Written by Sally Valenzuela, Vice President, Education Services
June 1, 2017
My life is full of opportunities for miscommunication. I recently saw a humorous video on “stuff business people say”. The video showed actors imitating business people using common business jargon. It was very funny, but it also hit close to home. We sometimes get so used to our specific vocabulary that our language becomes confusing and we sound like aliens from outer space!
We can have the same issues talking about test security. What does “test security” actually mean? The physical security of test takers in a classroom or testing center? The security of paper testing materials and computers? Maintaining the confidentiality of personal information? Keeping test content secure? Making sure no one has an unfair advantage during testing? All of the above?
Language is important. At Caveon, we try to be clear in our language so those responsible for test security understand the important details of protecting the validity of their assessment results. Dr. David Foster, Caveon CEO, recently wrote a white paper on the importance of language.
Speaking on the importance of using correct language, Dave observes that when we use correct language, “the understanding of our risks will be clearer, we will communicate our concerns and plans more effectively, and we will have more confidence in our decisions about the security solutions we use.”
In addition, we have recently published a white paper for those working in K-12 assessment. Many K-12 states and districts obtain services through a formal RFP and procurement process. This white paper provides detailed language describing the test security services needed to provide validity evidence for USED Peer Review: reviewing of test security policies and procedures, performing data forensics analyses, providing on-site test administration monitoring, describing web and media monitoring, and conducting investigations of testing irregularities.
“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name.”