Board offers wonderful guidance to navigate through the waves of marketing, and we would like to share how we have been encouraged to consider "green" methods for promoting services. Additionally we will share, and we hope you will too, other techniques we have learned from our marketing experience with our campus communities.
8C Integrating Placement Testing and Advising
The College of Western Idaho opened its doors in January 2009. Two years later, with an enrollment of 7500 credit students, students are proving their ability to be successful. One program helping fuel that success is the Personal Academic and Career Enrichment (PACE) program. PACE integrates the services of assessment staff with advising staff, requiring students who place into pre-college English courses to participate in the program to learn their English course placement. These two offices help students make a smooth transition into college with careful advice on proper first semester courses. This session will cover the specifics of the PACE program, outcomes data, and success strategies for strong working partnerships between these two departments.
8D Community Testing
This will be a valuable information workshop for any testing center wanting to take its services to the next level of partnership. The workshop will discuss community service outreach, core values for a successful testing center, partnerships with non-profits/businesses, and revenue increases. Community-based outreach seeks to move testing centers beyond their traditional institutional boundaries to test the educational/service community. The community-testing outreach service is proven to enhance/deliver testing partnerships and generate revenue for the center.
8E Innovative Testing Methods to Assist with Student Retention
This session will serve as an introduction to ACT’s newest exam, the Student Readiness Inventory. The SRI provides colleges with an exciting opportunity to assess 10 non-cognitive variables related to student persistence and then offers suggestions for productive interventions to help the students succeed. Backed by sound research, the SRI increases your institution's ability to detect risk by as much as 50%. Coupled with diagnostic testing, the SRI is an innovative tool you can use to identify and intervene on behalf of students who are at risk for dropping out or failing classes.
Session 9
9A Using Technology to Successfully Ride the Swelling Tide of Assessment Specifications
This session will describe how we at University Assessment and Testing at Oklahoma State University managed to "shoot the technology curl" by using database technology to create a "Test Center Manager" solution that enables us to "hang five" through tracking client needs and eligibility requirements, integrating with institutional information systems, measuring and reporting feedback, and facilitating automatic communication including appointment confirmations, test results, and survey invitations. Our goal with this presentation is to build on shared experience as we communicate important lessons learned and show that the key to our success is to "catch the technology wave" through innovation, peer networking, and problem solving.
9B Assessing Assessment Centers
Educational testing centers are designed to assess students, but what about assessing themselves? Why, what, how, and when should a testing center assess the tests it administers and/or the assessment services it provides? In this session, the presenter will endeavor to answer these questions by sharing her experiences with assessing both the testing tools and services offered by Thompson Rivers University Assessment Center. This will include providing examples of topics explored and methods employed in various test validity studies conducted by the presenter. Samples of activity reports and client surveys utilized by the presenter to evaluate the efficacy of the university testing center will also be provided. Overall, the goal of this presentation is to highlight the need for assessing testing activity and provide some concrete examples of how to do just that.
9C Ride the LSAT Wave to Successful Test Administrations for Accommodated Test Takers
This session will discuss an overview of the process of administering the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to accommodated test takers and the role of the test center staff in providing the accommodations. Time will be allotted for questions from the audience.
9D New Directions in Diagnostic Assessment
The Florida DOE, working with McCann Associates, launched the Florida Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (P.E.R.T.) in October, 2010. The tests are custom aligned to Florida standards and used for placement into initial college credit courses. The development process included stakeholders at all levels within the state, including substantial work with college faculty. In addition to placement, P.E.R.T. includes diagnostics aligned to both Florida standards and multiple levels of remediation. This session will focus on the development flow of placement into diagnostics. The primary emphasis of the discussion will be on the diagnostics development process, with a focus on practical implementation issues.
Session 10
10A Hang Ten—Making Waves with CLEP
This workshop will provide data from across the nation on the success of CLEP testing. Learn how thousands of students are meeting their goal of college graduation in less time and at less cost. The presenter will share a "Top Ten List" of ways to promote CLEP on your campuses as well as methods of working with faculty to better educate them on the value of CLEP policies for well-prepared students. Learn ways to debunk the myths of diminished enrollment and less FTE. CLEP is a win-win for colleges. Materials will be provided for all participants.
10B Best Practices in Online Proctoring
This workshop will explore best practices for live online proctoring of student exams. We will explore the integrity of live online proctoring and the best practices required to insure an accredited level of competency in the online proctoring offering.
10C Learn How to Manage Your Testing Center’s Usage Data
This workshop contains 3 main components: an introduction to a sign-in data management system, how it works, and how it is used in a testing center environment. The first portion will introduce participants to what TSiS is and how it works. Then, participants will be given a demonstration on how TSiS works within a testing center. Finally, participants will be shown TSiS’s data collection features and how they can help testing centers collect, organize, and use this information. This session will provide a great opportunity for current and interested users of the Testing Sign-In System.
10D UW Placement Testing and ExamSoft: A Model of Flexibility, Efficiency, Validity, and Security
The University of Wisconsin System collaboratively developed a set of placement tests used to place incoming students. These tests are currently paper-based, but the UW-System is entering into a partnership with ExamSoft Worldwide to enable implementation of a hybrid paper/computer-based program. This new model will lower costs to campuses and improve the student orientation/registration processes by improving students' access to the tests. We will outline the model planned for implementation and discuss the flexibilities and efficiencies that it promotes while maintaining the validity and integrity of the exams. We will also review the technology that enables item banking, scoring, statistical analysis, and the administration of the tests off-line via computer.
Other Sessions
Newcomers’ Orientation
Whether you’re a newcomer to testing or a first-time attendee at the NCTA conference, you’ll enjoy this opportunity to join other "newbies" for an informative session that includes meeting NCTA board members and seasoned testing professionals, hearing a bit more about the structure of the association and the part that you can play in making NCTA a viable part of your profession, and informally networking with other members so that you can forge connections which will carry you through the conference and beyond.
Invited Speaker
Exploring the Role that Testing Plays within Student Affairs Outcomes-Based Assessment

Please join Marilee Bresciani, Professor of Postsecondary Education at San Diego State University, as she details how outcomes-based assessment within Student Affairs is developing in its practice among student affairs professionals across the country. In addition, Dr. Bresciani will present Astin's I-E-O theory within the framework of "value-added" assessment discussions. Within this framework, she will explore the emerging role of testing and testing centers.

Following this general overview, there will be a follow-up session for those who want to explore further the theories, issues, and questions raised in Dr. Bresciani's presentation.