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Workshop 13 (half day)

Performance Testing: A New Frontier for I-O Psychologists

Presenters:      Deirdre J. Knapp, Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO)
                         David J. Pucel, Performance Training Systems, Inc. and the University of Minnesota
Coordinator:     Bill Strickland, Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO)

The use of tests in a selection context is an area with which I-O psychologists are very familiar.  Unfortunately, the use of tests as predictors is often the only model that an I-O psychologist encounters, and the measurement of performance comes down to ratings.  On the other hand, those who practice in the certification or licensure arena—whether they are I-O psychologists or not—are routinely confronted with the requirement to not only use but also develop performance-based measures of knowledge or skill. Much of this research and development work is currently conducted by people in other disciplines (e.g., professionals in educational measurement), and there is much that I-O psychologists can both learn from and contribute to this arena. This workshop will focus on the design, development, and use of performance-based tests, using specific examples of alternatives to multiple-choice, paper-and-pencil tests. The workshop should be of interest to academics wanting to explore research opportunities in performance-based testing and to practitioners wanting to develop or enhance their skills in this arena.

The workshop will enable participants to:

  • Contrast typical predictor development with the development of performance-based assessments
  • Discuss issues for consideration in designing, developing, and validating performance-based assessments, including job analysis and statistical approaches
  • Describe multiple assessment methods in addition to multiple choice paper-and-pencil tests
  • Identify research opportunities in the design, scoring, and evaluation of performance-based assessments

Deirdre J. Knapp has over 20 years of experience in employment-related testing research and development. Her primary area of expertise is designing and developing performance assessments, most recently identifying and addressing challenges in computer-based performance testing. Her experience has covered many different contexts (e.g., occupational certification programs, performance assessment for promotion systems, criterion measurement for validation research), many different types of jobs and organizations (e.g., Army enlisted and civilian occupations, supervisors and managers in federal government agencies, technically oriented professional associations), and a variety of assessment methods (e.g., multiple-choice tests, live work sample simulations, computerized adaptive testing). Deirdre has been actively involved with several organizations devoted to testing, including SIOP, the Association of Test Publishers, and the National Organization for Competency Assurance. She coedited Exploring the Limits in Personnel Selection and Classification (2001) with John Campbell. She has authored or coauthored several book chapters, including a chapter in Performance Measurement: Current Perspectives and Future Challenges. Deirdre has a PhD in I-O psychology from Bowling Green State University (1984) and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 14 and 19).

David J. Pucel is an internationally known expert and author in performance-based education, training, assessment, and competency certification systems. Dave has spent over 30 years as a professor at the University of Minnesota teaching performance-based curriculum development and testing. He is also president and founder of Performance Training Systems, Inc. Dave has published about and developed systems for performance-based training, performance-based assessment, HR development systems evaluation, certification testing, and related psychometrics. He currently is the psychometrician for a number of professional certification associations and is coauthoring a chapter in an upcoming handbook on performance-based testing. His history of publications and presentations related to performance-based testing includes the 2005 book, Developing and Evaluating Performance-Based Instruction (third edition). He has given invited presentations on measuring skill performance with computer simulations at meetings of the Performance Testing Council, the Association of Test Publishers Conference, and the International Conference on Computers and Advanced Technology in Education. He has delivered keynote presentations on “Performance-Based Training and Evaluation” to business executives, consultants, and university professors in Tokyo. Dave has a PhD in vocational-technical education with an emphasis in educational psychology (measurement and psychometrics).

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