March 17, 2021
Towards the New Normal
The world is moving towards the new normal. That will ultimately allow us to resume in-person gatherings, and will also allow us to continue to leverage and grow the advantages offered via remote solutions. The testing industry will be no exception as it resumes in-person activities and continues to leverage the gains made in distributed development, maintenance, and delivery of tests. In this edition of the Buzz, we highlight how NCARB successfully expanded their use of distributed test development processes and how SAS leverages accurate data to support its program and stakeholders. 

Our industry will continue to evolve and innovate, finding even better solutions to provide good validity evidence to support our assertions and:

  • better mitigate security risks and other threats to validity;
  • better fit the ever-accelerating pace of change and value propositions desired by stakeholder groups, including the engagement expectations of Millennials and Gen-Z; and,
  • better position and apply assessment as a valuable ally in one’s journey as a life-long learner.

I sincerely look forward to seeing how, as an industry, we continue to move forward and build upon what we have already accomplished.

Best regards,

Brian Adams
President & CEO of Alpine Testing Solutions, Inc.

NCARB Finds Sweet Spot Between Virtual and In-person Exam Development During Pandemic

In March 2020, immediate travel bans were mandated almost 'over night' due to the pandemic. NCARB staff and consultants had just 3 days to logistically shift a workshop from in-person to virtual. Experiences like this have provided insights that are helping NCARB strategize and adapt to doing some exam development work differently than they did previously.

“When travel bans are lifted, we envision our 'new normal' will consist of a balanced hybrid approach where some workshops and activities will be virtual but others, such as reviews and various other exam activities best suited for face-to-face collaboration, will be in-person." 

- Jared Zurn, Vice President, Examination
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards

SPOTLIGHT: CertMetrics
SAS Capitalizes on Data Integrity & Data Driven Marketing via CertMetrics & the Affiliation Module 

The SAS Certification team noticed some integrity issues with the certification program data stored and processed in a third party system. They also discovered the method being used for collection of candidate affiliation data was not sound and was causing additional trust issues with reporting and analytics.

“Reporting is absolutely critical for us..."

“It’s important for us to have a precise understanding of our diverse and global SAS certification audience so that we can serve them better and also develop effective marketing strategies.” 

"...The Affiliation Module has solved our affiliation data integrity issues and has helped round out our reporting solution.”

- Matt Scicchitano, Manager, SAS Global Certification Program


We look forward to "seeing" you in April at this year’s virtual ATP Innovation in Testing Conference. Please join us for the following sessions.

Alpine Sponsored Sessions
ATP 30-Minute Sponsor Session: Exam Security and COVID-19: Practical Concerns and Strategies to Address Them
  • Angelica Mulfinger, Psychometrician (Alpine)
  • Gina Raney, CertMetrics Product Owner (Alpine)

ATP Lunch Roundtable Session: Use of Alternative Data in Exam Development & Certification Decisions
  • Brett P. Foley, Director Professional Credentialing & Sr. Psychometrician (Alpine)
  • Lisa O'Leary, Director of Psychometrics & Sr. Psychometrician (Alpine)

ATP Peas in a Pod Session: Candidate and Credential Management - How far it's come, and where it is going?
  • Blair Harris, VP Technology Services (Alpine)
  • Gina Raney, CertMetrics Product Owner (Alpine)

Regular Sessions
Converting 4‐Option to 3‐Option Multiple Choice Questions Without Pretesting! Case Study Results
  • Joan Paros, Assistant VP, Assessment (NCARB)
  • Brett P. Foley, Director Professional Credentialing & Sr. Psychometrician (Alpine)
  • Amanda Wolkowitz, Sr. Psychometrician (Alpine)

Have a psychometric question? Ask a panel of dueling psychometricians!
  • Amanda Dainis, CEO & Lead Psychometrician (Dainis and Company, Inc.)
  • Andy Dwyer, Director of Psychometrics (American Board of Pediatrics)
  • Brett P. Foley, Director Professional Credentialing & Sr. Psychometrician (Alpine)
  • Amin Saiar, VP, Psychometric Services (PSI Services)
  • Amanda Wolkowitz, Sr. Psychometrician (Alpine)

Boosting SME Engagement and Productivity During Virtual Item Development
  • Laura Brooks, Program Manager (Alpine)
  • Sarah Hughes, Sr. Test Development Professional (Alpine)

When Beta Forms AND Beta Samples Differ: Hitting the Unlucky Lottery?
  • Jim Henderson, Manager, Product Training (Ping Identity)
  • Jill van den Heuvel, Sr. Psychometrician (Alpine)

Select Your Own Certification Path: A Case Study of Program Design
  • Ken Salchow, Sr. Manager, Global Training & Certifications (F5 Networks
  • Jill van den Heuvel, Sr. Psychometrician (Alpine)

Virtual Item Development: Ensuring Rigor, Integrity and Security in a Shifting World
  • Carol Curley, Certification Product Manager (Unity Technologies)
  • Bill Johnson, Manager, Examination Development Team (NCARB)
  • Casey Johnson, Psychometrician (Alpine)
  • Amy Smigielski, Director of Educational Preparatory Programs (Early Learning Indiana)
  • Sheronne Wilson, Manager, Examination (NCARB)

Deja What's New?: Womens' Careers in Assessment
  • Liz Burns, Director of Education Services (Appian)
  • Sierra Hampton-Simmons, Director & Portfolio Leader, Certification Products (PMI)
  • Tara Miller, Sr. Content Development Program Manager, Tableau
  • Jamie Mulkey, VP of Sales (Xvoucher)
  • Gina Raney, CertMetrics Product Owner (Alpine)
  • Alina Von Davier, Chief of Assessment (Duolingo)

American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) 2021 Spring
Virtual Conference

Supersizing Your SMEs’ Output (and Satisfaction!) in a Virtual Environment
Sarah Hughes (Alpine); Laura Brooks (Alpine)


Alpine Webinar, March 10th, 2021

Diverse Company Cultures Lead to New Virtual Approaches in Facilitation
Brent Reif (Alpine); Julie Torres (Alpine)