[IPAC-List] Computer assisted testing

Reindl, Kevin KReindl at semprautilities.com
Wed Feb 9 12:49:36 EST 2011

Our company has been slowly transitioning all of our paper/pencil testing to computer-based (web-based) testing over the past several years.

Regarding hardware - we began with using standard computer training rooms (which had about 10-20 PC's set up and network connected), but these rooms did not lend themselves particularly well to paper/pencil testing (not enough room on the tables), and the testing team had a difficult time reserving these highly utilized rooms, since the priority for them were for training. So, we found a second option, which was to outsource test proctoring to a testing vendor (PSI, Inc.) who owns and operates computer-based testing centers across the country. This is a nice option, but does cost additional money for administration time, and does not work well if you are testing candidates for a job in a remote/rural area. No one wants to have candidates drive 50 miles to a testing center to take a 20 minute test. So now we are setting up a 3rd, more portable option, which is to purchase a set of laptops and take these on the road. This will hopefully allow us to transport and set up a testing center anywhere there are tables/chairs and a web-connection. We are trying to determine whether this can be done using a wireless internet connection, or if we need to have access to hard-wired network connections. If all goes well, we will then have 3 different options for hardware/facilities for our staffing organizations to use.

As far as software, since the majority of our tests are published by PSI, the bulk of our testing is administered on their web-based platform (i.e., "Atlas"). If you use published tests from several different vendors, then this option can be a bit more challenging (PAN Testing might be a good option). And, if you have custom tests that were developed/validated in-house, then you could contract with an online testing vendor to host your content...but this gets pretty expensive as we have recently found out.

Kevin Reindl
San Diego Gas & Electric

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-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Wilkening, Kurt
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 7:27 AM
To: keith.poole at phoenix.gov; IPAC-List at ipacweb.org
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] Computer assisted testing

I'm interested in learning what other jurisdictions are doing in this area as well. Not only in terms of software, but the space and hardware(furniture) requirements needed to turn a basic card tables/fold up chairs/scantron forms/paper and pencil type operation into a dual purpose testing/training type facility. For example, http://www.versatables.com/pages/products/school/revolution-desk-72.php#
(no affiliation or previous purchase, just an example).

So I'd be very grateful as well if someone from the previous mentioned jurisdictions, and others not listed who've implemented computer-based proctored testing could forward to the listserv (or Keith) any information they have on software and hardware setup.


Kurt Wilkening, Division Chief
Recruiting, Testing, and Certification
Hillsborough County Civil Service Board
601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 17th Floor
Tampa, Florida 33602
(813) 274-6764 (Direct)

-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of keith.poole at phoenix.gov
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2011 4:11 PM
To: IPAC-List at ipacweb.org
Subject: [IPAC-List] Computer assisted testing

One item on our division to-do list this year is to "develop
recommendations regarding the use of computer assisted testing." Basically
we understand this to mean any technology as an alternative to using paper
and pencils when conducting multiple choice tests (e.g., anything from
off-the-shelf software loaded onto individual PCs or network running
in-house developed tests, to using online tests from vendors, proctored or
unproctored, etc.).

I have seen the slides from last years IPAC conference (CPS did a couple
on this topic) and those were helpful, I've also signed up for their
webinar next week. We're also familiar with National Testing Network.

I would appreciate hearing from agencies that have researched or adopted
computer assisted testing in one form or another. Thanks.

Keith Poole
Human Resources Supervisor
City of Phoenix Human Resources Dept
Employment Services
(602) 262-7140
keith.poole at phoenix.gov

"Phoenix - 2009 All-America City"
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