The University of Pittsburgh Testing Center hosted the 2018 meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of College Testing Administrators [PACTA] on May 17. We spent the day with testing center administrators from across Pennsylvania, sharing insights and experiences from the world of proctored testing. In addition to Pitt, PACTA includes Temple, Edinboro, and Shippensburg Universities, as well as Bucks County and Harrisburg Area Community Colleges.
This is the third time this group has convened – its inaugural session was at Bloomsburg University in 2016, followed by Temple University in 2017. Whenever possible, the members host an unofficial gathering at the annual conference for the National College Testing Association.
We started the day with a deep dive into “a day in the life” of testing at Pitt, demonstrating the student experience, the process for scanning classroom exams, accommodations for students with disabilities, and a full walkthrough of our security and academic integrity procedures. We discussed important topics like innovations in biometric identification systems, transitions into new and improved testing methods, challenges with testing software for online proctoring, and emotional intelligence in the workplace.
Testing Center staff provided a brief campus tour for our colleagues, as many have never been to Pittsburgh before, let alone visited Pitt. They were very impressed with the new classrooms in Posvar Hall, the collections of the Hillman Library, the aesthetic detail in the William Pitt Union, and the history of Heinz Chapel.
The conference was a great success and strengthened connections among the testing center administrators in the state of Pennsylvania. This association benefits the Pitt Testing Center by furthering our understanding of how other testing centers operate, which can be useful in enhancing our procedures and services. We’re excited about the continuing development of this association, and expect it to welcome additional schools very soon. The ongoing communication will benefit our testing unit, and for Pennsylvania’s network.