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Making Performance-Based Testing Work For Your Students

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On 3/7/19 at 9:00am, I attended the North Carolina Computer Instructors Association Conference Session Making Performance-Based Testing Work For Your Students at the SCITECH Building at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC presented by Amy Savino, product manager: IT/Networking/Cybersecurity at Cengage.

 

Making Performance-Based Testing Work For Your Students

Cengage is on a recent path to a deep dive to a more authentic, personal, intentional, inclusive content. They want to make students more employable, building the lifelong performance-based work.

This workshop was intended to be used for a roundtable conversion. This was primarily about certifications and whether students take them, why or why not, and what are the concerns of the students for sitting in the exams, particularly CompTIA exams.

This was quickly apparent that it was not about building these items into our classes with examples. This was not about how to create these kinds of questions, or how to expand existing content to fit into a mold where these would be helpful. Instead, this was an infomercial in which Cengage wanted to talk about their existing service. No one in the class used the service, or gave certifications with Microsoft or CompTIA. So, that was a bit of a bust. Many people were too polite to leave.

I took this time to bring up my concerns over examinations in general, especially Adobe ACA exams. I related my concerns in ways that hopefully they would consider.

The experience of taking a certification exam can be daunting for students, so having a campus center which is convenient is helpful. Students could conceivably study together, work together, and then travel over in a group to the location in relative safety and mental security. A large part of this is also the social aspect- having a social safety net if you fail, or a group with which to celebrate if they achieved a passing grade. Going alone to a testing center where they are not familiar, paying additional proctoring fees on top of testing fees can be awkward and slightly scary. Being alone in that area is also a bit of a downer. Working together before, celebrating or licking wounds together can be helpful. I talked how many more adopters they might have if the testing centers could be more easily located on campuses.

When asked whether we were using Cengage Unlimited products, no one had used this or heard about it. When they asked whether we used any of the practice exam materials provided by Cengage, most of us admitted to having used them in the past. None of us used them any longer.

When asked why, a general consensus noted that practice exams didn’t quite focus on the topics which the final exam covers. Faculty who had used it found large sections went uncovered, and some sections covered did not show up on exams. Still others found that testing in sections had questions which did not relate to materials covered. It can be difficult to find the best product to help students feel that they are prepared while they are approachable and cover an accurate range of questions and materials.

PBT (performance based testing) are seemingly better for critical thinking. They showed several slides with numbers and statistics showing that students using performance-based questions were more knowledgeable on PBT Tests.

Cengage wants people to grow the confidence in the critical thinking skills, and expose them to questions with a PBT feel that they’d experience on the exam.

By 9:15am Cengage dropped a few people, myself included.

At this point they talked about MINDTAP products, specifically about A+ products. I am unfamiliar with this material, and was not the only one. They decided to do a deeper dive. This isn’t really helpful, because it moved into an explanation of the materials and how they worked. Because only 1 person in the group used this, several people immediately disengaged. It was partly explanation, but mostly a sales pitch.

The problem with this should have been clear: If no one is using this software, telling us more about it and requesting feedback is difficult. Hearing about it, and (knowing, using it, answering questions from students about it, etc.) are clearly different things.

They discussed the need for covering Bloom’s Taxonomy in classroom materials with the classes, and most of us were well-versed. Each class included a pre-assessment and post-assessment to show how students have adjusted over time.

Behind the scenes they explained how their materials worked: Mainly each built from scenario-based questions, including quality distractors (items such as: has a USB Mouse), include JIT (Just in Time) Feedback, and remediation maps to chapter Learning Objectives and exam objectives. On top of these questions, they are hoping to add simulations to give the look and feel to the practice exams.

Next, they want to know: Would it be better to have active simulations in the class, VM (virtual machines), or items which will be closest to the exams? Will adding critical thinking and learning skills be helpful so that it is closer to the real world or will it be better to be closer to the exam?

Should Cengage materials be based more on virtual scenarios, or something which is testing based?

Tyler Dockery’s opinion on this matter:

What is the goal you’re hoping to achieve? Make your work based for that. If the goal of the material is to be ready for the real world, have more simulations as assignments. If the point is that full completion of the certification exam is the end goal, the certification exam should have a closer connection to the testing and quiz components. Different teachers will have different goals, so opening options on that will be helpful. Giving faculty the option to have access to real-life materials OR test prep OR both would be your best answer.

Also, some areas of this state have different levels of monetary values, and this adjusts the goal of the class materials.. In some parts of the state, students may not have the money to include the testing as part of their experience.  For low-income areas, teachers may focus more on real-world skills as opposed to testing and the costs involved with that. This offers some the path to certification and others the path to job skills, still others might enjoy both.

