Challenge, Transform, Evolve: Key Takeaways from Innovations in Testing – ATP 2019

May 2, 2019

To be ready for the future in the testing and assessment space, we must embrace the intensity of the technological innovation that’s occurring. Having attended the ATP Innovations in Testing conference for over ten years, and having worked on the conference planning for seven, I’ve watched the focus of the industry change. The last couple years we focused on the need for our industry to reclaim  and then lead  the conversation about the place of testing in our world.  

While we still must advocate for our profession in the public sphere, our focus must now shift to change. As an industry, we must challenge the way we think about the problems our industry faces, because those challenges lead to discoveries of new information that will help you transform your own work, your workplace, and the work of your stakeholders. Through this transformation, we aim to evolve the work we do, and most importantly, how we relate to the other industries that will be so critical to our future success.   

Throughout my career, I’ve been able to use advances of technology to guide my next steps. I would have never been able to run my own business for several years had it not been for the influx of app-based services that enabled my remote team to communicate, submit expense reports, get paid, and more. The services that we take for granted today were in early stages then, but they were pivotal to my work. Similarly, we have opportunities and challenges in our own world today.  

As technologies are coming to fruition in our industry, they are beginning to redefine the paths that we take in our work. To stay relevant, we must be motivated by this digital disruption. ATP 2019 provided many opportunities for attendees to gather information and to collaborate, and to be motivated to face challenges through transformation and evolution. Here are just a few of the topics that motivated change and evolution at ATP 2019: 

Artificial Intelligence 

AI was everywhere at ATP 2019. The questions were not if it will be used or if it will impact the industry, but where will it be successful and how we can use it to make the greatest impact. Conversations on this topic covered the gamut –   for example, the use of AI in interviewing software, the use of AI in generating test questions and its use in detecting aberrant score patterns for test security, and then applying that concept to the exam delivery environment to detect security concerns – both in remote proctoring and the test center.

The Innovation Lab  

The Innovation lab was a smashing success. It showed some of the incredible tech development going on in tech shops and startups. The ATP Innovation Lab is a dynamic platform that features entrepreneurs whose innovations could revolutionize the assessment space. Selected finalists came together with a panel of industry leader judges in a “Shark Tank” style competition. All of the participants were extraordinary; however, the entries from ATLO and Lineup were incredibly impressive. Lineup is a new work space used for managing diverse teams of Subject Matter Experts, led by individuals who have to do just that in the course of creating extensive item banks for a national licensing exam. ATLO is a group that has created a learning and testing lab for reading skills with novel use cases, most notably using it for educating within prison walls. The Lab truly showed how much good we can accomplish as an industry when we put our collective minds to it.  

Remote Proctoring 

Remote proctoring continues to be accepted by our industry. Based on attendees’ feedback at ATP, convenience is a large factor in the growth of remote proctoring. Several sessions were targeted toward evaluations of when remote proctoring is a good fit, as well as new changes in remote proctoring approaches. Much research has been done on the differences in test delivery when remote proctoring is considered. PSI has evaluated this in past, exemplified by the study conducted by John Weiner, Chief Science Officer at PSI, A Comparative Study of Online Remote Proctored versus Onsite Proctored High-Stakes Exams. Remote proctoring is an example of the digital disruption that challenges us to move forward.  

Whether you’ve been attending ATP since the beginning 20 years ago or you have yet to attend, we can all appreciate the theme of the 2019 conference: Challenge, Transform, Evolve. It was truly inspiring to watch the industry come together and experience the power of what we can do when we collaborate. The energy and expertise were on full display through an array of great content, networking, and brainstorming of ideas to move us forward.