CETE Assessment Services is Prepping for 2018-19 Item-Writing Workshops

The Assessment Services Team at CETE has begun the process of developing the item-writing workshops for the 2018-19 school year. These item-writing workshops are when subject-matter experts work to develop new items for exams CTE students take using the WebXam online testing portal. These workshops, along WebXam technical support, are conducted in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE).

For the 2018-19 school year, the Assessment Services team will host item-writing workshops for test development by subject-matter experts (SMEs) in the career fields of Engineering and Manufacturing to develop item banks for 21 courses. We will also be hosting workshops to develop 3 item banks for a new Cybersecurity pathway in the Information Technology career field.

Participation by subject-matter experts (SMEs) is the most important element of test development. New test items do not get written without the knowledge, expertise, and participation of SMEs – thus our motto, “SMEs are KEY!”. If you are in the Engineering or Manufacturing career fields, please reach out to the CETE recruiter for more information, or visit the Registration Survey to sign up. For more details, please visit our SME Resources page or you can download our Recruitment detailer.

During this test development process, the SMEs participate in the following ways:

  1. SMEs will work with their ODE program specialist to ensure items are created that match the career field competencies and testing blueprints designed by the ODE CTE.
  2. The SMEs will then develop the test item banks, then review the items as a group to ensure they align and are set to the proper performance standards. (the item-writing workshops)
  3. The item banks are then tested and validated by SMEs for accuracy, field tested by students, and then analyzed using psychometrics.
  4. The item banks are then released as either pretests, posttests, and practice tests and are maintained by the WebXam Support staff.

To provide our subject-matter experts valid and verified evidence that participation in this process is an element of their professional development, the test-item development process the Assessment Services Team conducts is established by the occupational knowledge-skill assessment sector and statewide CTE programs, backed by data and well researched. Many team members are also active members of either the Association of Test Publishers or the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, to lend credence to the delivery of professional development certification or credentials. Much like continuing education is important to teachers, the CETE Assessment Services Team continuously apply and hone their knowledge and skills in the occupational and educational test-development arena.

Contributor: Angie Stansell