Sun, Surf, and Software: See you in Anaheim for ATP!

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Our copywriter looks longingly out over the dismally grey and rainy city of Utrecht. As the drizzle paints the 3rd story office window, the one thing on her mind is blue sky and sun. I guess you could say we’re California daydreaming as we prepare for a trip that’s all about blending our love for education with the sunny vibes of Anaheim, California. It’s not every day you get to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Innovations in Testing Conference, especially in a place that’s as famous for its thrilling theme parks as it is for its laid-back, beachy charm.

This year, the conference is about diving into what’s next for testing—think about the wild possibilities of generative AI and beefing up test security to keep up with tech’s rapid pace. 

The “Better Together” theme emphasises the power of collaboration and unity in driving progress and innovation. It’s a reminder that by pooling our diverse talents, insights, and experiences, we can overcome challenges more effectively and create richer, more sustainable, and more inclusive solutions for everyone involved.

Embracing the ‘Better Together’ spirit, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be booth neighbors with our partner Proctorio at ATP! Proctorio is a leading provider of online proctoring and integrity solutions, designed to secure and streamline the online testing process. Leveraging state-of-the-art technology, they offer a comprehensive suite of tools to ensure exam integrity, including identity verification, browser locking, and real-time monitoring. With Cirrus’ powerful exam platform and Proctoio’s integrity features, exams don’t get much safer. Check us out:

When: March 3-6, 2024

Where: Booth 307 (Cirrus) and 305 (Proctorio)

But hey, it’s not all about the conference. Anaheim has got its own “magic” to offer. Sandwiched between long conference days, you’ll find us soaking up everything, from world famous beaches to the local eats. 

We’re all geared up for this amazing blend of learning, innovation, and some good old-fashioned fun in the California sun. We can’t wait to bring back the latest in testing and stories and experiences from Anaheim that inspire and energise.

Until our next update, take care and keep that curiosity alive!

Presentations that must not be missed

Leveraging Template-Based Automated Item Generation and Generative Artificial Intelligence Approaches to Item Development

Drew Dallas National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, Jaime Malatesta Graduate Management Admission Council, Yanyan Fu Graduate Management Admission Council

10.00-10.50 | Monday, March 4, 2024

Testing organisations are increasingly turning to advanced technologies like automated item generation (AIG) to create new test items quickly and securely. This session showcases how the GMAC and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants are pioneering these technologies to make their exams more efficient and secure, sharing valuable insights from their experiences.

Why we recommend: To grasp how cutting-edge item generation techniques can revolutionise test creation, offering a practical guide for others interested in making their testing processes more effective and secure.

Roll Camera! Action: Improving the reliability of OSCE scoring tools through video-based study

Andrea Gotzmann Medical Council of Canada

Monday March 4, 2024 | 12.15-13.00

Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs), which evaluate essential clinical skills through various methods, are exploring new ways to improve training, delivery, and scoring, despite data interpretation and scale effectiveness challenges. A study comparing four-point and five-point rating scales found the five-point scale produced higher reliability in assessments, suggesting potential benefits for complex testing frameworks and highlighting the efficiency and preference for video-based scoring among examiners.

Why we recommend: To understand the impact of rating scale adjustments on the reliability of clinical skills assessment and explore innovative approaches to enhancing the OSCE process, providing valuable insights for educators and administrators in medical education.

Game Show Time: It’s the Credentialing Feud!

Amanda Wolkowitz Data Recognition Corporation, Amin Saiar Board of Pharmacy Specialties, Amy Grand Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing

Tuesday, March 5, 2024 | 9.40-10.50
Get ready for the Credentialing Feud, a fun-filled showdown where the Psychometrics & Test Development team squares off against the Programs & Operations crew for ultimate bragging rights. This isn’t just any competition; it’s a chance to dive deep into the world of credentialing through a game that’s as educational as it is entertaining. You might even get the chance to join in and help guess the top industry insights gathered from credentialing experts. From the most common item writing blunders to the latest industry shifts, come for the laughs, stay for the knowledge, and root for your favourite team as they tackle the big questions transforming the credentialing world today.

Why we recommend: Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned competition? This event offers a unique opportunity to learn about the credentialing field in an engaging and interactive way, making it perfect for anyone looking to expand their understanding while enjoying a spirited debate.

Revolutionizing Reskilling: AWS’s Approach to Certification

Claudine Townley BenchPrep, Anita Harvin Amazon Web Services

Tuesday, March 5, 2024 | 13.40-14.30

Dive into how the digital revolution is reshaping the workforce with Anita Harvin from AWS and Claudine Townley from BenchPrep, as they explore the pivotal role of reskilling and upskilling in today’s tech-driven world. Through AWS Training and Certification, individuals across the globe are mastering cloud computing via innovative learning methods, paving the way for career advancement and success in the digital economy. This session sheds light on AWS’s effective training strategies and shares inspiring certification stories, illustrating the life-changing impact of technological proficiency.

Why we recommend: This session is a must-attend for anyone eager to understand the influence of technology on employment and how AWS’s training programs can unlock opportunities in the rapidly evolving digital landscape, offering practical insights and motivation for personal and professional growth.

