Professional Testing, Inc.
Providing High Quality Examination Programs

From the Item Bank

The Professional Testing Blog


Recent Blog Posts

Does Livestreaming Have a Place in Certification Programs?

April 17, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

In March a livestreaming video platform by the name of Meerkat exploded at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, just two weeks after its initial launch. Shortly after Meerkat’s SXSW debut, Periscope, another live video streaming app recently acquired by Twitter, made a grab for the spotlight. As these new platforms for learning evolve we must ask ourselves, does livestreaming play a role in certification programs? We believe they can.

The Role Error Plays in Candidates’ Scores

April 8, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

A candidate’s observed score can be broken down into two components: their true score and an error component. The error component of observed scores can be further split into two types, random and systematic.  Random errors of measurement affect candidates’ scores purely by chance, such as the room temperature where a candidate is testing, the candidate’s anxiety level or misreading a question. However, systematic errors of measurement are factors that consistently impact a candidate’s scores.  For example, when measuring a candidate’s math skill level through word problems, the candidate’s reading level could have an impact on their scores.  If the same test on math ability was administered over and over again to the same candidate under the same conditions this error would continue to be exhibited. 

Transitioning an Exam Program in the Modern Age

April 1, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

Transitioning an exam program from paper to computer-based administrations may appear to be a very straightforward process but there are a variety of variables to consider when a sponsor is making this decision.

Five Key Tenets for Governing Certification Boards

March 25, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

Governing a certification board takes a special set of skills members of your certification board may not be familiar with, or even experienced in leadership positions they’ve held.  Often members of the certification board come from the profession and may have held leadership positions within related associations and societies—this is great exposure.  But while they may understand the dynamics of their profession, even those with experience serving on boards will benefit from having their responsibilities described in the particular context of certification.  Consider orienting your certification leadership to these key tenets in governing certification programs before their service begins (frequent reminders are also a good idea!)

Alternative Item Types – The Big Picture

March 18, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

Alternative item types (AIT) is a catch-all term, and can refer to any item type that's new or a bit different from the standard multiple choice (MC) item. AITs are sometimes called innovative item types or technology-enhanced items.

This post is the first in a planned series on AITs. In this post we’ll consider why program staff might want to add AITs to an exam program and a useful approach to designing the item types so that they will be successful. Future posts will address some popular AITs individually, along with other factors to consider when implementing new item types.

Your Certificants are Your Best Marketers

March 11, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

You have built your certification program from the ground up: from conducting market research to calculating the ROI of your program. You have identified experts to enhance the profile of your program and recruited customers to build a network of certificants. The next logical step forward is expanding your program. While traditional forms of marketing and advertising are necessary for program growth, no program can make it on its own.  It is increasingly important for you to look to your certificants as ambassadors and equip them with the tools to bring recognition and credibility to your program.

Helping your certificants market their certification also helps establish good will between you and the certificate holders and helps underscore their value in investing in this certification. It is a way that you can remind your certificants that they have made a commitment to their career and personal development by seeking out certification, that their new credentials are a representation of having achieved and exceeded industry standards for skill and knowledge, and that your program is here to support them.

Creating Profitable Certification Programs

February 25, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

Certification is a buzzword in the assn world and few would argue that offering a certification isn’t a great idea. Over the past few decades, there has been a proliferation of certifications (in the thousands) develop across industries and professions with nonprofits leading the way. But many nonprofits do not create a business and marketing plan that realistically outlines the long-term investment needed to develop and sustain a profitable program.

Thinking of Developing a Certification Program? The Top 5 Things You Need to Do

February 18, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

Christine Niero, Ph.D. Over the past few decades thousands of certification programs have proliferated, several in industries that didn’t even... View Article

Sorting Through Credentialing Confusion: Understanding the Differences Between Certificate and Certification Programs

February 11, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

It’s confusing enough that we live in a credentialing society where the use of acronyms proliferate.  Adding to the confusion is the misuse of key credentialing terminology, in particular, when “certification” is used interchangeably with, and as the outcome of, “certificate” and training programs.  If you are thinking about developing a credentialing program, understanding the differences between “certification” and “certificate” programs will help you determine the best type of program for your profession.

Credentialing Examinations

February 4, 2015  | By  | Leave a comment

The lifeblood of every credentialing body is its credential examinations.  Although sometimes in addition to experience and education, credentialing exams... View Article