“We are delighted to be hosting this conference that will bring together the world’s top academic researchers, applied psychometricians, and data scientists in the assessment field to share how adaptive testing and other advanced technologies are changing the way we utilize assessment in schools, for credentials, and for hiring and advancement,” said Dave Saben, President and CEO of ASC.
The 2019 IACAT Conference will be at the Graduate Hotel on the University of Minnesota campus and bring together leaders in assessment methods and technologies and feature research presentations, new product demonstrations, symposium panels, and keynote speakers. Expected presentation topics include a symposium “Digital Adaptive Learning and Assessment Systems,” and “A Deep Feedforward Network based Semi-Supervised Learning Method to Improve the Performance of Diagnostic Classification.” The previous three IACAT conferences were held in Niigata, Japan; Cambridge, UK; and Princeton, NJ.
Minneapolis is an appropriate location for the 2019 IACAT Conference; not only are the Twin Cities home to a number of major assessment corporations, but much of the early research on adaptive testing occurred at the University of Minnesota more than 40 years ago. That research was driven by Dr. David J. Weiss at the Psychometric Methods program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota. Weiss is considered the father of adaptive testing. He is the co-founder of ASC, a former President of the IACAT and is expected to give a rare keynote address at the conference.
“I'm looking forward to the research at the IACAT conference in Minneapolis this summer," Alina von Davier, Senior Vice President at ACTNEXT and incoming President of IACAT said. "This conference is an important venue as it is the only one dedicated to adaptive testing and other modern AI approaches in education and assessment. The University of Minnesota is a fitting location since it was the site of much of the seminal CAT research in the 1970s.”
Adaptive testing was one of the first uses of AI in education, replacing a human examiner with a computer, based on complex machine learning algorithms known as item response theory (IRT) instead of fixed rules. Adaptive testing is far more efficient than regular testing, offering a 50-90 percent reduction in testing time with no loss of accuracy. It also has other documented advantages such as making the test more secure and increasing engagement or motivation for the test-takers.
“Our adaptive, technology-driven testing DNA goes back some 50 years, and that history will help propel this conference – looking ahead at how the industry and research is leveraging the power of AI to make assessments smarter, faster, and fairer,” Saben said. “CAT and IRT have been used for decades, yet we are only scratching the surface of how such approaches can be used to improve assessment - and thereby improve the millions of decisions that are made based on scores each day.”
Assessment Systems has been a leader in the assessment industry since 1979, providing both world-class software for test development, secure delivery, and psychometric analytics, as well as extensive consulting services for testing organizations. ASC co-founder, Dr. David Weiss, is considered the father of computerized adaptive testing (CAT), and ASC was the first company to offer item banking and testing software to the public, in the early 1980s. Organizations such as the American Board of Optometry, the American Board of Pathology, and Michigan State University, as well as the Ministries of Education in countries as diverse as Iceland, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Botswana rely on Assessment Systems to develop accurate measurements across a variety of subjects. Follow us on LinkedIn or @Assess_Systems.