Digital Deception: The Hidden Technology Undermining Testing Integrity

Craig Nicholson Cambridge University Press & Assessment

Tuesday, March 5, 2024 | 16.10-17.00
Step into the shadows of the tech world in this eye-opening session, where you’ll uncover the latest stealthy and AI-powered threats that are putting testing integrity at risk. We’ll not only explore the newest threats and tactics but also guide you through the methods to detect and stop them. Plus, you’ll get a unique chance to experience some of these threats firsthand, gaining practical insights into safeguarding against them.

Why we recommend: This session is perfect for anyone looking to stay one step ahead in the ever-evolving battle for digital security, offering a blend of knowledge and hands-on experience that’s both enlightening and empowering.

Practical Steps to Enhancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Your Certification Program

Carol Ezzelle National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 

Andrea Hajek National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 | 9:40 am – 10:30 am
Dive into the crucial journey of making certification programs more inclusive and fair in this enlightening session. It’s clear that traditional methods like bias review panels and differential item functioning analyses are no longer enough to ensure fairness. This presentation goes beyond by offering practical steps and real-world examples for credentialing professionals to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within their assessment processes. From auditing practices to revising standards and improving candidate experiences, you’ll leave with actionable strategies to evaluate and boost DEI in every facet of your program, ensuring a more equitable assessment system for all.

Why we recommend: This session is essential for those committed to fostering an inclusive certification environment. It provides a clear roadmap and tangible examples to guide professionals in integrating DEI into their programs, offering the tools and knowledge to make meaningful changes.

Things to do in Anaheim

Our “Better Together” theme reminds us that collaboration and unity bring out the best in us, especially when exploring new places. So, while Anaheim is undoubtedly famous for Disneyland, we encourage you to join forces with fellow conference attendees to discover some of the city’s hidden gems.

Off the Beaten Path Adventures:

Beaches Galore: Take a short drive to Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, or Newport Beach. Each offers stunning vistas, but for an unforgettable experience, we highly recommend embarking on a whale-watching adventure. The Pacific is teeming with marine life, and witnessing whales in their natural habitat is truly amazing.

Vintage Vibes at Orange Circle: For those who love a good treasure hunt, Orange Circle is a paradise of vintage and antique shops. It’s the perfect place to find unique souvenirs or gifts that capture the essence of California’s eclectic style.


The Packing District: Once the heart of Anaheim’s agricultural community, the Packing District has transformed into a bustling hub for foodies and night owls. Here, you’ll find some of the best bars and restaurants in the area, each with its own unique flair. Which brings me to…

Eating and Drinking Recommendations:

The Blind Rabbit, Packing District | ​​440 S Anaheim Blvd #104, Anaheim, CA 92805, United States: Step back in time at this speakeasy, where reservations are necessary. Expert cocktails with a cosy, prohibition-inspired atmosphere.

Strong Water, Downtown Anaheim |  270 S Clementine St, Anaheim, CA 92805, United States: For a taste of the tropics, Strong Water is an eclectic and funky tiki bar that stands out among Anaheim’s vibrant scene. Don’t miss other tiki bars in the area! 


Craft Beer Heaven: Beer aficionados will feel right at home in Anaheim. Green Cheek is a must-visit for refreshing brews. We recommend everything they offer, but don’t stop there. Monkish, Everywhere Brewery, and Bottle Logic are all fantastic, each with their own signature hazy IPAs or DIPAs that are sure to impress.

For the Foodies:

Tacos Los Cholos (821 S State College Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92806, United States) offer some of the best street tacos you’ll ever taste. Also check out Angel’s Tijuana Tacos ( 2396 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92804, United States

Hammer Burger, Santa Ana | 313 N Bush St, Santa Ana, CA 92701, United States Their smashburgers are legendary. Paired with local craft beer, it’s a meal you won’t forget.

A Taste of Vietnam and the Mediterranean: Anaheim’s diverse population means authentic cuisine is always within reach. The biggest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam reside in Anaheim, so check out the Little Saigon district for incredible Vietnamese food, while Little Arabia is your go-to for Mediterranean delights. From Kareem’s (1208 S Brookhurst St, Anaheim, CA 92804, United States) to Zankou Chicken (2424 W Ball Rd, Anaheim, CA 92804, United States) and Forn Al Hara (512 S Brookhurst St Ste #5, Anaheim, CA 92804, United States), you’re in for a treat.

And that about concludes our pre-conference blog! We’re set to dive into sessions that challenge and inspire, from leveraging AI in item development to reimagining the OSCE scoring process, and even embracing the competitive spirit with Credentialing Feud. Each presentation is equipped with the latest insights and strategies to take our work to the next level.

As we prepare to embark on this journey, we’re reminded that the path forward is one we tread together, leveraging our collective strengths make assessments better. So, stay tuned for updates from this adventure, where professional insights and fun discoveries go hand in hand. We’re ready to soak in all Anaheim has to offer, and we can’t wait to share this journey with you.

When: March 3-6, 2024

Where: Booth 307 (Cirrus) and 305 (Proctorio)

Until then, let’s keep dreaming of the California sun. See you in Anaheim!

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Cristina Gilbert
Cristina Gilbert
Copywriter and digital content enthusiast, Cristina is motivated by the fast-paced world of e-assessment and the opportunities online exams give students to thrive.
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