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Here are some brief updates and news for April 2012: new website and updates to Xcalibre 4, CATSim, and FastTest Web!

New ASC Website

To reflect ASC’s growing stature in the testing industry, we have released a new website that better reflects our new role as a comprehensive, world-class testing organization.  In addition to massively expanding our psychometric software capabilities, we now offer full consulting services, a network of secure testing centers, and software to completely manage the entire assessment process.  Check out the new site at www.assess.com!  We have also upgraded our new webstore (shopping cart system) and added a sleek, modern layout to be more customer-friendly; visit the store at https://assess.com/xcart/home.php. In addition, we are in the process of integrating Google Wallet functionality for enhanced credit card security and convenience.

ASC presents workshop to SADC in Botswana

ASC presented a workshop on item response theory (IRT) and computerized adaptive testing (CAT) to member countries of the Southern African Development Council.  The workshop took place March 4-9 in Botswana, and provided five days of background and hands-on instruction regarding the application of these modern methods to solving issues in educational assessment, with a focus on ASC’s landmark software, Iteman 4 and Xcalibre 4.  Such a combination of ASC’s consulting services and leading-edge software can help your organization move to the next level; contact solutions@54.89.150.95 to learn more.

FastTEST Web updates

FastTest Web (FTW), our platform for item authoring and internet-based assessment, is being upgraded almost continually to stay at the forefront of testing technology.  In March, we released functionality that allows tests to be published as a public link, ideal for low stakes exams or pilot testing, as an alternative to the high-security registration process currently in place.  This approach is integrated with new functionality for managing demographic information on examinees; you can request that examinees enter such information before starting the test.  Additionally, we rebuilt the item authoring tool to be more user-friendly and WYSIWYG.  As always, we’ve also released a number of small enhancements.  The next major release will include an advanced Asset Manager for multimedia and the capability for testlets, groups of items that share a reading passage or other common stimulus.

Xcalibre 4 updated

ASC’s cutting-edge software for item response theory has been substantially updated.  This is a free update for current license holders, and includes several bug fixes as well as improved functionality:

  • User can specify bounds for scaled scores
  • Lz person fit statistic now computed
  • Test response function (TRF) values are now output
  • Chi-square item fit statistics enhanced
  • Subgroup analysis based on DIF group membership
  • Rebuilt ranking of ability estimates to be much faster
  • Observed item response function (fit line) now includes multi-key items
  • Many more small improvements!

Current users can upgrade at our support page; new users can download a free version here.  Don’t forget that graduate students can obtain free licenses from the APM student grants program!

CATSim updated

CATSim, the software that provides the research necessary for computerized adaptive testing (CAT) has also been upgraded.  The update focuses primarily on bug fixes.  Current users can upgrade for free at our support page; new users can download a free version here.

ASC to present at 2012 SIOP Conference

ASC will present a mini-workshop on the development of computerized adaptive tests (CATs) at the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference.  The session is scheduled for 1:30 P.M. on Friday, April 27.  More information is available at the SIOP website.  Please join us and learn about our CAT solutions and assessments!

IACAT Conference

An official conference website has been established for the 2012 IACAT Conference: please visit www.iacat.org  to register and learn more about this important meeting.  Also, we have been working on upgrades to the IACAT website; please visit http://iacat.org/ to see some of what we are working on.  It includes a comprehensive library of all CAT research, newsletters, and past conference proceedings.

CAT Workshops

ASC recently held a 5-day workshop on item response theory (IRT) and computerized adaptive testing (CAT) for the Botswana Examinations Council (http://www.bec.co.bw/).  In addition, there were participants from Namibia and Nigeria, expanding the scope of the discussion.  Much of the workshop focused on the use of ASC’s leading-edge software for IRT analysis, Xcalibre 4.  Thank you to BEC for organizing the workshop!