 

Witold Sieradzan’s opinion on the matter

Almost every 2-year degree is outshined by a BA degree. If you have connections with companies, find out how many of them are actually looking for this certification. Can you contact recent recipients of the testing and connect them with companies who value this certification? We are maintaining mostly Community College students, and if the bonus of the certification could be made more clear would be helpful.

 

9:45 Cengage Unlimited start.

At this point, the Cengage representative began talking about the new Cengage Unlimited product and wanted some feedback. Not much talk about that, since no one used it or heard about it. We looked up CompTIA certification and saw that in NC there are 179 jobs using those as preferred specifications for jobs and requirements.

The Cengage representative decided to talk about a new product they would be creating called Cengage Cloud+. Witold Sieradzan also asked if we had some material for one of our newest classes: CTI-141 Cloud and storage concept. I was unfamiliar with class, so we looked it up online. We introduced the material to the Cengage representative, and she wrote it down. Cloud+ Cengage-They agreed that the material could be a good connection.

All-in-all, I don’t think they got all the information they wanted, but perhaps it was a good test case. Computer Instructor’s Association might be a nice connection for CompTIA, but all the MS Office products were a pretty big stretch. I wish these were more clearly marked as sponsor sessions.

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Adobe Certified Associate Visual Design Specialist CS6!

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Adobe Certified Associate Web Design Specialist CS6 Achieved!

 

Changing the world is possible, but it requires the right preparation and skills. Being ACA certified means that you are on your way to doing great things, and one great thing you can do right away is to take your ACA certifications to the next level with an ACA Specialist certificate.

An ACA Specialist certificate is ideal for validating your Adobe cross-platform expertise, and it speaks volumes to prospective employers, academic institutions and the world. It is a valuable addition to your design portfolio.

 

Dear Tyler Dockery,

Adobe and Certiport would like to congratulate you on becoming an Adobe Certified Associate Web Design Specialist CS6!

Staying current with all of your certifications, and sharing the news of your accomplishment with employers, colleagues and classmates identifies you as an individual with expertise in digital communications across in-demand product groups. In today’s competitive creative career market, cross-product knowledge is a highly valuable skill.

Adobe Certified Associate Web Design Specialist

The following ACA certifications are required:

  • Interactive Media using Adobe Flash Professional CS6
  • Web Authoring using Adobe Dreamweaver CS6
  • Visual Communication using Adobe Photoshop CS6

 


Follow these five steps to take advantage of your ACA certification today:

  1. Use Your Digital Transcript and ACA Logo: Log in at www.certiport.com to access your digital transcript and your ACA logo. Share your transcript with potential employers and colleges. Add the ACA logo to your printed resume and portfolio. For information on how to use your test candidate account, click here.
  2. Join the Official ACA Community: Sponsored by Adobe, the ACA Community is an exclusive group, just for Adobe Certified Associates. To join the official ACACommunity visit www.facebook.com/groups/AdobeACA. Membership in this group provides many benefits, including:
    • Access to up-to-the-minute news on Adobe products, tools and services
    • Connection to thousands of other Adobe Certified Associates worldwide with whom you may network, share your work and get your questions answered
    • Tips, tricks and strategies for leveraging your certification to jump-start your creative career
    • Special offers and opportunities, just for Adobe Certified Associates
  3. Participate in the ACA World Championship: The ACA World Championship is a global competition that identifies and recognizes the next generation of design professionals using Adobe software. The winners receive cash, prizes, and global recognition. Find out how you can participate by visitingwww.acachampionship.com.
  4. Continue Your ACA Journey: Achieving additional ACA certifications will expand your skills, and add to your resume. ACA certifications include:
    • Visual Design using Adobe Photoshop®
    • Graphic Design and Illustration using Adobe Illustrator®
    • Print and Digital Publication using Adobe InDesign®
    • Web Authoring using Adobe Dreamweaver®
    • Interactive Media using Adobe Flash® Professional
    • Digital Video using Adobe Premiere® Pro
  5. Share Your Success at My ACA Story: We want to celebrate your success as an Adobe Certified Associate and share your story to inspire others. For sharing your story, you will be eligible to win a prize. Visit aca.mycertiportstory.com to share your story and be inspired by other Adobe Certified Associates.

For additional information about the ACA program, please visit www.certiport.com/adobe.

Again, congratulations on your achievement! We wish you success in all your professional and academic endeavors.

Best regards,
The Adobe Certified Associate team

Adobe Education Exchange: Adobe Campus Leader Renewed!

