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Assessment Systems Corporation (ASC)  will be attending the 2013 Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) Exchange Conference in November. The 2013 ICE Exchange Conference will be held in Amelia Island, Florida (outside Jacksonville) from November 11-14. The ICE Exchange Conference is the credentialing industry’s premiere conference, and provides organizations the opportunity to network, visit with vendors, and learn industry trends.

Nathan Thompson, Vice President of ASC, recognizes this as an opportunity both for attendees. “I am eager to attend the ICE Exchange Conference in November because I am interested in learning about new developments in the Certification industry, especially in the topics of badging, test security, and psychometrics, as well as sharing how ASC’s advanced software can provide technological solutions to the issues facing credentialing organizations.” Thompson also adds that ASC’s innovative product, FastTest Web, has the ability to positively impact the industry.

Thompson adds, “We are busy integrating new certification-specific functionalities into FastTest Web, and I am very excited to demonstrate it for leaders in the industry. Additionally, our Iteman 4 Software is highly relevant for certification organizations as it is designed to produce the statistical reports required by NCCA for accreditation.”

For more information about the 2013 ICE Exchange Conference, go to http://www.credentialingexcellence.org

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Update on IACAT 2012 Conference in Sydney, Australia
The conference website has been updated with accepted presentations – go to the “Program” tab in the website (www.iacat.org) to view. Presenters from the United States, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada, China, Australia, Japan, India, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. who will discuss the latest research, theory and applications of CAT.  Register now (note that registrations include lunch and coffee/tea) and join us in Sydney, Australia in August!

Although deadline for proposals has passed, there is room for three more presentations. Please submit an abstract via the website.  Note that grants are available to graduate students, supporting both research and travel; please visit https://assess.com/xcart/pages.php?pageid=9 for more information.

FastTest Web updates
Every month sees advanced new functionality added to FastTest Web (www.fasttestweb.com), our industry-leading platform for item authoring, secure test delivery, and management of testing programs.  Recent additions include an asset manager module for multimedia, split-screen testlets (example: reading passage on left, questions on the right), and the ability to divide your test into multiple sections with separate time limits and other options.  Upcoming features include an interactive on-screen ruler (allowing students to measure objects) and an enhanced psychometric analysis report to evaluate essential aspects of the test (including score reliability, item difficulty, item discrimination, and distractor analysis).

ASC presents at 2012 SIOP Conference
ASC presented a mini-workshop on the development of computerized adaptive tests (CATs) at the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference.  We will also be presenting at the IACAT 2012 Conference in Sydney, Australia.

Connect with us on LinkedIn
Want to stay on top of advancements in psychometrics, test development, and leading-edge software?  Follow us on the ASC LinkedIn page.

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Xcalibre 4 updates
Xcalibre 4is the most user-friendly software available for item response theory (IRT) analysis.  An update has been recently released, which includes a number of bug fixes and enhancements, including an addition of distractor (quantile) plots into the output.  These plots provide an excellent method for evaluating multiple-choice distractors by combining IRT and classical test theory.  We have also added a new fit plot with standard errors to the report document and percentiles to the scores spreadsheet.  Current license holders can download the no-cost update from https://assess.com/xcart/pages.php?pageid=10.  If you do not yet have Xcalibre 4, a free demo version is available at https://assess.com/xcart/product.php?productid=569.

Iteman 4 updates
We have also released an update for Iteman 4, the leading software for analysis with classical test theory (CTT).  This update focuses on bug fixes and maintenance.  If you have a current license, you can download the update at https://assess.com/xcart/pages.php?pageid=10.  If you do not yet have Iteman 4, a free demo version is available at https://assess.com/xcart/product.php?productid=541.

Conferences page on ASC website updated for 2012
ASC provides a number of resources to professionals in the field of testing and psychometrics, including a list of major conferences in the field.  We have updated that list for 2012 at https://assess.com/conferences.php… see where you want to go!  ASC has plans to be at the SIOP, IACAT, and ICE conferences.

