2012 Conference Sessions
|1A||Implementing GED CBT|
On February 7, 2012, the State of Indiana began offering GED CBT as a result of a unique partnership between GEDTS, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and Ivy Tech Community College. By doing so, Indiana became the second jurisdiction in the nation to launch GED CBT. Ivy Tech was chosen as the delivery vehicle because it is part of an existing network of 21 PearsonVUE testing sites located throughout the State. Launching the exam in this fashion quickly gave Indiana Hoosiers unparalleled access to the GED computer-based exams.
This session will provide participants an overview of the planning and implementation processes in Indiana and the active role played by Ivy Tech. Participants will learn what worked in addition to what challenges were overcome during the process. Topics such as scheduling, vouchers, training, and general exam administration will be covered. If your state or jurisdiction is considering how to roll-out GED CBT, this session will give you invaluable information from the perspective of a Community College testing center.
|1B||Testing the Bottom Line|
|Whether your testing center is supported by its revenue or funded by your institution, effective budget management can help ensure that the resources are available to provide high quality services to your campus community. Similar to last year’s session “Promoting Testing in the University Environment,” this workshop will be presented as a fun, interactive quiz that will teach participants how to use historical budget information to make informed decisions about providing cost effective services, get the most from your labor dollar, and think outside the box to generate revenue for your center. We will also discuss how to use the quiz continue the discussion at your home institution to engage staff in the mission of providing top quality services with an eye on the bottom line.|
|1C||Google Apps: Scheduling on a Budget|
|As our testing center is still in its beginning and planning stages, we have had to find innovative ways to communicate with our students. As we know, when working with “Millennials,” it is important to understand the way they communicate. We created a Google email address, Google voice number, and Google form for the students to use when registering, to send mass text messages and reminders, and to keep track of our students’ most recent contact information. We are also in the process of developing a free Google webpage to be linked to our institution’s section on Academic Advising & Assessment.|
|1D||Demystifying Data Forensics: An Overview of the Logic Underlying Cheating Detection Techniques|
|In an effort to ensure the integrity and validity of test scores, many test developers routinely implement a variety of data forensic techniques to identify statistical irregularities in test data that help to identify examinees who engage in common or particularly destructive cheating behaviors. This presentation will review some of the approaches used by testing companies to identify examinees who copy answers from neighbors, who had unauthorized prior access to test content, or who hired surrogate examinees for the test. Although these methods rely on sophisticated statistical procedures, the presentation will focus on providing a conceptual understanding of the various methods.|
|1E||The ACCUPLACER Café|
Anne Arundel Community College, along with the Anne Arundel County Public Schools Transition Coordinator, designed what we coined the “ACCUPLACER CAFÉ.” Students were scheduled to visit a station-type setting which provided opportunities to do the following: create buy-in, access ACCUPLACER’s iphone app, meet with high school counselors, and review content strategy reinforcement.
This presentation will review the joint effort between Anne Arundel Community College and the Anne Arundel County Public School System to increase student understanding of the ACCUPLACER exam and how it can be used as a tool in successful college planning and college-readiness. The presentation will outline steps/needs of the college, high school, and students involved. This will include high school/college collaboration, student “buy-in” for testing, and preparation/involvement in the program prior to testing. Costs, staffing needs, strategies for developing this collaboration, successes, and missteps will also be reviewed.
|2A||Completing the Degree Puzzle for Adult Learners: Using Credit-By-Examination|
|Learn about the value of prior learning assessment in degree completion and how the most popular method, credit-by-examination (CBE), which is delivered at academic test centers, helps adult students complete their degrees economically and efficiently. This presentation will review these rigorous, structured academic exams available for delivery at Pearson VUE testing centers. It will also review how a new supported independent study program using Excelsior College Examinations (ECEs) and UExcel examinations is helping adult learners complete their degrees.|
|2B||Stay Ahead of Your Students with Online Registration Technology|
With the ever-changing world of technology, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve in order to service the needs of demanding students. Online registration lets test-takers register on their terms while equipping a testing center with leading web technologies to manage testing dates, seating capacities, and rosters.
