2021 Conference Videos

These videos are available for viewing by those who attended the 2021 Virtual Conference. If you would like to view these videos, but did not attend the conference, please contact [email protected].

Scantron Sponsor Workshop: The Candidate Experience ... Is the Standard Changing?

Presented by:
Scott Greene, Scantron
Julie Gill, Scantron
Criss Gilbert, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Sonya Sedivy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Derrick Koh, San Jose State University

As NCTA members, we all work to ensure examinations are administered in a standard fashion and the candidate has a good testing experience.  What exactly is the ideal testing experience and how do we provide it?  How do we handle candidate situations when their varied expectations deviate from the standard conditions proctors are required to provide?  How should we respond to unexpected challenges that interfere with the proper testing experience? Has the definition of “standard testing” changed in the last 18 months due to the pandemic, new technologies, new social norms, and evolving expectations?   If so, what do NCTA members (corporate and colleges) need to do to guide the changes and adapt?  Join Scantron and their panelists of NCTA members as we explore these topics.


RegisterBlast Sponsor Workshop: More tools. More options. More Registerblast.

Presented by:

Dwight Pittman, CEO
Brandon Hale, Creative Director
Teri Moore, Product Specialist
Hall Pittman, Client Relations

RegisterBlast is busy rolling out the next wave of platform enhancements, including Questions, updated Knowledge Base design, Events, and a brand new subscription plan called RB Plus. We have improved many areas of our platform alongside these new enhancements, like column management for admin lists, vouchers, seating charts, text notifications, waitlists, and more. It has never been easier or more affordable to use Registerblast. Join us for a look at what Registerblast is doing to improve higher education scheduling.

College Board Sponsor Workshop: College Board Updates:  ACCUPLACER and CLEP

Presented by:

Kathie Montognese, ACCUPLACER, Senior Director of Outreach
Gini Beran, CLEP, Director of Outreach
Denise Swafford, ACCUPLACER, Customer Success Manager
Sue Schmitz, ACCUPLACER, Assessment Delivery Operations

College Board’s ACCUPLACER and CLEP programs are proven to increase student retention, promote degree completion, and foster student success. Whether you are a novice or experienced testing professional, this informational session will:

  • Deliver practical advice on ensuring a consistent testing experience whether in person or virtual
  • Highlight each program’s most recent updates
  • Provide resources to support your testing program

Examity Sponsor Workshop: Spilling the Tea: What Worked – and What Didn’t – Over the Past 18 Months

Presented by:

Rachel Schoenig, Chief Science Officer, Examity
The last 18 months have caused seismic shifts across the assessment industry — and we’ve all had to adapt to COVID protocols, embrace new types of proctoring, and address rapidly evolving security concerns. As we chart a path forward, this workshop will provide opportunities for attendees to share lessons, best practices (and teachable moments!) and to learn from one another. By bringing together practitioners from across the community, we hope to identify opportunities to build a better, more secure, and more equitable proctoring experience for all involved. So grab a cup of tea and let’s talk shop!

Keynote Presentation: Coach Lewis Sims
In the fall of 1992, Lewis Sims made a fateful decision that would totally change his life. The trials and tribulations that led to his dismissal from the United States Naval Academy would mold him into the person he is today.  Tracing that journey and sharing it over the past 20 years has been his way of paying it forward to students and faculty members over the Southeast.  From sleepless nights in Bancroft Hall to blaming everyone but himself, Lewis has experienced the full spectrum of the grief that goes with the loss of a dream.  Once he accepted responsibility for this chapter in his life, Lewis’s journey took him down a path that has been marked by many more victories than losses.  From the disgrace of his USNA separation, to leading his football team to a state championship appearance, he has used his experience to encourage young people to seek integrity first and success second.  The lessons he learned have enabled him to reach hundreds of students and mentor many more into accepting the decisions they make, learning the lessons in those decisions, and growing to become productive in their chosen endeavors.

Keynote Follow-up
Presenter(s): Lewis Sims

This session will take the keynote presentation to the next level with a lesson on how Mr. Sims teaches his players and students to develop integrity in their personal and school lives. He will present and take questions on his WARFACE approach to character development.

  • Work
  • Attitude
  • Respect
  • Family
  • Accountability
  • Character
  • Enthusiasm

Weaving this into what he learned from his experience and detailing how his job is and has always been to provide young people an opportunity to avoid the mistakes he made and live their best lives, academically and personally.