Connect with ASC on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an essential social networking site for professionals of all fields.  It marks an important advancement in professional connectivity.  ASC has had a page on LinkedIn for a number of years; if you aren’t already following us, please visit http://www.linkedin.com/company/assessment-systems-corporation. We also update our news at the ASC blog.

Free training videos released
ASC hosts one or two workshops every year (one workshop was just recently held, January 23-25 in Brazil) and presents at a number of conferences, but we realize that not everyone is able to attend.  Therefore, ASC is publishing a set of tutorial videos on our software and important issues in psychometrics, like item response theory and computerized adaptive testing.  The videos are available for free at https://assess.com/tutorials.php.  Two have been completed so far: Running Iteman 4 and Interpreting Iteman 4 Output.

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 PM on Friday, April 27.  More information is available at the SIOP website.

I spent yesterday presenting at the Minnesota Assessment Conference.  My congratulations and thanks to the folks at the Minnesota Department of Education for again organizing a wonderful event with a huge range of topics, from technical psychometric issues all the way to practical district-level topics.  ASC’s plans for upcoming conferences include the CLEAR conference (Sept.  23-25), the European AEA conference (Nov. 4-6), and the Maryland Assessment Conference (Nov. 17-19).  We are also holding a workshop on Sept. 4-5 in Tokyo, Japan.

 

I often get inquiries from around the world about where the next ASC workshop is going to take place.  Given today’s economy, traveling long distances is not always an option, but assessment professionals still want to learn more about IRT and CAT.  For this reason, we have released a recording of our workshop in June 2009.  Now anyone can attend a workshop, for a fraction of the cost of attending in person.

 

FastTEST Web (www.fasttestweb.com) continues to be improved.  Development in July focused on the addition of a Reporting module.  Its purpose is to make test development more efficient by providing informative reports, such as a detailed assessment of the item bank to indicate where more questions are needed, or the current status of tests in your testing program.  The next addition will be computerized adaptive testing (CAT), which will allow anyone to easily create and deliver adaptive tests.

 

The new Iteman 4.1 is slated for release in August.   The most recent additions include a complete reliability analysis and a wizard-type interface for setting up multiple runs.  If you haven’t looked at Iteman 4 yet, I encourage you to check it out.  It is unique in that it is not designed just for statistical analysis, but to actually produce customized reports of high enough quality to provide to stakeholders – in mere seconds.

This post finds me writing from Arnhem, The Netherlands, home of Cito and host to the IACAT 2010 conference.  I’m looking forward to hearing some of the excellent CAT research that is happening around the world.  The conference has 130 participants from approximately 45 countries – and the organization is only one year old!

 

FastTEST Web (www.fasttestweb.com) has seen several important additions over the last month.  Perhaps the most unique is an API functionality, which allows other software systems to interface efficiently.  For example, if your organization has its own test delivery engine, but wishes to utilize FastTEST Web‘s powerful item banking, you can now easily make use of both.  The next addition is to increase the number of reports available, both on the item bank itself and on examinee data.

 

ASC has also continued to work on the new Iteman 4.  Version 4.1 will be released soon, which includes additional output (both graphical and statistical), as well as the capability to work with polytomously scored items (rating scale or partial credit).  This version will even be able to work with mixed-format tests, such as a test composed primarily of multiple-choice items with a few open-response items at the end.  It is a free upgrade from version 4.0, so make sure to update your copy.

 

We will also soon be releasing two more updates.  ScoreAll 2.0 provides an additional level of detail in scoring conventional tests as well as updated interface.  POSTSIM 3.0 cements its spot as the foremost software for computerized adaptive testing (CAT) research by now providing hybrid simulations, a new methodology developed by David Weiss.  This methodology is especially useful because it is designed for sparse matrices, which typically occurs in CAT pilot testing.