PACIFIC GROVE, Calif., Oct. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading researchers and internationally respected experts convened this week at the second annual International Association for Computerized Adaptive Testing (IACAT) Conference to explore, share and learn new approaches to computer adaptive testing. The conference was hosted this year by CTB/McGraw-Hill, a leading provider of adult education and Pre-K-12 assessment, in Pacific Grove, Calif., and attended by representatives from 18 countries.
Computer adaptive testing (CAT) is one of the most innovative areas in education, providing personalized assessment experiences by adjusting to students' or examinees' individual skill levels by analyzing student responses while the test is being conducted. CAT programs allow students to reinforce and master concepts and skills efficiently as they move through their coursework.
The conference began with a joint introduction from IACAT President Theo Eggen, CTB/McGraw-Hill President Ellen Haley, and CTB/McGraw-Hill Chief Research Scientist Wim van der Linden that highlighted the importance of advancing adaptive testing in all fields of applied psychological and educational measurement. "We should not be surprised if we see most current testing programs converted to adaptive testing in the next decade," said van der Linden.
On the first day of the conference, CTB/McGraw-Hill also launched TABE Adaptive™, a computer adaptive version of the company's TABE® 9&10 test, the most comprehensive and reliable adult basic skills assessment on the market.
The conference featured six keynote addresses, three workshops and an invited panel discussion entitled, "Lessons Learned from the Introduction of a CAT Program." Chaired by Dr. Richard Patz, Vice President of Research and Product Development at CTB/McGraw-Hill, the discussion focused on the creation of assessment as well as large-scale implementation methods and strategies. Members of the panel included:
- Craig Mills, Vice President of Examinations at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Ronald Nungester, Senior Vice President for Professional Services of the National Board of Medical Examiners
- Anthony Alpert, Chief Operating Officer of the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium
- James McBride, Vice President and Chief Psychometrician of Renaissance Learning
An important topic of discussion for the panel was the return on implementing a large scale adaptive testing program. "Paper is not an investment—computers are," said Alpert.
Additional breakout sessions examined implementation aspects of CAT, models for CAT development, examinees' perceptions about CAT and factors that may influence the next generation of adaptive tests, such as multistage testing, security, response time research and K-12 computer infrastructure.
IACAT serves to encourage scholarly efforts to advance the science of adaptive testing in all fields of applied psychological and educational measurement; improve adaptive instruments and procedures for their administration, scoring, interpretation, and use; and improve applications of adaptive assessment of individuals and evaluations of assessment programs.
CTB/McGraw-Hill has an 85-year record of innovation and excellence in assessment, and serves more than 18 million students in all 50 states and in 49 countries. One of the first American publishers to introduce objective, standardized achievement tests to schools, today CTB/McGraw-Hill is a leader in testing with recognized products for online interim and formative, adult, and language proficiency assessment. Dedicated to advancing the use of student performance data to inform instructional decision making, CTB/McGraw-Hill's innovation continues today with technologies that include Web-based assessment and reporting, student response device (clicker) software, and artificial intelligence for automated scoring of student essays. CTB/McGraw-Hill is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP). McGraw-Hill Education is a leading global provider of instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. For more information, visit CTB.com.