Learn how RegisterBlast improves the student registration experience while reducing your paperwork, phone time, and “no-show” rate on test day. Come see how online registration tools let you compare month-over-month (or semester-over-semester) testing volume and revenue reports, all in just a few clicks. You’ll see a demonstration on how students are required to acknowledge necessary testing information before being allowed to register online and how online video functionality enhances the student online registration process.
Listen to the experiences of Sharon Ercey, Testing Director, as she discusses the benefits of online registration. Sharon is one of the charter members of RegisterBlast and has a wealth of online registration experience that will benefit you.
|2C||Growing Your Business and Revenue: Casting Your Lure in a Thousand Streams|
|In today's economic landscape, we're all looking at practical solutions to generate additional revenue. This workshop will examine an entrepreneurial approach to growing and building your testing center's professional certification, licensor, admissions, credentialing, and screening/selection talent assessment business. Best practices, tactics, and techniques for identifying opportunities and developing partnerships and revenue streams within your campus credit and non-credit areas, community professional organizations, private sector business and industry, and building up your Test Vendor portfolio will be examined.|
|2D||Test Preparation -- Not Just for the Test-Taker!|
|At the University of Illinois, we have found that “test preparation” is as much for the test center administrator (TCA) as it is for the test-taker. We utilize daily checklists to prepare for the next day’s testing. Once we have our current day test-takers checked in and testing, we immediately begin preparing for the next day’s test sessions. This includes printing rosters, gathering test materials, and checking on-line for exam-specific updates and policy/procedure information. This approach is universal for all types of testing that our center provides: contractual computer-based testing (CBT), individual paper-based/computer-based testing, and national testing. All TCAs are involved in the CBT preparation process, which includes double checks for accuracy, thereby ensuring that staff remains current, consistent, and compliant with all test company and test center standards and procedures. Come hear what we do and how we do it in order to be prepared.|
|2E||College Success: COMPASS Placement/Diagnostics and PLATO|
Students who score low on placement tests often do not know what to do to raise their scores. A large urban community college coordinates COMPASS scores, COMPASS Diagnostics, and PLATO as one way for students to increase their skills.
A discussion of alignments between COMPASS & COMPASS Diagnostics and PLATO will be discussed as well as local alignments between PLATO and specific local courses in math, reading, and English. Other areas of preparation will include the HESI A2 Nursing exam. Customization will be discussed. There will be opportunity for questions; handouts will be provided.
|3A||Establishing Testing Policies and Procedures for Students with Accommodations|
|This session is designed specifically for testing centers that provide classroom exams to students with self-identified disability accommodations. The Missouri University of Science and Technology Testing Center would like to share the policies, procedures, and revisions it has made over the last eight years while operating a full-service center. Learn how communication is key, as is standing firm with the policies and procedures so that students, faculty, disability support services, and testing staff all follow the same procedures. Learn from the good, bad, and ugly efforts this testing center manager has encountered with faculty and common test times (not final exams) and especially with a disability support services advisor who disagrees with the policies and procedures and the recommendations from NCTA. Come prepared to share what has worked in your testing center.|
|3B||Ten Thousand Tests: Negotiating Expansion of Your Test Center|
|Revenue generation is more important than ever, and it sometimes seems as though finding new sources of revenue is incredibly daunting in a land of ten thousand different tests. This discussion will use the University of South Carolina's recent experience investigating expansion opportunities as a case study. The workshop will focus primarily on the "nuts and bolts" of center expansion: conducting a self-assessment to determine current needs and opportunities, finding new options, and negotiating with university administration for support and funding.|
|3C||Complete College America & CLEP: Land of 10,000 Opportunities|
What can testing centers do to assist students' retention, progression, and completion? How can we assist with Prior Learning Assessments (PLA's)? Testing professionals are in a unique position to play major roles in their institutions to address what can be done to support their states with the new Complete College America initiative.