Predictions for a Post-Pandemic World
Presenter(s): Rachel Schoenig, Cornerstone Strategies LLC
Jarret Dyer, College of DuPage
Jim Wollack, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Education and testing are known for being fairly slow-moving and methodical industries.  Changes happen, of course, but they traditionally happen slowly and after considerable evidence collection, study, and debate.  The past year has seen significant pressure upon education and testing to rapidly pivot to new modalities of teaching and assessment, and new rules associated with those modalities.  What have these changes meant for the testing industry?  What types of changes are likely to stick around, and how will those impact traditional testing models?  Join testing professionals as they present their predictions of a post-pandemic world.

Academic Dishonesty with Remote Proctoring:  Possible, Probable, or Certain?
Presenter(s): Jinny Hurdle, University of Mississippi
Nic Davis, University of Mississippi

Remote proctoring has become a standard practice for many universities during the pandemic era, replacing live proctoring within classrooms and testing labs.  How secure is the academic content of professors' exams when remote proctoring platforms are used?  Are there telltale signs to observe in a remote proctoring situation that can offer clues to questionable student test practices?  In this session, participants will learn about our positive experiences with remote proctoring and how we've worked together with our faculties to minimize academic dishonesty risk.  Additionally, we will detail how our university's process for questions of academic dishonesty has unfolded in the era of remote proctoring.

The Future of Learning: Is a Hybrid Model Here to Stay?
Presenter(s): Ivan Babovic, Proctorio Incorporated
John Kleeman, Questionmark

Last year, the testing industry was shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced institutions to explore alternatives to traditional in-person testing. What do these changes mean for the future of testing?  With so many institutions globally adopting distance learning programs, industry leaders predict that the hybrid learning model is here to stay. Learners everywhere are able to continue their education due to the expansion of distance hybrid learning programs. Institutions recognize the benefit of offering their degrees and courses online in addition to their traditional in-person format, and will likely continue to do so. For institutions and organizations primarily leveraging testing centers, the last year has shown the industry the importance of protecting test-taker privacy and security. Institutions should consider implementing tools that uphold the integrity of assessments while simultaneously prioritizing data privacy and security, no matter the testing environment.

This session, hosted by Mike Olsen, Founder and CEO of Proctorio, and John Kleeman, Executive Director and Founder of Questionmark, looks into the future of validation of higher education and learning by focusing on value to the learner. They suggest that institutions will continue to adopt the hybrid learning model to allow some test takers to study on campus and take exams in testing centers, while allowing others to do so remotely.

In both cases, a valid, reliable, and trustworthy assessment process is crucial to the test-taker experience, the credibility of the institution, and the value of the test taker’s qualifications. It is vital for institutions to maintain exam integrity so that employers and other stakeholders will value the qualifications a test taker has earned from distance or hybrid learning. Institutions need to also carefully choose the right balance between privacy and security to allow test takers to take assessments in their own locality and on their own time. Technology also needs to be convenient for exam administrators and test takers to ensure that exam administrators are in control of what personal information is collected from test takers on the exams.

This session will outline a vision for the future of learning and testing and suggest the importance of a testing and proctoring model that focuses on the needs of test takers, whether they require remote alternatives to testing or testing in-person. Mike Olsen and John Kleeman will also describe how protecting test-taker privacy, data security, and accessibility are critical for institutions and the industry.

Accessibility in a Remote World
Presenter(s): Sara Rieder Bennett, University of Akron
Natalie Martin, University of Akron
Tammy Stitz, University of Akron
Vernee Hemphill, Central Washington University

Shifting to primarily remote instruction and testing in 2020 presented unique challenges and opportunities, particularly for accessibility needs. Colleges and universities are required to ensure resources are accessible to all students, and have for decades defined policies and procedures to meet these standards in primarily face-to-face operations. While some resources had already shifted online, many schools faced the urgent crisis in March 2020 to operate entirely remotely for the first time. This panel represents multiple professional disciplines that intersect with accessibility on campuses that were engaged in collaborative efforts to respond to this shift. Presenters will provide best practices on web accessibility and how these relate to learning and testing resources; how staff managed accessibility testing during remote functioning and planning process for return to campus; and accessibility resources that may assist membership in responding to needs on their campuses. Presenters plan to survey membership in advance of the conference to gauge specific needs and prepare responses.

