ASC Update – February 2012
Here are some brief updates and news for February 2012…
ASC to conduct IRT/CAT Workshop in Botswana – 15 seats open!
ASC will be conducting an applied workshop on item response theory (IRT) and computerized adaptive testing (CAT), March 5-9 at the Grand Palm resort in Gaborone, Botswana. The workshop is hosted by the Botswana Examinations Council for the benefit of countries in the South African Development Community (SADC). Approximately 15 seats remain open for researchers and practitioners from Africa. The cost is approximately $275; participants are responsible for their travel and lodging expenses. If you are interested in attending, please email email@example.com.
CATSim, the essential program for CAT simulation research, is now available as Version 1.0.6. Changes include (1) when the classification termination option is used, a new table reports all examinee classifications in addition to the “high-confidence” classifications, and the examinee report differentiates between the two types of classifications; (2) with variable termination and constraints, a new termination type reports that examinees exhausted the item bank before other termination options were reached; and (3) an error using the graded response model with “reversed” item parameters was fixed. Current license holders can download the no-cost update from https://assess.com/xcart/pages.php?pageid=10. If you do not yet have CATSim, a free demo version is available at https://assess.com/xcart/product.php?productid=555.
Tech Report: Comparison of Xcalibre 4 and BILOG-MG
A technical report was recently released which provides a comparison of Xcalibre 4 and BILOG-MG, the world’s two leading software programs for item response theory (IRT) analysis. The two are compared in terms of parameter recovery, which is an appropriate methodology to evaluate the accuracy of IRT parameter estimates. For the majority of conditions studied, Xcalibre 4 produced more accurate calibrations. A full copy of the report is at https://assess.com/research.php.
FastTEST Web implements powerful new lockdown browser
FastTEST Web, the world’s most advanced system for internet-based item banking and test delivery, has implemented a new “lockdown” delivery system, WebLock. WebLock is a special browser that greatly enhances test security by 1) preventing the examinee from accessing any internet sites, 2) preventing the examinee from accessing any information/programs on their computer, and 3) checking for specific software that is a security concern, such as screen-capture programs. These advantages make it ideal for high-security tests in fields like education, certification, and employment. Moreover, this is in addition to other important FTW security advantages like role-based access, examinee passwords, and the use of an internal adaptive testing engine.
http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html Interesting talk on psychology and work – with some unintentional commentary on the Rasch model around 4:00. (removing some data points simply because you don’t like them, with the excuse of measurement error)
Nathan Thompson, PhD
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