This presentation will not only include information about Complete College America but also about the most standard method to assess learning outside the classroom: the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). Included will be ideas on identifying and targeting candidates for CLEP, eliminating artificial barriers in your CLEP rules, and assisting your state in formulating standard CLEP acceptance policies.
|3D||Drowning in a Lake of Registration Paperwork? One Testing Center’s Solution|
The purpose of the DELO Testing Centers is to provide testing services to students taking Distance Learning and Independent Learning courses through Western Kentucky University and other higher education institutions in addition to makeup exams at the South Campus location. Due to the variety of exams and the varying maximum times allotted, the supervising staff decided to create an online reservation system. That was followed by the creation of an online check-in/check-out system to alleviate the hours spent manually inputting the start and end times of each tester and to try and become paperless during check-in except for the memorandum of understanding that testers sign.
The presenters will demonstrate each system, discuss the pros, explain the limitations, show the reports available for the reservation system, explain how the systems have improved services at our centers, and answer questions about each system.
|3E||Gimme Shelter: Weathering the Media Storm of a Security Breach|
Unfortunately, very few program managers are prepared to weather the “perfect storm” of media and public scrutiny, particularly when the incidents involve cheating. Any security breach is operationally disruptive to a testing program, but few programs incorporate suitable planning and tactics to handle the media and communications maelstrom that may ensue.
A panel of security experts from several testing companies will share key aspects of media strategy for testing programs and will overview techniques for positioning incidents to various audiences. High profile security breaches will be reviewed, highlighting details of what went well and what did not. The use and effectiveness of various media tools will be analyzed, and a checklist of media “Do’s and Don’ts” will be presented.
|4A||Planning, Writing, and Submitting a Grant Proposal|
|This panel composed of members of the NCTA Grants Committee will provide valuable information on how to plan, write, and submit a grant. Although the focus will be on NCTA grants, the information shared can be used in writing funding requests for any agency. The panel will cover how to plan your application, develop a budget, write the application, and get input from former grant recipients. NCTA members who are considering submitting a proposal will want to attend this session.|
|COMPASS staff from ACT will give an update on the COMPASS program. Participants will be introduced to new features, capabilities, enhancements, and platform changes 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’ questions about COMPASS to be answered by experienced ACT staff.|
|4C||The Future of CLEP from a 10,000 Foot View|
|The CLEP program continues to grow. Join us to learn more about the future of the CLEP Program. Topics will include testing demographics from 2011-12 to year-to-date, future ideas for test preparation, expansion of the CBT test center footprint, and an update on commonly asked technical questions.|
|4D||Drowning in Lake Testbegone: Staying Afloat in a Lake of Paperwork|
|This workshop is targeted to those testing centers managing day-to-day operations in Excel, Outlook, Word and/or ACCESS. The first part of the workshop will discuss how to use Excel, Outlook, and Word to stop the flow of paperwork. The second part of the workshop will demonstrate how using an ACCESS database with email merges can help a center rise above the manual paperwork. We will share tips and tricks to automate many manual processes using these systems. The last part of the workshop will allow for interactive demonstrations and a sharing of ideas for saving time and improving efficiencies.|
|4E||Avoiding Litigation: Accommodated Testing and ADA|
|For those of us non-lawyers working in the field of accommodated testing, navigating the Americans with Disabilities Act can be tricky. Our presentation will discuss the major roles the ADA and Section 504 play in the college testing world. Topics to be discussed will include the rights and responsibilities of faculty, staff, and students in the process of accommodated testing, as well as how to abide by FERPA regulations while still administering exams properly and providing reasonable accommodations in the face of limited space, budgets, and atypical requests from students and/or faculty. The purpose of this workshop will be to educate testing center staff on how to avoid messy legal issues without jeopardizing test security by adhering to ADA regulations. We will also include information about what is expected of your test center in the face of litigation.|
|5A||MINNI Testing Centers in High Schools for COMPASS|
|Kentucky is a model of how the KDE (Kentucky Department of Education) has implemented testing in the high schools. KDE has received the licensing from ACT and trained staff to administer COMPASS exams in a high school setting. This is helping tremendously with the amount of testing required of our colleges during Freshmen Orientation. We will discuss how the two and four year institutions will receive the electronic scores from KDE and how these institutions can use them. We will also discuss how high school seniors will take the COMPASS after some intervention and be able to use these scores to reach benchmarks instead of taking the ACT.|
|5B||Forming a State College Testing Association: Why and How?|
|Utilizing a grant from NCTA, we organized a Wyoming State College Testing Association. Through the process, we identified “why” a state organization would be important. We learned some valuable lessons along the way and will share our experiences. As we began this journey, we found that we needed guidance. We contacted other state college testing associations to find the best practices of those organizations and collected examples of mission statements and by-laws. To define “how” to organize the group, we also developed a checklist of tasks to complete before, during, and after the inaugural meeting. This presentation will include this list of tasks and how we completed them.|
|5C||10,000 Issues: Testing in a Tough Economy|
Increasingly we hear from test centers that they are under increasing scrutiny to demonstrate the value their test centers bring and to provide more while receiving less. Questions range from increasing revenue and minimizing costs to providing metrics to demonstrate the value they bring. What should my test center look like? How many seats should I have? What hours should we be open? Who should I hire? What should my staffing model look like? Are there questions that I can ask testing companies and other test centers that might help me?