T.E.A.M.: Totally Excited About Movitation
Presenter(s): Theresa Beebe Novotny, Georgia Southern University

How can you keep yourself and the staff motivated during these stressful times? Even though there is light at the end of the tunnel the effects of the pandemic will linger with tighter budgets, the potential move of more exams to virtual proctoring or no proctoring; continued reduced testing lab sizes, along with our personal emotions & health.  This presentation will review some steps directors/managers can take to hopefully improve the motivation in the office and personally.  This session will discuss low-cost strategies to help keep your staff motivated throughout the year.

Using CAS Standards for Self-Assessment of Your Test Center
Presenter(s): Rachel Hample, Temple University
John Schmitt, Temple University

NCTA recently partnered with the Council of the Advancement of Standards (CAS) to develop Testing Programs and Services CAS Standards. This past year, Temple University used the standards to self-assess its testing services unit. Along with the CAS Self-Assessment Guide, the standards provided a framework for administrators to interpret the strengths and weakness of the unit. It also enabled the assessment team to embark on critical conversations about the past, current and future status of the unit. Join us as we share our process and experience of using the CAS Standards to self-assess our program as well as provide examples of our findings. Attendees will leave the session with a broad understanding of how they can conduct their own self-assessment using CAS Standards.

Let's Talk About Private Parts in Contracts (and Other Important Legal Stuff)
Presenter(s): Rachel Schoenig, Cornerstone Strategies LLC
Donna McPartland, McPartland Privacy Advising

The past twelve months have seen increased scrutiny of testing and the testing process.  Individuals and legislators have raised concerns around privacy, access, and bias, and the media has been quick to question the fairness and efficacy of testing. Understanding these concerns and the protections afforded to test-takers and their data is becoming critical for all testing professionals.  Join experts as they explain some of the common legal concerns in the industry today and how those are being addressed by testing programs and vendors.  Together, we will review the parts of agreements that address privacy and data protection and aspects of the testing process that are designed to guard against bias and promote access.  You’ll come away from this session with an understanding of how to proactively prepare for and respond to questions from students, educators, and the administration.

Data to the Rescue
Presenter(s): Jim Wollack, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Cindy James, Thompson Rivers University

Whether you're looking to improve customer service or office efficiency, lobby for sustained or additional resources, or demonstrate the importance or impact of your work, the clearest and most compelling strategies are those that are evidence-based. In this presentation, we examine the reasons for collecting data, discuss the types of data that might be valuable for testing offices to collect, offer strategies for how to use data to support an argument, and share examples from our own testing offices of ways in which we have effectively used data to support and advance our respective missions. Come prepared to discuss the forms of data you currently collect, to ask questions about what else you can be doing, and eager to learn about the power of data.

One Size Does Not Fit All: Choosing the Right Online Proctoring Solution
Presenter(s): Kathie Montognese, College Board
Silvio Rodriguez, Miami Dade College
Marlen Gonzalez, Miami Dade College
Brent Damsz, Triton College
Margaret Greenfield
, Examity
Rachel Schoenig, Cornerstone Strategies LL

When choosing to integrate online proctoring into your test center’s options, it is crucial to select an approach that works best for your institution. Online proctoring should never be "one size fits all." Many factors need to be considered to ensure the best fit for your needs. What kind of exam are you administering? How important is test security? Do you have any financial constraints that need to be considered? Join us for an engaging conversation around this important topic as testing personnel from Miami Dade College and Triton College share real-life examples from their institutions varied, yet successful modalities of online proctoring. The session will include discussion concerning the decision making process and demonstrate how selecting the right approach can make all the difference.

Augmenting Your Testing Portfolio with Online Proctoring:  A Recipe for Success
Presenter(s): Rachel Schoenig, Cornerstone Strategies LLC
Jarret Dyer, College of DuPage
Ashely Norris, ProctorU
Bill West, Examity

Augmenting your testing portfolio with online proctoring provides additional options for your test takers and educators.  Today, there are many online proctoring options to add to your suite of testing services from DIY processes using publicly available technology to sophisticated software platforms delivering live proctoring, automated monitoring, and AI-augmented events. In addition, new tools and approaches seem to be entering the market every day.  With such a smorgasbord of options, how can testing professionals evaluate the online proctoring offerings on the market and how might those offerings augment traditional testing services? Join us as we share evaluation tools and key questions for consideration when expanding your testing options.  Together, we will explore practical perspectives for implementing online proctoring options as well as the impact it may have on traditional test center services. You'll leave with a better understanding of how to evaluate the ingredients needed to create a recipe of proctoring services that's right for your institution and your testing portfolio.

