Author Archives: stansell.18@osu.edu

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.

Winter Pretesting Window Opens January 2nd

As you return back to the classroom after the winter break, this is just a reminder that the pretesting window reopens January 2, 2019 and stays open until February 1st.

Pretests should be given before students receive instruction and should only be administered once. The use of pretest scores, when paired with posttest scores during the Teacher Effectiveness window, will generate an additional Teacher Effectiveness score that is mapped to student gain.

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.

If you need assistance purchasing, assigning, or activating pretests, please contact webxam@osu.edu.

Recruiting for Engineering & Manufacturing has Started

The Assessment Services Team at CETE has begun the process of developing the item-writing workshops for the 2018-19 school year. These item-writing workshops are when subject-matter experts work to develop new items for exams CTE students take using the WebXam online testing portal. These workshops, along WebXam technical support, are conducted in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE).

Female Engineer in white scrubs working with technology in a laboratory environment.

For the 2018-19 school year, the Assessment Services team will host item-writing workshops for test development by subject-matter experts (SMEs) in the career fields of Engineering and Manufacturing to develop item banks for 21 courses. We will also be hosting workshops to develop 3 item banks for a new Cybersecurity pathway in the Information Technology career field.

Participation by subject-matter experts (SMEs) is the most important element of test development. 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 Engineering or Manufacturing career fields, please reach out to the CETE recruiter for more information, or visit the Registration Survey to sign up. For more details, please visit our SME Resources page or you can download our Recruitment detailer.