Re: TW certification, why not a test? Was, RE: Back on the air

Subject: Re: TW certification, why not a test? Was, RE: Back on the air
From: Steven Jong <stevefjong -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2011 23:47:13 -0400

Leonard Porrello asked (twice):

> Why didn't the STC go with a board or bar exam type test? Might they do so in the future? Would the STC consider a test option for people who have already competed a TW degree or certificate?
> Such a test could arguably be just as discriminating as the current scheme, but it would require less time of candidates and cost less (for the STC and, therefore, candidates). The lower cost in terms of time and money would make it more appealing to a greater number of TWs, and that in turn would result in more revenue for the STC.

We did look at a test, which architecturally would work like this:

1) Generate lots of questions from the profession's body of knowledge.
2) Determine which questions really separate the competent professional from the incompetent one.
3) Administer tests consisting of some suitable number of those questions.

The cost comes from 2), but it allows us to spin of sub-certifications based on different sets of questions. In the Internet age 3) is cheap, so this solution scales to as many candidates are we could dream of. When we have a fleshed-out body of knowledge from which to both draw questions and point applicants towards for study (and training) purposes, we can (and will) move to this model. We do understand that people who are anxious about tests, whether for good reason or not, will not do as well in this model.

In the absence of a fleshed-out body of knowledge we are taking the more portfolio-based "true assessment" approach, which has its own strengths (such as matching the profile of the typical portfolio-carrying technical communicator). But in the current model, 3) is expensive and doesn't scale well (costs go up in proportion with applicants).

-- Steve

Steven Jong, Chairman
STC Certification Commission

mailto:SteveFJong -at- comcast -dot- net

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
-- Margaret Mead


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Back on the air: From: Steven Jong
TW certification, why not a test? Was, RE: Back on the air: From: Porrello, Leonard

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