Prior Learning Assessment for Skilled Trades - How You can Help Close the Skills Gap
Presenter(s): Anne Gielczyk, Nocti Business Solutions

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an important part of the new higher education landscape and in our ever-changing digital world, how those credentials are presented is also shifting. Much research has been done about the impact of accepting PLA credits to degree completion. There are many ways for individuals to gain PLA academic credits but what about credit for work experience and on-the-job training?  During this session, discover how individuals, particularly adults, active military, and military veterans can obtain credit toward a degree program for the knowledge and skills they have gained on the job.  In addition to college credit, PLA test takers who meet or exceed the passing score receive a digital badge that can be shared on platforms such as LinkedIn as well as attached to a digital resume to showcase the skills of those candidates seeking employment.Nocti Business Solutions (NBS) has collaborated with the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) to evaluate over 100 technical skill assessments. Working with industry experts and college professors, NCCRS evaluated these assessments making them available for college credit. The assessments evaluate the individual's work and life experiences to determine if the skills translate into college-level courses. Those with advanced knowledge can bypass some coursework in their pursuit of a degree.NBS works with testing centers across the country to proctor PLAs to earn revenue for their testing center. During this presentation, participants will also learn about the process of becoming a PLA testing site.

Generating Revenue and Community Engagement
Presenter(s): William Kingsbery, Texas A&M University-San Antonio Testing Center

Building a strong relationship with the community can lead to additional opportunities and revenue for Testing Centers. By offering exams related to state certifications our Testing Center has been able to remain financially stable during the pandemic. We will explore Texas A&M University-San Antonio Testing Center’s journey to offer the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP), as well as connecting with local entities that utilize these certifications. This session will focus on providing insight into the challenges and benefits available to Testing Center’s that offer non-traditional university testing options and how these exams can help grow revenue and support initiatives within your local community.

Law and Order: Successful Testing Unit
Presenter(s): Brittany Hetherington, Law School Admission Council
Kim Pearson, Law School Admission Council
Faisel Alam, Law School Admission Council

In the high stakes and low stakes testing systems, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: test center staff, who run the administration, and the test takers, who take the tests. These are their stories. Dun, dun! On test day it seems that proctors play both the police, who watch over the test takers, and the district attorneys, who prosecute any policy and procedure offenders. Are there ways for us to stop crime before it even happens? Join us as we discuss what your test center staff can do to ensure that law and order are being served on test day while also ensuring that all test takers have a fair, equal, and positive testing experience.

How To Use Testing Center Staff and/or Faculty as Virtual Proctors
Presenter(s): Sean Doty, SmarterServices, LCC

Student concerns with virtual proctoring include privacy and bias. Some students feel invaded by a stranger not associated with their school observing them while they take a test. Students may also have concerns with racial bias due to technology deficiencies of facial recognition. Schools are concerned with keeping the costs low for proctoring services. The new Hybrid Virtual Proctoring modality offered from SmarterProctoring addresses these concerns by allowing school personnel such as testing center employees and/or faculty to actually be the proctors during a virtual proctoring session. In this session, you will hear from multiple institutions, which piloted the service in the Summer of 2021.

Language Credits and Credentials with Avant Assessment and the Global Seal of Biliteracy
Presenter(s): Nick Gossett, Avant Assessment

As businesses and governments recognize the value in knowledge of a second language, more and more students are entering higher education with high levels of proficiency. A number of states have adopted the Seal of Biliteracy to acknowledge these skills. In recent years, the Seal of Biliteracy has become part of K12 education systems in 42 states. A challenge with the state seals is that often transferring this across state lines may be difficult as every state has their own policies and procedures surrounding the Seal of Biliteracy. In comparison, the Global Seal of Biliteracy was developed as a credential with a uniform benchmark no matter where the student resides. A number of institutions of higher education are already using the Global Seal of Biliteracy in their programs to increase enrollment numbers and recruit students. Many institutions use the proficiency levels associated with the Global Seal of Biliteracy to set levels for waivers or to even award retroactive credits. This presentation will present the Global Seal of Biliteracy and the benefits it provides to both students and institutions. Special attention will be paid to the assessments approved by the Global Seal of Biliteracy for awarding the credential to students. Finally, examples of how the Global Seal of Biliteracy is being implemented in other institutions will be discussed.

