Prometric has extensive experience in transitioning programs from paper-based delivery to computer-based delivery. The test development department is staffed with psychometricians who have directly participated in the research and application of methodologies to help ensure minimal impact on candidate performance during such a transition.
As computer-based testing (CBT) has become extremely prolific in the last 10-15 years, the amount of industry research on the comparability between paper-based and computer-based exams has grown considerably. As would be expected, research findings that were common at the initial introduction of computers into the testing population are no longer relevant to the candidate populations entering the testing environment today. As candidate populations have evolved in their exposure, access, and familiarity with computers, effects of the introduction of computer-based exams has reduced substantially. This has been true across the multiple candidate segments, as availability of computers has increased exponentially across all population subgroups.
In summarizing the findings of the multiple studies in the last 5-10 years (most recent being conducted in 1997), the main points identified in the research area as follows:
In addition to the theoretical research available in within the testing industry, Prometric also has practical experience in the evaluation and comparison of candidate performance across multiple delivery channels. We have successfully migrated a large number of clients from one delivery mode to another and have consistently evaluated candidate performance to ensure that all candidates are provided a fair opportunity to display their knowledge (independent of the channel being used). In addition, Prometric has a number of clients that use a dual delivery model (both paper-based and computer-based), which also allows for the continual monitoring of comparability of exam performance and individual item performance across the multiple testing environments. Prometric's findings consistently mirror those noted above from the general testing community and we have been able to develop and advance approaches that assure the desired result.
In migrating an examination programs, there are several steps that should be considered. Although there are a large number of individual tasks, the major activities include the following:
Prometric embeds the methodologies above within our test development and delivery processes to ensure a fair, valid, and legally defensible process for all candidates. Our experience with successfully implementing computer-based exams is matched by our proven processes for ensuring quality of product and performance throughout the lifecycle of the exams.
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