Friday, February 26, 2010

Accounting Skills Standards and Assessments

The CareerTech Testing Center offers skills standards and assessments for Accounting Services. The three products we offer are Accounts Payable Clerk, Accounts Receivable Clerk, and Full-Charge Bookkeeper.

I also wanted to let you know that all of these skills standards have been endorsed by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB).

As always, our skills standards are offered for free on our website and please contact us and let us know how we can assist you with your assessment needs!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's ONLY Wednesday...Are You "Facing the Giants"?

Do you ever have one of those mornings? You know the kind I'm talking about. You don't want to get up, you're running late, the coffee doesn't seem to be doing it's thing and then on your drive to work, you realize that it's only WEDNESDAY!

I know....are you depressed yet? Then you get to work, turn on your computer, and begin to check all of the emails that arrived after you left work on Tuesday.  As I'm scrolling through the dozen or so emails I noticed one from a friend. He was actually sending a YouTube video for my son to watch, but I have to admit it's a great video from a movie that I had seen quite awhile ago.

It's a great "WEDNESDAY" morning boost and I wanted to share it with you. Even if you aren't a great sports fan, it contains a great message so I hope you will enjoy the following six minute clip from "Facing the Giants."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yukon Students Show Teachers How to Use Technology

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

YUKON, Oklahoma – Yukon High School teachers got a crash course in technology Monday. It was a full day of learning, but the roles were reversed and the students were the teachers.

Even though students had the day off some came in to teach the teachers. This is the first step in Yukon High School going high-tech.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Assessment Security and How to Reduce Fraud

I’d like to draw your attention to a recent blog post by Eric Shepherd, CEO of Questionmark, on the subject of “Assessment Security and How To Reduce Fraud.”

In this post on his blog, Eric describes what motivates fraudulent behavior and explains some common methods and processes to help you minimize and eliminate it from your assessments. He references the “Fraud Triangle” created by famed criminologist Donald Cressey to explain why people commit fraud. Eric examines the three elements in the triangle: Motivation, Rationalization and Opportunity. He also offers some practical tips for deterring fraud.

Check out the post here and the rest of Eric's blog.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Okla. tech center eyes Kindles, iPhones for e-learning

Okla. tech center eyes Kindles, iPhones for e-learning

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tips on Building a Successful Testing Program

I just wanted to offer a few helpful hints that will make the testing process easier and better for all of your students (view our complete Testing Liaison Policies and Procedures for more information).

The testing environment should be such that participants can concentrate on their assessments with minimal distractions. Considerations regarding the testing environment include:
  • Consistent/adequate lighting levels.
  • Temperature at a comfortable level with proper ventilation.
  • Space is quiet with minimal distractions.
  • Participants should be asked to behave consistently (no eating, getting up and moving about).
  • Avoid/delay the test administration when a participant appears hurried, troubled, or ill.
 Responsibilities of the Test Proctor include:
  • Establish rapport.
  • Limit test anxiety.
  • Participant authentication: a picture ID should always be shown and login should be handled quickly and quietly by the proctor.
  • Protection of the security of the online testing system. Username AND password should NEVER be revealed.
  • Prohibiting the use of all communication devices (photos of test items and text messaging are common problems).
  • Computer usage: Monitor whether participants are trying to access the internet or other programs.
  • The proctor should be vigilant in their observance of the testing environment: Note passing, hand gestures, etc.
  • Reference materials, texts, notes, etc., are not allowed in the testing area unless specifically allowed for in the exam or in a student’s Individualized Education Plan.
  • If a candidate is caught cheating during an examination, testing will stop immediately. The candidate will receive a failing result and the incident will be reported to the CareerTech Testing Center (CTTC).
  • Students with an IEP may have special accommodations as specified in an IEP, IRP, 504, LEP, and ELL.
Please remember that any assessment is a "point in time" reference of a student's ability and many factors comprise this score. Take a look at our previous posts on Test Interpretation and Test Taking Tips.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything

I was looking at Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day and I found a YouTube video by a student named Jamie Bell  who writes:
This is the final piece for my AS art course, a flipbook made entirely out of biro pens. It's something like 2100 pages long, and about 50 jotter books. I'd say I worked on and off it for roughly 3 weeks. 
*UPDATE: It (the final piece) got full marks! YAY :D*
Take a look at this very creative video:

 Congratulations to Jamie and thanks to Jane for posting it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Social Media Revolution

The following video does a great job in explaining social media as a fundamental shift in the way that we communicate.  Social media is no longer a "fad" and I agree with the video that "successful companies in social media act more like party planners, aggregators, and content providers than traditional advertisers."

I think the internet was the creation of the information age, but what do we do with all of the information that has been collected? Social media will allow us to disseminate this information into smaller, more specific chunks to individuals that can make use of the data. Social media is a means of not only finding and sharing information, but of collaboration and discovery. Take a look...

I made a similar post entitled, "A Brave New World-Wide-Web," that also demonstrates this fundamental communication shift. Take a look and tell me your thoughts concerning the evolution of social media.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Update: Wordle and the CareerTech Testing Center Blog

I made a previous post awhile back about Wordle and I thought it would be interesting to see how it analyzes the CareerTech Testing Center Blog over time, October 2008 vs. February 2010:

October 2008
February 2010

If you remember, Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like, but you must cite Wordle.

