It’s hard to believe that the Conference on Test Security (COTS) begins this coming Wednesday, October 1st, at ACT headquarters in Iowa City, Iowa.
Formerly known as the Conference on the Statistical Detection of Potential Test Fraud, this conference in its third year will have a broader focus and include more test security topics to appeal to a wider audience. Topics such as test security tools, practical application of statistical detection techniques, methods for protecting the validity of testing results and brand equity, will accompany paper presentations on theoretical perspectives of statistical analysis for test fraud detection.
This year, the conference becomes interdisciplinary. In addition to psychometricians and measurement professionals, we will be joined by lawyers, investigators, and policy makers. Test security and the validity of test scores touches every single person whose life may be changed by such a small thing as the score on a test. Next year, perhaps we will be joined by judges and legislators. Because the validity of test scores is critical.
It is amazing, but probably not surprising that a conference specifically dedicated to test security has found its home. Over the past ten years, the discussion of test security has come to the forefront of our field. We’ve seen technical interest groups form, whole sections of conferences dedicated to the topic, and the emergence of a certification program dedicated to test security professionals. It’s exciting to see test security with a conference of its own, growing each year as more testing professionals see the need to protect their testing program’s intellectual property, their constituents, and their brand.
I can remember the first ATP Innovations Conference. Actually, it wasn’t even called the Innovations conference. It was called the Conference on Computer-Based Testing, held in Carmel Valley, California, with 150 people in attendance. It was as if people said, finally, we are bringing testing people together to showcase, network, and discuss important topics about our field. As I look back on how much that conference has expanded, morphed, and reinvented itself, I can’t help but think that COTS will do the same. We are truly at the groundswell of something important.
So, while I’m at COTS this week, I decided I would be a gal about town and ask attendees what they are enjoying about the conference. I’ll report my findings back to you in next week’s blog.
And, if we happen to run into each other at COTS this week, please give me your thoughts how this conference is contributing to your knowledge in the field of test security.
In the meantime, follow me and others at Caveon Test Security on Twitter. We will specifically report items of interest using #COTS2014.
Leaving on a jet plane…