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Tyler Dockery has completed Adobe Campus Leader for Wake Technical Community College recognition with adobeAdobe Education Exchange: Adobe Campus Leader Renewed!

“As a contributing member of the Adobe Education Exchange, Tyler Dockery has received visible recognition for his level of commitment and participation. Adobe is proud to feature a leaderboard function and badge recognition to members who’s mission is to serve the community of educators by maintaining a high level of activity.”

After being asked to resubmit based on materials included in edex.adobe.com and material lectures given in video and online formats, I was renewed as an Adobe Campus Leader for Wake Technical Community College. I was given the following letter here, and I hope the transcription is working out for you all!


Hello, Adobe Campus Leaders, and greetings from San Francisco!

As the new Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) Project Manager, I wanted to introduce myself and invite you all to help shape the future of the program.

One way to help is to take a survey about one of our new ACA exams—Premiere ProInDesign, and After Effects—by November 24. Certiport, the official provider of the ACA, is working on the next generation of exams, and we need input from visual design or digital video experts to define the most important skills that candidates should know. Instructions are below, and each survey should take 15-30 minutes to complete.

Another way to help is to simply keep in touch! If you have ideas, questions, or concerns related to certification, I would love to hear from you. Feedback from educators is essential for keeping our programs and resources relevant, so if you feel passionately about certification in the classroom, please reach out. There may also be opportunities in the future to help develop new exam content.

Thank you very much for your support, and for joining the ACL community! I look forward to working with and learning from you all.

Best,

Rosy Capron (capron@adobe.com)

Subject Matter Experts at Certiport have written testing objectives for the knowledge and skills considered critical for the target ACA candidate. Your role as an educator is to assess the relevance of each of these objectives, as well as the frequency of candidates’ use of each skill. The ACA candidate description is in the right-hand column, so please visualize this person as you complete the survey.

Adobe Premiere Pro: https://blueprint.itemexperts.com/survey?sid=81A981BF-21BD-4CC1-8E8C-4FBC8BD72475

Adobe InDesign: https://blueprint.itemexperts.com/survey?sid=A8817CC7-6DDF-4822-AC26-4C7462B86AAF

Adobe After Effects: https://blueprint.itemexperts.com/login?sid=3B9D4F06-E280-4B14-B1A2-C1CCBF2C3EAF

Surveys will close on November 24.

Part 1 – Background Questions: Your demographic and contact information will not be used for any purpose other than survey analysis.

Part 2 – Objectives Ratings: You will be asked to rate 20 Objectives that have been divided into 5 Domains. You will rate them on scales of Relevance and Frequency. You may also make comments on each objective, but it is not required.

Relevance: Rate how relevant you believe this objective is to determining whether or not an examinee should be certified. The lowest number represents little or no relevance, while the highest number represents the highest possible relevance.

Frequency: Rate how often this task or objective would need to be performed by an Adobe Certified Associate. The lowest number indicates the lowest frequency and the highest number represents the highest frequency.

Part 3 – Section Distribution: This part of the survey asks you to specify how much of the exam should be focused on each of the 5 domains. The 5 domains show up on the left, and you type the percent of the exam you feel should be devoted to that section in the box on the right. The percentages need to add up to 100 percent. The survey totals the percentages you have entered at the bottom of the screen next to Total Weight.

When you are finished, press the Complete Survey button. You may come back if you cannot complete the survey in one session; enter your email address and continue from where you ended the previous session.

Thank you!

Graphic Design & Illustration using Adobe Illustrator CC (2015) ACA Certification Achieved!

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Graphic Design & Illustration using Adobe Illustrator CC (2015) ACA Certification Achieved!


Adobe and Certiport would again like to congratulate you on becoming an Adobe Certified Associate (ACA)! You are a part of an elite community of individuals with proven expertise in digital communications. Adobe certification is an industry standard of excellence, and it’s the absolute best way to communicate your proficiency in leading products from Adobe.

Adobe Illustrator software is the industry’s premier vector-drawing environment for creating scalable graphics. Digital media gurus bring their unique vision to life with shapes, color, effects, and typography by using a host of powerful functions to make fast work of their most complex designs.

Adobe conducted research to identify the foundational skills students need to effectively communicate using digital media tools. Based on feedback from educators, design professionals, businesses, and educational institutions around the world, the objectives cover entry-level skill expectations for graphic design and illustration.

Individuals who have earned an Adobe Certified Associate certification in Graphic Design & Illustration using Adobe Illustrator have demonstrated mastery of the following skills:

Domain 1.0 Setting Project Requirements

1.1 Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for preparing graphics and illustrations.
1.2 Summarize how designers make decisions about the type of content to include in a project, including considerations such as copyright, project fit, permissions, and licensing.
1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of project management tasks and responsibilities.
1.4 Communicate with others (such as peers and clients) about design plans.