It looks as if the blog still focuses on assessment, but it has evolved into a discussion of educational concepts, learning, and knowledge. I would have to say that Wordle is probably correct as my original posts focused on assessments, statistics, test modifications, etc. As assessments are built to assess learning and knowledge, my posts have been more focused in these areas as of late. This is really kind of an interesting way to take a "snapshot" of your site and evaluate your content over time. Have any of you tried Wordle and in what ways?

Please let me know if you like or dislike the direction of the blog and/or what topics you would like to see us discuss. As always, REVIEW the "Archives" or "labels" since we have tried to provide you with some great resources over time and SHARE the blog with anyone that might have an interest. We don't make any money off of this and it's strictly a creation to provide you with educational and assessment resources to simplify your life. In other words, we are trying to do the research for you and save your valuable time.  We hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!  J.T. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Entrepreneur Skills Standards and Assessment from the CareerTech Testing Center

I wanted to announce the new Entrepreneur skills standards and assessment being offered by the CareerTech Testing Center.

The following duty areas comprise the skills standards (take a look at each duty area on the standards for the specific tasks within each duty area):
  • Understand the Concepts and Processes Associated with Successful Entrepreneurial Success
  • Understand the Personal Traits/Behaviors Associated with Successful Entrepreneurial Performance
  • Understand Fundamental Business Concepts That Affect Business Decision Making
  • Understand Concepts, Strategies, and Systems Needed to Interact Effectively With Others
  • Understand the Concepts and Procedures Needed for Basic Computer Operations
  • Understand the Basic Economic Principles and Concepts Fundamental to Entrepreneurship/Small-Business Ownership
  • Understand Personal Money-Management Concepts, Procedures, and Strategies
  • Understand Concepts and Strategies Needed for Career Exploration, Development, and Growth
  • Identify How to Change System Settings, Install and Remove Software
  • Understand the Concepts, Systems, and Strategies Needed to Acquire, Motivate, Develop, and Terminate Staff
  • Understand the Concepts, Systems, and Tools Needed to Access, Process, Maintain, Evaluate, and Disseminate Information for Business Decision-Making
  • Understand the Concepts, Processes, and Systems Needed to Determine and Satisfy Customer Needs/Wants/Expectations, Meet Business Goals/Objectives, and Create New Product/Service Ideas
  • Understand the Processes and Systems Implemented to Facilitate Daily Business Operations
  • Understand the Concepts, Strategies, and Systems that Businesses Implement and Enforce to Minimize Loss
  • Understand the Concepts, Strategies, and Systems Needed to Guide the Overall Business Organization
Please contact the CareerTech Testing Center at 405.743.5412 to order this new assessment! As always, you can access our skills standards for FREE on our website.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Are You Addressing Learning Styles with your Instruction and Assessments?

I spent part of my weekend reading a very interesting White Paper from Questionmark's Eric Shepherd and Janet Godwin entitled "Assessments through the Learning Process." It really made me think about the challenges that CareerTech teachers face within their classrooms. I believe that career and technology programs face, more than anyone, such a wide variety of students, in terms of age, background, and experiences. You will need to join their community (for free) to have access to the entire white paper, but I think you will find it worthwhile. I have a portion of the introduction below and I think you will find it thought provoking and worth your time:

Assessments through the Learning Process
Authors: Eric Shepherd and Janet Godwin
With assistance from:
Dr. Will Thalheimer, Work-Learning Research
Dr. William Coscarelli, Southern Illinois University
Dr. Sharon Shrock, Southern Illinois University
The way that training and classroom courseware are delivered has shifted profoundly during the past five years. While a great deal of attention has been given to form of delivery, it’s clear that search and retrieval practice as well as other important factors influence how and what students actually learn and apply to their specific tasks.
Some organizations have tried to move entirely to online learning opportunities, for example, and yet not everyone is well suited to this approach. A significant portion of the population, especially those considered to be Gen X or Gen Y, love to learn on the computer. They even spend their leisure time on the computer. Others learn better in the more traditional training session where people get together, break up into groups, and talk to each other. Many of us prefer the classroom setting with all of its human interaction.
It’s critical, therefore, to understand how people learn, what they have in fact learned, and whether this knowledge is useful for their particular job. That’s why the cornerstone of developing successful educational, training, and certification materials is the effective use of assessments. While assessments used to consist of reams of paper upon which students filled in tiny boxes, now companies and educational institutions have a real opportunity to use technology not only to make assessments more widely available but also to make the process far more effective.

These organizations can use assessments to guide people to powerful learning experiences; reduce learning curves; extend the forgetting curve; confirm skills, knowledge and attitudes; and motivate people by giving them a real sense of achievement.
I can't overstate the importance of recognizing the learning styles of your students. Technology has infiltrated our lives and the ways that we learn are now so varied.  This might make instruction more difficult for you, but at the same time, what a great resource. As I have said before, individuals are what makes learning exciting and we can learn something new from every person we meet and that includes learning and understanding how they learn. Take a look at the White Paper and let us know your thoughts.  J.T.
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