Hear about approaches and ideas to the following: forecasting, scheduling scenarios, utilization,
efficiency, maximizing space, staffing options and approaches, ideas and approaches to accommodations, and accurately representing the value your center brings to your institution and your community.
|5D||Developing a Statewide Customized College Math Test for Minnesota|
|Minnesota State Colleges and University System (MnSCU) has partnered with The College Board's ACCUPLACER program to customize the system’s math placement exams to align with Minesota state-specific math standards. The development of the exam involved MnSCU Faculty, The College Board Test Development staff, and Research and Development teams. This session will outline the steps and timeline utilized from developing content specs, to item development and review, to field testing, and finally to setting course placement scores and implementing the test system-wide. Creating a math exam that aligns with state standards increases the likelihood of correct course placements while also giving clear content specific information to our high school partners, ultimately leading to increased student success retention and graduation rates.|
|5E||Security and Service Enhancements for the ACT: Using Technology to Improve the Process|
|Technology has changed the testing industry in many ways. ACT has recently announced new technology changes that are intended to better serve both our test takers and our testing staff. This session will explore how ACT is implementing new safeguards during the upcoming testing year to further ensure ACT score integrity. These enhancements will use technology to put more information in the hands of testing staff to allow for better identity-matching before, during, and after testing. ACT has also implemented new online payment procedures to provide faster payment and service to testing staff. Join us for a session that will focus on how these enhancements will benefit testing staff and improve the overall testing process.|
|6A||Making Meaningful Placements Based on Students' Skills and Backgrounds|
|We know from volumes of research that students who begin advanced studies in courses that are above their skill ranges are highly likely to become attrition statistics or unsuccessful in college. Placement, then, becomes an important factor in student retention and success. Factoring students' histories, attitudes, behaviors, and environments along with assessment of their skills into the placement decision can result in a better match for students and a greater potential for student success. This presentation will demonstrate the steps and processes for such a system. Using ACCUPLACER and faculty-developed rules for including background information, many colleges are able to provide students with substantially more accurate placements. Audience participation is encouraged in a discussion of factors to include and expectations for results.|
|6B||Adhering to FERPA While Testing in the Cloud|
As the popularity of cloud computing grows throughout the testing industry, educational administrators must be aware of the implications federal law has on the storage and transmission of educational records and student information in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). With the rise of distance education being conducted over the Internet, educational IT administrators must be highly aware of the sensitive information that is passing along institutional networks, and more importantly, what information leaves the internal network and is passed to a cloud network.
Technology and online learning are blending elements within the academic world at an increasing rate, and many times existing federal law may unfortunately be a casualty in the name of innovation. Session participants will be encouraged to voice their thoughts about current FERPA regulations. Some participants may have views that differ from those of the presenter, but all opinions will be welcomed and encouraged for discussion.
|6C||Land of 10,000 “Friends”: Promoting Your Test Center with Social Media|
|Two New Jersey testing centers actively use social media to advertise their services, promote their Centers, and provide up-to-date information to their testing candidates. Postings are done on a regular basis, and social media options are used to complement their college websites. The two experienced testing professionals will share tips on how to get started, how to cultivate “friends” and “followers,” and what information to post. In addition, available statistical data will be reviewed, and different features will be examined, helping you to find the media that works best for you, your test center, and your college.|
|6D||Security Strategies for Every Stage of the Testing Process|
Test security solutions are essential throughout the testing process, from authoring and scheduling to delivering and reporting. This presentation will show how colleges can protect the integrity of test content and minimize cheating by applying best practices at each of these stages, in some cases with the help of technological tools.