Domain 2.0 Understanding Digital Graphics and Illustrations

2.1 Understand key terminology related to digital graphics and illustrations.
2.2 Demonstrate knowledge of basic design principles and best practices employed in the digital graphics and illustration industry.
2.3 Demonstrate knowledge of typography and its use in digital graphics and illustrations.
2.4 Demonstrate knowledge of color and its use in digital graphics and illustration.
2.5 Demonstrate knowledge of image resolution, image size, and image file format for web, video, and print.

Domain 3.0 Understanding Adobe Illustrator

3.1 Identify elements of the Illustrator user interface and demonstrate knowledge of their functions.
3.2 Define the functions of commonly used tools, including selection tools, the Pen tool, and other drawing tools, shape tools, and transformation tools.
3.3 Navigate, organize, and customize the workspace.
3.4 Use non-printing design tools in the interface, such as rulers, guides, bleeds, and artboards.
3.5 Demonstrate knowledge of layers and masks.
3.6 Manage colors, swatches, and gradients.
3.7 Manage brushes, symbols, graphic styles, and patterns.
3.8 Demonstrate knowledge of how and why illustrators employ different views and modes throughout the course of a project, including vector/outline vs. display/appearance, isolation mode, and various Draw modes.
3.9 Demonstrate an understanding of vector drawing tools.

Domain 4.0 Creating Digital Graphics and Illustrations Using Adobe Illustrator

4.1 Create a new project.
4.2 Use vector drawing and shape tools.
4.3 Transform graphics and illustrations.
4.4 Create and manage layers.
4.5 Import assets into a project.
4.6 Add and manipulate type using Type tools.
4.7 Create digital graphics and illustrations using 3D and perspective tools in Illustrator.

Domain 5.0 Archive, Export, and Publish Graphics Using Adobe Illustrator

5.1 Prepare images for web, print, and video.
5.1 Export digital graphics and illustration to various file formats.

Past versions of the Adobe Certified Associate in Graphic Design & Illustration using Adobe Illustrator are now outdated. However, certifications on older versions of our software are still valid.

Print and Digital Publication using Adobe InDesign CC (2015) ACA Certification Achieved!

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Print and Digital Publication using Adobe InDesign CC (2015) ACA Certification Achieved!


Adobe and Certiport would again like to congratulate you on becoming an Adobe Certified Associate (ACA)! You are a part of an elite community of individuals with proven expertise in digital communications. Adobe certification is an industry standard of excellence, and it’s the absolute best way to communicate your proficiency in leading products from Adobe.

Adobe conducted research to identify the foundational skills students need to effectively communicate using digital media tools. Based on feedback from educators, design professionals, businesses, and educational institutions around the world, the objectives cover entry-level skill expectations for print and digital media publishing.

Individuals who have earned an Adobe Certified Associate certification in Print & Digital Media Publication Using Adobe InDesign have demonstrated mastery of the following skills:

Domain 1.0 Setting Project Requirements

1.1 Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for preparing print and digital media publications.
1.2 Summarize how designers make decisions about the type of content to include in a project, including considerations such as copyright, project fit, permissions, and licensing.
1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of project management tasks and responsibilities.
1.4 Communicate with others (such as peers and clients) about design plans.

Domain 2.0 Understanding Print and Digital Media Publications

2.1 Understand key terminology related to print and digital media publications.
2.2 Demonstrate knowledge of basic design principles and best practices employed in the print and digital media publication industry.
2.3 Demonstrate knowledge of typography and its use in the print and digital publication industry.
2.4 Demonstrate knowledge of color and its use in print and digital publications.
2.5 Demonstrate knowledge of the appropriate properties of print, web, and digital publication designs.

Domain 3.0 Understanding Adobe InDesign CC

3.1 Identify elements of the InDesign CC interface and demonstrate knowledge of their functions.
3.2 Define the functions of commonly used tools including selection tools, Frame tools, type tools, drawing tools, Line tool etc.
3.3 Navigate, organize, and customize the workspace.
3.4 Use non-printing design tools in the interface, such as rulers, guides, grids, bleeds, and slugs.
3.5 Demonstrate knowledge of layers.
3.6 Manage colors, swatches, and gradients.
3.7 Create, use, and manage object styles.
3.8 Create, use, and manage character and paragraph styles.

