FastTest Web Updates
FastTest Web, our online leading edge platform for testing organizations, has released a number of additional and enhanced functionalities. Visit www.fasttestweb.com to learn more.
- Content hierarchy management: define a content hierarchy to use in addition to arranging items by folders; assign items to the hierarchy and utilize our advanced search capabilities to find items meeting your criteria during the test assembly process
- Enhanced support for audio files, including the the open-source .ogg format
- New item response theory model: Graded Response Model
- New inline horizontal item layout
- Custom fields are now searchable
- Improved loading of images and PDF attachments
- IE 10 has been added as a supported browser
- Item banker and testing engine now available in Portuguese
Next up: An interactive "multi-form assembler" functionality that allows you to easily create parallel test forms! Moreover, this will be based on a blueprint template that helps ensure all your test forms meet detailed outline criteria, incluing content areas, classical statistics, and IRT.
New videosASC has published new videos on our tutorials page. The first, An Introduction to Computerized Adaptive Testing, provides a brief overview of CAT algorithms and the benefits of CAT. The second discusses the Requirements of Computerized Adaptive Testing, namely characteristics that a testing program must have to even consider using CAT. Many organizations are interested in the benefits of CAT, but it is not even relevant for them. This presentation will help guide the process of evaluating test delivery methodology.
Both videos are also available at ASC's YouTube Channel.
New functionality is constantly being added to our online testing platform, FastTest Web We recently implemented linear-on-the-fly testing (LOFT), which builds unique but parallel forms for each examinee when they sit down to take a test. LOFT sits between traditional tests and computerized adaptive testing (CAT), providing another paradigm for test delivery. We have also added capability to calculate specific subscores for both LOFT and CAT, allowing the development of more detailed feedback reports for examinees.
In November, we will be releasing functionality for Test Sessions, aka Batteries. This functionality will allow you to bundle multiple tests into one examinee sitting, making both the scheduling process and the actual test delivery much more efficient for clients that have multiple tests.
Account Manager and Java Developer openings
ASC's excellence in the industry and focus on customer relationships has led to substantial growth, and we are now searching for candidates in two positions: Account Manager and Java Developer. The Account Manager should have experience in the testing industry as well as a mindset for developing customers. If you are interested, please visit the job posting here, or forward to your colleagues if you think they might be interested.
ASC upgrades credit card processing system
PCI compliance is an important issue in e-commerce. In an effort to provide better security and an enhanced customer experience, ASC has recently upgraded its credit card processing system. We now use Authorize.net, an internationally recognized platform with full PCI compliance, so you can feel perfectly safe when making purchases on our webstore. Browse the store at http://www.assess.com/xcart/home.php.
New papers published on ASC research page
ASC made three presentations at the IACAT conference in August: Developing an Online CAT; CAT, IACAT, and the Future; and Multiple cutscore computerized classification testing with the generalized likelihood ratio test. These have been posted at http://www.assess.com/research.html for those of you not able to attend the conference. Next year's conference: Jiaxing, China!
Here are some brief updates and news for September 2012...
Xcalibre 4.1.8 update provides new functionality
A free update to Xcalibre 4.1.8 has been released. Current users can download the update at our support page, http://assess.com/xcart/pages.php?pageid=8. If you do not yet use Xcalibre to produce your IRT reports, you can download a copy at http://assess.com/xcart/product.php?productid=415. The following improvements have been made:
- Polytomous categories with zero endorsement can now automatically be collapsed
- Data Matrix and Item Control Files can now include a header line of identification (helps you keep track of which column is which!)
- Not-administered and/or omitted responses can be replaced with monte-carlo generated model-fitting data in the scored matrix file - useful for sparse data sets
- The scored data matrix file is now saved in the same format as the input data matrix
- Delimited scored matrix files now automatically include header line with same item names used in Item Control File
- The level of precision in the output is now controllable
- Revised manual
ASC/4ROI now provide complete one-stop-shop for certification organizations
ASC has a formal partnership with 4ROI (www.4roi.com), an industry leader in web-based assessment technology, in providing FastTest Web (www.fasttestweb.com), our best-in-class software for item authoring, test development, and test delivery. We are currently integrating a module for examinee registration, payment processing, and scheduling for our network of testing centers. In combination with extensive consulting services from our PhD experts in psychometrics and accreditation, we now provide a comprehensive solution for certification organizations large and small. If your organization delivers professional certifications, we encourage you to contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
New credential released: Certified Social Media Strategist
ASC has worked with the National Institute for Social Media (www.nismonline.org) to develop a landmark credential, the Certified Social Media Strategist. This is the first certification designed specifically for the explosively growing field of social media. More information is available at http://nismonline.org/standards-for-social-media-education. If your organization is involved in any social media marketing, please forward this message to relevant personnel!
New credential released: Certified Social Media Strategist
ASC has been working with the National Institute for Social Media (www.nismonline.org) to develop a landmark credential, the Certified Social Media Strategist. This is the first quality certification designed specifically for the explosively growing field of social media. More information is available at http://nismonline.org/standards-for-social-media-education. If your organization is involved in any social media marketing, please forward this message to relevant personnel!
Lertap 5 Updates
The 10th edition of Lertap 5 has been released for users with Excel 2010. It features improvements to all of its statistical reports, and also to many of its charts. The companion help system ("Lelp") has been extensively revised, with direct links to it now appearing on almost all of Lertap's Excel screens, making it much easier to get immediate assistance with the interpretation of Lertap output. Read more here: http://assess.com/xcart/product.php?productid=3. Lertap 5 for Excel 2011 on Macintosh computers has been brought up to date, with a fully-functional 30-day trial ready for downloading. Write to email@example.com for more information. (Lertap 5 is distributed exclusively by ASC on behalf of Curtin University, Western Australia.)
Book liquidation - 50% off all books!
ASC has an extensive inventory of books that is now being liquidated at 50% off. Topics include psychometrics, assessment, factor analysis, and quantitative methods. Visit http://www.assess.com/xcart/home.php?cat=2 to see our current inventory - when you check out, use the coupon code BOOKS-50 to receive the discount. Offer ends August 31. We currently ship via FedEx - if you prefer postal mail to potentially reduce the shipping cost, let us know. Also note that we provide grants (http://www.assess.com/xcart/pages.php?pageid=9) to graduate students to cover the cost of books.
IACAT conference held in Sydney, Australia
The International Association for Computerized Adaptive Testing held its annual conference this August in Sydney, Australia. The conference was quite a success, with excellent content and a wide range of countries represented. Thank you to John Barnard of EPEC (www.epecat.com) for putting together such a fine program and to the Australian Medical Council for hosting. Next year's conference is planned for Jiaxing University in China, just outside Shanghai. Watch www.iacat.org for more information.
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.iacatconference.com) 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 http://assess.com/xcart/pages.php?pageid=9 for more information.
Free books with purchase of Xcalibre, Iteman, or FastTest Web!
Purchase any new license of Xcalibre, Iteman, or FastTest Web, and receive any in-stock book free of charge. Simply add it to your cart before checking out, and we will update the invoice accordingly. Shipping not included; offer ends July 31. Visit http://www.assess.com/xcart/home.php.
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.
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 http://www.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
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!