Posted by Jim Farrell
One of the early highlights of every year for a lot of us here at Questionmark is the Association of Test Publishers (ATP) Conference – Innovations in Testing.
Established in 1992, ATP is a non-profit organization representing providers of tests and assessment tools and/or services related to assessment, selection, screening, certification, licensing, educational or clinical uses. The conference offers its members the opportunity for networking, workshops and sessions led by industry leaders. This year’s conference was held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (not a bad place to be in early February) and o had record attendance.
For me, there were two themes that stood out: Security and Looking to the Future.
Security is always paramount at Questionmark. We often describe the issues in higher stakes tests with the Fraud Triangle (Rationalization, Opportunity, and Motivation) and the actual threats (Impersonation, Content Theft and Cheating). As shown in the picture to the left, our CEO, Eric Shepherd led a panel on remote monitoring with our some of our good friends including Don Kassner of ProctorU, Doug Winneg of Software Secure and Ruben Garcia of Innovative Exams. Each company provides a different level of security including recorded video of the test taker (Software Secure), Live Proctoring (ProctorU) and a Secure Kiosk with Live Proctoring (Innovative Exams). At Questionmark we see it as a sliding scale.
The other interesting trend at this conference was “the future”. The keynote speaker was Jack Uldrich, and he is a futurist. What does a futurist do, you ask? Here is a video that shows some of Jack Uldrich’s books and ideas. He says that “what we don’t know yet is just as important as what we know today. In this unknown knowledge is extraordinary opportunity.”
I really love this quote because it is a direct challenge to be innovative and unlearn things that were once true but are not true for the future. We have to realize that we are going to do some of the same things we have always done, but we are going to do them differently. This is either inherently scary or extremely exciting. I believe it is the latter, and that it’s up to us to listen to the trends and always have our eye on what is not yet possible.