Domain 4.0 Creating Print and Digital Media Publications Using Adobe InDesign

4.1 Create a new project.
4.2 Create, manage, and use frames in a publication design.
4.3 Add text to a page layout.
4.4 Add graphic, image, and video content to a page layout.
4.5 Create special page elements using InDesign tools, such as a table of contents, an index, Library files, and previously placed content.
4.6 Add interactive elements such as hyperlinks, interactive media objects, HTML5, and video; and assign triggers for different actions.

Domain 5.0 Publish, Export, and Archive Page Layouts Using Adobe InDesign

5.1 Prepare publications for print.
5.2 Prepare page layouts for export to digital media publications such as multiscreen devices and FOLIO files for Digital Publishing Suite.

Past versions of the Adobe Certified Associate in Print & Digital Media Publication using Adobe InDesign are now outdated. However, certifications on older versions of our software are still valid.

Visual Communication Using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 ACA Certification Achieved!

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Visual Communication Using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 ACA Certification Achieved!

In the middle of the NCCIA conference, I had the opportunity to take a scheduled examination. The Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification allows you to demonstrate proficiency in Adobe digital communications tools. Become a Certified Associate and you will stand apart from your peers, boost your confidence, and expand your career opportunities.

The Visual Communication Using Adobe Photoshop exam validates skills in communication corresponding to Photoshop software. Adobe conducted research to identify the foundational skills needed to effectively communicate using digital media tools. Based on feedback from educators, design professionals, businesses, and educational institutions around the world, the objectives cover skill expectations for professional visual communication.

 

The following skills were assessed on the Visual Communication Using Adobe Photoshop exam:

  • Domain 1.0 Setting Project Requirements
    • 1.1 Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for preparing images.
    • 1.2 Demonstrate knowledge of standard copyright rules for images and image use.
    • 1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of project management tasks and responsibilities.
    • 1.4 Communicate with others (such as peers and clients) about design plans.
  • Domain 2.0 Identifying Design Elements When Preparing Images
    • 2.1 Demonstrate knowledge of image resolution, image size, and image file formats for web, video, and print.
    • 2.2 Demonstrate knowledge of design principles, elements, and image composition.
    • 2.3 Demonstrate knowledge of typography.
    • 2.4 Demonstrate knowledge of color correction using Photoshop.
    • 2.5 Demonstrate knowledge of image-generating devices, their resulting image types, and how to access resulting images in Photoshop.
    • 2.6 Understand key terminology when working with digital images.
  • Domain 3.0 Understanding Adobe Photoshop
    • 3.1 Identify elements of the Photoshop user interface and demonstrate knowledge of their functions.
    • 3.2 Demonstrate knowledge of layers and masks.
    • 3.3 Demonstrate knowledge of importing, exporting, organizing, and saving.
    • 3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of producing and reusing images.
    • 3.5 Demonstrate an understanding of and select the appropriate features and options required to implement a color management workflow.
  • Domain 4.0 Manipulating Images by Using Adobe Photoshop
    • 4.1 Demonstrate knowledge of working with selections.
    • 4.2 Use Photoshop guides and rulers.
    • 4.3 Transform images.
    • 4.4 Adjust or correct the tonal range, color, or distortions of an image.
    • 4.5 Demonstrate knowledge of retouching and blending images.
    • 4.6 Demonstrate knowledge of drawing and painting.
    • 4.7 Demonstrate knowledge of type.
    • 4.8 Demonstrate knowledge of filters.
  • Domain 5.0 Publishing Digital Images by Using Adobe Photoshop
    • 5.1 Demonstrate knowledge of preparing images for web, print, and video.

Adobe Education Exchange: Adobe Certified Educator Badge

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Adobe Education Exchange Adobe Certified EducatorAdobe Education Exchange: Adobe Certified Educator Badge

“As a contributing member of the Adobe Education Exchange, Tyler Dockery has received visible recognition for his level of commitment and participation. Adobe is proud to feature a leaderboard function and badge recognition to members who’s mission is to serve the community of educators by maintaining a high level of activity.”

As part of my course on Digital Creativity in the Classroom, I began contributing to Adobe’s Education Exchange. In an effort to show milestones and fulfillment as part of this community, Adobe provides rewards and achievements in the form of badges. This badge was awarded for having achieved the rank of Adobe Certified Educator.

The Adobe Certified Educator certification shows that you have already demonstrated proficiency in Adobe digital communications tools, and have been teaching those tools for 2+ years (24 consecutive months without a break). Becoming a Certified Educator allows you to stand apart from your peers, boost your confidence, and expand your career opportunities.

At this time, it was verified that I had achieved Adobe Certified Educator Certifications in:

  • Visual Communication Using Adobe Photoshop
  • Web Authoring Using Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Graphic Design & Illustration Using Adobe Illustrator
  • Video Communication Using Adobe Premiere