Letting Your Walls Down?  What Will You Retain in Your Post-Pandemic Testing World
Presenter(s): Lisa Holben, University of Mississippi
Jinny Hurdle, University of Mississippi

Hindsight 20/20 While Looking Ahead
Presenter(s): Gini Beran, College Board
Tammy Roach, University of Louisville
Cindy Takacs, ETS

Let’s talk about the past year and the impact the pandemic had on test centers and test takers.  The ability of test centers to pivot varied greatly across the country based on local, institutional or state policies.  Learn how U of Louisville continued testing at close to pre-pandemic rates by relying on cross-institutional relationships, communications and their plans to continue to grow and support students in their educational goals through the promotion of CLEP.  Brief updates and gentle reminders will be provided from ETS and the CLEP program around security, receiving scores, accommodations, data and trends.  There will be an opportunity to ‘do a little dreaming’; what would you like to see in the future in regards to the technical side of CLEP or by way of CLEP promotional materials?

Ideal Testing Center Lyceum
Presenter(s): Bill Thelen, Central Washington University
A Lyceum is an association that provides for public lectures or discussions that started in 1826 and was a popular method of education in the United States for many years.

In the spirit of a Lyceum, please join us for a discussion of what constitutes an Ideal Test Center. We will discuss and review various test center floor plans and pictures of test centers. If time permits we will discuss other ideas for the Ideal Test Center. New ideas and concepts will be incorporated into the upcoming Ideal Test Center handbook.


Are High-Stakes Tests and Test Centers - Going the Way of the Dodo?
Presenter(s): Rachel Schoenig, Cornerstone Strategies LLC
Ray Nicosia, ETS
Faisel Alam, Law School Admissions Council

The past year has witnessed significant shifts in the testing industry. Many colleges and universities are now test-optional, while some refuse to even accept admissions scores.  On the professional front, some licensing authorities have granted waivers or "diploma privileges" for individuals seeking to enter certain health care and legal professions. Are these changes signaling the end of high-stakes testing? Will these shifts result in a decline in test center use? In short, will the testing industry as we know it become extinct? Join industry professionals as they share their views on where the testing industry is going and what it may mean for the future of high-stakes assessments and test centers.

Leveraging Professional Proctors in a Remote World
Presenter(s): Kranthi Bathula, Proctor360 Inc

Professional Proctors, many of whom work at testing centers, understand the importance of their role to ease test taker anxiety, prevent academic dishonesty, and maintain organization standards. Their years of experience in delivering in-person exams does not need to be forgotten in a transition to a remote world – it can be adapted to move remote. By training Professional Proctors to adopt remote testing there can be higher test taker satisfaction and better standards in place. Join us as we look at the benefits that professional proctors bring and what they can offer in remote proctoring. We will go over common practices and available tools proctors can adopt.

Graduate Students in Testing: A Win-Win Situation
Presenter(s): Abby Hart, University of Texas-Arlington
Gagandeep Kaur, UT Arlington
Aishwarya Rao, UT Arlington
Soujanya Vinnakota, UT Arlington
Brandi Mizell, UT Arlington
Arrayon Farlough Rollins, UT Arlington

It's been heavily debated whether to use graduate students and higher ed testing offices for a number of reasons. However, it is very rarely discussed as to what benefits the graduate student would receive by working in an office of testing. The session will discuss the results and outcomes of a graduate student worker survey conducted solely on graduate students who have worked in testing services offices. Hopefully the results will inform the decision making for testing administrators and guide the way that we utilize graduate students to both the benefit of the center and the benefit and professional development of the students.

We Have to Reopen?! Now What?
Presenter(s): Margaret Thomas, Seminole State College of Florida
Lorie Coachman, Seminole State College of Florida

Operating during a global pandemic is not standard practice and there is no training manual. Seminole State College of Florida began welcoming in person testers back to our campuses in October 2020. With this transition came challenges and opportunities; let us share our best practices and help you navigate reopening during complex times. This session will discuss matters pertaining to reopening and operating during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Topics include service alternatives, budget constraints, safety protocols, staffing/morale, vendor relationships, and will conclude with Q. & A. Bring your Covid-19 operational fears and dilemmas- we'll help you brainstorm to navigate them! Session attendees will witness a center thriving because of the pandemic.