May 13, 2019 | Blog

Performance Assessment a Focus of 2019 ATP Conference

Jeffrey Cuff
Chief Operations Officer

This year’s ATP Innovations in Testing conference in Orlando was a tremendous success for both the assessment community and for MZD. It’s always such a pleasure to have the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and colleagues and make introductions to new industry peers. This year was no different — I departed Orlando exhausted from all the activity, but also energized by the innovation in assessment that I witnessed.

As I reflect on this year’s conference, I noted five key take-aways:

  • Performance assessment is an increasingly important aspect of the future of assessment systems. If you know me, you’ve heard me preach about the importance of performance items in educational assessment as a better measure of critical thinking and analytical skills, but this year at ATP conference, I was struck by the importance of performance assessment beyond the realm of K-12 and higher education.
  • Performance assessment is increasingly relevant in the field of licensure and certification. These areas are logical benefactors of the progress that is being made in assessment for K-12 and higher education.
  • Products like OSCAR make it easier to deploy these innovative performance assessment items in almost any assessment tool, which makes MZD more relevant in areas outside of K-12 and higher education.
  • The term “human capital” has gained traction in many current conversations. The idea of being able to not only measure cognitive capabilities, but also the ability to measure how well an individual will perform in a specific scenario, across any field of study or employment is an important indication of how that person will perform in the real-world workplace. Consider this example of an individual being considered to fill a seat in a prominent chamber music quartet. Regardless of how impressive that individual’s resume might be, or how many compositions they submit as proof of their musical ability, the only true test of a person’s capability for the “job” is a performance to demonstrate they have the skill to be lead viola in that particular group of master musicians. Such is the same for many occupations. You can “test” people through a variety of mechanisms, but the best measure may always be some form of performance assessment to determine their true ability.
  • MZD’s product road map is well-positioned for these advances in skills assessment with a focus on the ability to efficiently and effectively evaluate performance response items with OSCAR and OSCAR Classroom.

I walked away from the ATP Innovations in Testing conference with the satisfaction that the work we are doing at MZD to advance the administration, evolution and scoring of performance tasks is increasingly important across different assessment fields beyond traditional education. Contact us today to discuss how we might help you with your use of performance assessments or to schedule a demo of one of our products.