Author Archives: stansell.18@osu.edu

Construction Tests Available During Field Testing

As October wraps up and we move into November, an important date on the WebXam calendar is approaching fast. On November 2nd, all posttests and field tests will be available.

During the shutdown as a result of the pandemic, some of the test development process for writing new assessments in the Construction Technologies career field was not completed. However, this process has begun again and we are happy to inform teachers that the following tests are available for field testing starting November 2nd.

NumberCourse Name
178000Construction Technology – Core and Sustainable Construction
178001Carpentry and Masonry Technical Skills
178002Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Systems
178003Structural Systems
178004Structural Coverings and Finishes
178007Construction Electrical Systems
178008Residential Electrical Systems
178009Commercial and Industrial Construction Electrical Systems
178012Heating and Cooling Systems
178013HVAC Refrigeration
178014Sheet Metal
178018Construction Safety and Crew Leadership
178019Plan Reading
178022Construction Management
178023Remodeling/Renovation
178026Heavy Equipment Operations
178027Construction Site Preparation
178030Principles of Woods Construction
178040Fundamentals of Architecture

These tests contain approximately 90 items, so it is important to schedule the appropriate time frame for students to finish the testing in one sitting.

When the shutdown occurred, we had a number of Construction courses that were not completed. These courses are not currently available, but will be made available as soon as they are ready.

NumberCourse Name
178005Masonry
178006Concrete and Residential Masonry
178010Plumbing and Pipefitting Systems
178011Residential and Commercial Plumbing Systems
178015Telecommunications/Low Voltage Systems
178016Alternative Power Generation Systems
178017Powerline/Hi-Voltage Power Transmission
178020Architecture Design – Structural and Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing
178021Architecture Design – Site and Foundation Plans
178024Facility and Building Maintenance
178025Custodial Services
178028Interior Design

If you are interested in participating in the item-writing process for these courses, please contact us at: cete-recruiting@osu.edu.

Be sure to complete your field testing before April 23rd, 2021.

For more information the testing schedule, please refer to the WebXam Calendar.

CETE Assessment Program Collaborates with ODE during COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 has changed the way we conduct our daily lives, from shopping to work to education, including state testing of 150,000 students attending Ohio’s career-technical education centers.

CETE’s long-standing work with the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Career-Technical Education (ODE-CTE), dating back to the 1980s, includes developing tests and administering them to students; first using paper assessments, and then through a sophisticated, online system. Usually, as schools complete end-of-course testing, those test scores are downloaded from WebXamTM and then provided to the local districts for reporting back to the state Education Management Information System (EMIS) system. This process was interrupted by the pandemic and the subsequent stay-in-place order.

Social distancing prevented students from attending classes in-person and completing end-of-course testing. Career-technical education (CTE) courses require hands-on experiences, such as automotive repair or construction trades. With the dangers of the pandemic and shelter-in-place orders, the schools moved to online instruction and closed their facilities, which required innovation for reporting testing and grades.

Leah Amstutz heads ODE-CTE as the State Director.  After deliberations with CETE staff and with their partners at the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), the office announced the following updates for 2020. Course grades from local districts would be reported to WebXam™ and used instead of test scores for college credit where available and graduation in the coming years. For each course completed, students will have a letter grade or pass/fail indication. Student grades will be converted to percentages, using historical data maintained by CETE and EMIS. This process will allow for reporting at state and federal levels to operate similarly to how it has in years past.  In collaboration with ODE/ODHE and EMIS, the IT group of the CETE assessment program worked quickly to set up this reporting feature through WebXamTM, allowing teachers and districts to upload student grading data. Also, CETE participated in ODE-hosted webinars to facilitate training for those responsible for inputting this data, ensuring that this change occurs smoothly.

Matt Winkle, Associate Director of ODE-CTE, noted that Richard Huggins, Senior Systems Manager at CETE, was a key member of this strategy. Winkle stated, “Richard has been an important part of our presentation team for the WebXamTM alternative option in response to the COVID-19 school building closure. Richard is a true asset to the educational community, as he provides outstanding customer service and technical support to the Office of CTE and our stakeholders.”

Richard Huggins succinctly describes the impact of this endeavor, “In difficult times such as these, it is important that we respond as a community to our shared challenges in the spirit of collaboration.  WebXamTM is proud to support all Career-Technical students, teachers, administrators and stakeholders in the state of Ohio by leveraging the strengths of our platform to meet the challenges we are faced with today and in the future.”

When things are uncertain and ever-changing, the quick thinking and flexibility of both CETE and ODE have allowed for collaboration that benefits both students and teachers. The result is also the strengthening of the long-term cooperation between ODE and CETE.

For more information, please visit the ODE website.

Now Recruiting for Item-Writing in Construction

African American woman wearing green shirt and yellow construction hat working with tools on carpentry project.

The Assessment Services Team at CETE has begun the process of developing the calendar for the item-writing workshops in the 2019-2020 school year. These item-writing workshops are designed to create new test items in specified subjects which become newly developed exams delivered to CTE students using WebXam, the online testing portal used by CTE educators. These workshops and WebXam technical support are conducted in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE).

For the 2019-2020 school year, the Assessment Services team will host item-writing workshops for test development by subject-matter experts (SMEs) in the career field of Construction Technology to develop item banks for about 30 courses across 3 different pathways.