Topics to be covered include authoring strategies such as the use of “cheat-resistant” question types and scenarios that provide specific context for students’ responses; scheduling tools such as proctor log-ins; methods for protecting item banks; scoring algorithms and secure browsers to aid secure delivery; and methods for reviewing test results to identify possible incidences of cheating. The presentation will also demonstrate the potential for using cost-effective and flexible mobile test centers on or off campus, for students who use tablets such as the Apple iPad.
|6E||Wheel of Misfortune: What's Your Game Plan?|
Pick any vowel or consonant, and you're bound to be able to identify a problem we've all faced in our professional testing lives: "B" is for bullies, the examinees who think they can browbeat you into letting them test even though they're not eligible; "H" is for helicopter parents who hover over you while waiting for their 7th graders to finish Duke TIP testing; "A" is for associate supervisors who think it's okay to ad lib the testing scripts provided. The list can be daunting.
Put your game face on and play a round of "Wheel of Misfortune." As we spin the testing wheel, we'll work together to determine the issues that "bankrupt" us, identify the answers that solve the puzzles we face daily, and do all in our power to get to the bonus round and the prize package.
While primarily geared to contestants new to the testing game, seasoned players are welcome to join the audience and play along.
|7A||Innovations in Online Proctoring|
Join us for a thought-provoking exploration into the people, processes, and technological innovations that are driving today’s live online proctoring services. Higher education deans and directors from around the globe are waking up to challenges in reducing delivery costs, increasing competition for global students, and understanding the changes in how students learn.
Learn how colleges and universities in North America are successfully transitioning to the arena of online exams and opening up their education course reach to students around the globe. Learn how to create a seamless “at home” learning experience, from online learning to online exam writing. Learn how live online proctoring services can provide higher education institutions with the level of integrity that meets and exceeds typical examination requirements for your students, faculty, and administration.
|7B||Non-standard Classroom Testing Services: NCTA Member Survey Results|
|This panel will present the results of a survey of NCTA members that assessed involvement with providing non-standard testing accommodations for classroom exams on their campuses. In addition to summarizing the results of the survey, the panel will identify issues and challenges revealed by the survey, make suggestions for future steps for NCTA, and explore ideas for collaboration with AHEAD. Attendees will be invited to participate in this discussion and offer their ideas, experiences, and perspectives.|
|7C||A Suite Solution: Diagnostics, Intervention, & Customized Placement|
|Identifying students’ academic strengths and weaknesses in preparation for college is more critical than ever. In response to the growing need for a comprehensive student readiness evaluation system, ACCUPLACER introduces its partnership with Pearson’s MyFoundationsLab. The presenters will share experiences from several pilot programs including Rock Valley College, review the early results, and offer attendees the opportunity to think again about readiness initiatives on their campuses and reimagine their own role in student readiness and success.|
|7D||Dream Big: Designing a New Test Center|
|Come join this roundtable discussion about what it might take to design a new center or relocate your existing center. The panel will share floor plans and items needed to accomplish this adventure. Speak with those who have done a new center, those in the process of relocating, or those just dreaming of doing it. This should prove to be a very informative session.|
|7E||NCTA Certification -- the Answers to 10,000 Questions|
|NCTA Test Center Certification is now available for test centers. How does it work? What do you need to submit? How long will it take? Find out the answers to these and many more questions. We will share samples of applications that are good and those that need some work. As you work on the application and evaluate your center against the certification standards, you will see where your test center excels and where improvement would be beneficial. Join us for a very practical discussion of what you and your staff need to have or develop at your center before applying for certification.|
|8A||Gathering Your Hops and Barley: Collecting and Using Student Visit Data|
|This program on the Testing Sign-In System (TSiS) contains three components. The first 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.|
|8B||10,000 Choices: Hiring, Training, and Retaining the Best Testing Staff|
|This session will provide best practices and tips for leading staff in a testing program from hiring the right person through initial training, ongoing training, and retention. What should you consider when hiring? What are your institution’s guidelines? What are different methods of initially training staff and then providing professional development for ongoing training? Also, how do you retain staff and maintain your sanity and theirs? We will offer tips, hints, processes, and suggestions based on our experience and institution's policies and also by utilizing the human resources training of one our presenters. We will share hiring grids, training schedules and manuals, and samples of professional development as well as have an interactive discussion on retention.|
|8C||Regional Testing for a Rural Community: Whom to Serve and How|
|The Rural Policy Research Institute's paper “Rethinking Rural Human Service Delivery in Challenging Times/ The Case for Service Integration (February, 2010)” advocates for “place-based policies to leverage investments by focusing resources in targeted places and drawing on compounding effect of well-coordinated action.” College testing centers in rural areas have become one-stop shops for credentialing and creating accountability for a multiplicity of agencies, not to mention students affiliated with a variety of academic institutions. How do we meet these demands? Who gets services? At what cost? This round-table discussion explores the growing challenges of being a rural testing center.|
|8D||"Ability to Benefit" Testing at Two Year Colleges|
|This workshop will discuss and share a variety of testing experiences involving the July 1, 2011, “Ability to Benefit” Test used to establish financial aid eligibility for students who have not earned a high school or GED credential or completed at least 6 prior college credit hours. The test package is based on many current placement exams (such as COMPASS and Accuplacer) at two year colleges. Participants will discuss ATB test preparation strategies, certification, reporting, testing, and other issues that arose during implementation of this new federal financial aid eligibility test.|
|9A||Redesigning the Developmental Math Curriculum and Assessments for Increased Student Success|
The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) launched a developmental education task force in 2008-2009, which included goals to 1) reduce the need for developmental education, 2) reduce the time to complete required developmental education for entering students to 1 year, and 3) increase the numbers of developmental education students graduating or transferring. A developmental math redesign team, consisting of representatives from higher education administration and student services, K-12, college faculty, and the workforce collaborated to identify the core competencies required for success in college level math courses; then, VCCS worked with McCann Associates to develop a set of customized placement and diagnostic assessments, which were launched in November 2011.
The presenters will share their experiences in developing a redesigned math curriculum, developing customized assessments to meet placement and diagnostic objectives, and working with key stakeholders to ensure acceptance of changes.
|9B||Improving Exam Feedback for Student Learning|
Feedback to students that enhances and improves their learning is an essential feature of testing center services. With the increased emphasis on learning outcomes and evidences of student learning derived from assessments, testing centers have a great opportunity to help instructors plan and carry out effective strategies for designing and implementing feedback that will help students learn and help instructors improve their courses.
This presentation will highlight strategies developed at Brigham Young University’s Center for Teaching and Learning and the Testing Center. These strategies include customized learning management tools found in BYU’s Learning Suite, such as Exam Builder, Digital Dialog, and Syllabus Builder.
|9C||Finding the Picasso: Testing as a Work of ART (Advising, Retention, and Testing)|
Your college or university canvas is splashed with an array of testing colors such as COMPASS, ACCUPLACER, Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) or in-house developed assessments, Student Readiness Inventories, SATs, ACTs, Advanced Placements, and GED. As you assess test results, you share your canvas with an advising specialist or team who add their strokes in the form of continued guidance and a degree plan.
Come paint with us and show your college or university why the testing center is such a valuable piece of art for students’ success and community partnerships. This interactive presentation will cover the areas of advising, retention, testing assessments, outreach, recruitment, and network connections.
|9D||Making Testing a Profitable Experience|
As we hear about testing centers closing and cutting back due to budget concerns, it is important that centers look at ways to generate income to remain viable and OPEN. By administering exams for our institution as well outside testing companies, the University of Oklahoma Center for Independent and Distance Learning Testing Center has gone from zero income to nearly $100,000 income in just a few years.
The presentation will cover the ease of setting up these exams…as well as some of the landmines to avoid. It will also include a list of companies and contact information to help you in your journey to profitability.