Participation by subject-matter experts (SMEs) is the most important element of test development and delivery. New test items do not get written without the knowledge, expertise, and participation of SMEs – thus our motto, “SMEs are KEY”!  If you are in the Construction Technology career field, please reach out to cete-recruiting@osu.edu for more information, or visit http://go.osu.edu/item-writing.

During test development cycle, the SMEs participate in the following way:

  • SMEs will work with their ODE program specialist to ensure items are created that match the career field competencies and testing blueprints designed by the ODE CTE.
  • The SMEs will develop the test item banks then review the items as a group to ensure they align and are set to the proper performance standards. (this is the item-writing workshop)
  • The item banks are tested and validated by SMEs for accuracy, field tested by students, and then analyzed using psychometrics.
  • The item banks are then released as either pretests, posttests, and practice tests and are maintained by the WebXam Support staff.

Subject-matter experts are essential to the test development process and are the key to the development of quality tests and student success. When you attend an item-writing workshop, you are also provided an opportunity to network with other teachers, earn professional development certificates, and learn quality item-writing skills. Subject-matter experts who attend are also reimbursed (either personally or your school) for hotel and dinner the night(s) before the workshops (applicable if you’re outside a 60-mile radius), and your school is also reimbursed for the cost of your substitute. We also provide lunch while you are here.

To provide our subject-matter experts valid and verified evidence that participation in this process is an element of their professional development, the test-item development process the Assessment Services Team conducts is established by the occupational knowledge-skill assessment sector and statewide CTE programs, backed by data and well researched. Many team members are also active members of either the Association of Test Publishers or the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, to lend credence to the delivery of professional development certification or credentials. Much like continuing education is important to teachers, the CETE Assessment Services Team continuously apply and hone their knowledge and skills in the occupational and educational test-development arena. 

Testing Reminders

Welcome back to the 2019-2020 school year, teachers and administrators. The WebXam support team want to provide you with two important testing reminders:

  • The pretesting window opens on August 12th, 2019 and closes on September 13th, 2019. Please be sure to complete all your fall semester pretesting during this one month window.
  • There is no pretesting available for the Engineering & Manufacturing courses in the 2019-2020 school year.

If you have any questions, please contact us. Have a great year!

UPDATE: WebXam Testing Window for Information Technology Career Field


The Ohio Department of Education has sent the following important communication:

Due to a number of districts not participating in the WebXam testing window for the Information Technology career field, we are making an exception this year and reopening the testing window on Monday, May 6 and closing on Friday, May 31. Students taking the Information Technology end of course exam will be tested on the final forms, which contain only 40 questions.

For information on testing windows and deadlines, please refer to the WebXam Newsletter, Assessments on the Ohio Department of Education website, and the WebXam website. It is beneficial for teachers and administrators to review this material at the start of each school year to ensure that all students participate during the WebXam testing windows. If you have further questions about the WebXam or testing windows, you can refer to the materials listed above or contact the WebXam office at WebXam@osu.edu or (614) 292-4988.

Please share this communication with your associate schools so they can take advantage of this revised testing window.

Any tests that are saved as “in progress” MUST be restarted to maintain test security.

Just a reminder about Testing Windows

As the school year begins to wind down, WebXam would like to remind you about an important date: April 26th, 2019.

This date is important for two major reasons:

  1. The Teacher Effectiveness window closes: this is the last day to give posttests if using pretests for student gain. Students with a pretest/posttest combination that is completed outside of the Teacher Effectiveness window will not receive a student gain score but may still take available tests.
  2. The Field Testing window closes: Tests that are in field testing have a shorter window then final posttests. A list of which test are in field testing may be found on the WebXam about the test page.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact us.

WebXam Continues to Post Record Pretesting Numbers

WebXam, the online testing portal maintained by the CETE Assessment Services Team, launches two one-month long pretesting windows. During the second window, which occurred this January, CTE educators have the option to administer course pretests to their students as part of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES). These tests, under Category B use in OTES, support evaluation of teacher effectiveness in terms of gain from pretests to post-tests. Under Category C (local usage) pretests can be utilized with Student Learning Objectives or SLO to tailor courses more closely to standards and competencies that guide those objectives and to demonstrate gain.

During the 2018-19 winter pretesting window from January to February, WebXam once again delivered the highest number of pretests given in this window since inception in 2014. A total of 8,860 pretests were given to 6,888 students. This is an average of 1.3 test per students. Comparing the pretesting totals from last year (48,609) to this year’s numbers (57,423) indicates a 15% increase.

The top five courses for pretests taken in the fall window are as follows:

Information Technology 1744
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources 1417
Business Foundations 1374
Medical Terminology 1364
Engineering Design 1263
Construction Technology 1131

Why it Matters

While pretesting is currently optional for CTE programs, it is a great way to review knowledge retained by the student from previous courses to help teachers prepare their courses to allow students to be more effective during the current school year. It is a recognized way to document student gain. This documentation of student gain, as previously stated, can allow teachers to better prepare, ultimately improving teacher effectiveness, which is beneficial to the student, the teacher, local programs, and ultimately to Ohio business and industry.

Pretesting Window Extended!

In consultation with the Ohio Department of Education, WebXam has extended the Winter Pretesting Window through 2/8/2019 as a result of the inclement weather. No other WebXam testing windows or important dates have changed.

Find out more about the testing schedule, testing requirements, and the WebXam calendar by visiting our news site.