CWUTesting Services NewsTesting Services News Students Thinking About Thinking, 28 Nov 2017 16:47:40<p>April 1, 2015</p><p>One of the more frustrating things to contend with as a teacher is a student who makes the same mistakes over and over again. No amount of carefully thought-out comments in the margins of that student’s papers seem to make any difference; the extra help you offer after class doesn't help, either.</p><p>It's a sad fact: Some students just seem resistant to our teaching. But while it may be a pipe dream to think we can reach all of them, there are steps we can take to help students get over these seemingly insurmountable hurdles. One of the purposes of these columns is to offer ideas on how to overcome common challenges that pop up in undergraduate teaching. Of course there's only so much we can do. At a certain point, students have to have the skills to learn from their mistakes. That's where metacognition comes in.</p><p>Metacognition is essentially "thinking about thinking." It's the processes through which we analyze, monitor, and regulate our thinking and learning practices, with an eye to bettering those practices. There's now more than 30 years of research into the value of metacognition in the classroom, and that research has led to a whole host of conclusions. But it's fair to say that, broadly speaking, better metacognition equals better learning.</p><p>Without training, many students don't think about the best way to study for an exam, write an essay, or take notes in class. Students who do poorly on a test will, more often than not, prepare for the next test in exactly the same way as before. So it's worth thinking about ways to encourage metacognitive thinking in your students, so that the burden of teaching them how to improve throughout the semester doesn't fall solely on you.</p><p>One good strategy, generally attributed to Marsha Lovett, a teaching professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, is called "exam wrappers." It begins when students get back their first graded test of the semester, although this tactic easily could be adapted to any assignment, including an essay. Along with their graded exam, the students receive an exam wrapper -- a brief questionnaire designed to get students to review their performance. They go over their exams, and then answer the questions on the exam wrapper. The questions are all metacognitive in nature: How did you prepare for this exam? Where did you make errors on the test? What could you do differently next time?</p><p>Students fill out the questionnaire and then return it to you. That way, you can go over their answers and assess how they're doing. You might find information that helps you adjust your teaching going forward. You then return the exam wrappers to the students as they begin to prepare for the next test or assignment. The idea is that students can then think about their comments and alter their approach—if necessary—for the next exam. Exam wrappers help tests become formative teaching tools that pay off as the semester goes on.</p><p>Similarly, think about starting the semester with a questionnaire about study and learning habits. Ask students how they usually study for exams, whether they take notes by hand or on a laptop, how much (or how little) they know about the course's subject matter. At various points in the semester you can revisit the questionnaires with the class, both to review the students' previous answers and to see how those answers have changed as the course has progressed. By encouraging students to reflect upon their progress, you'll be reminding them that they are both responsible for that progress and able to alter their trajectory.</p><p>Another idea comes from Tamara Rosier, a former academic who now leads the consultancy Acorn Leadership. Called "knowledge ratings," this approach asks students to pay attention to how much or how little they know about a particular topic during class. Begin by asking students to rate their knowledge of the topic on a scale from 0 to 3, where 0 means no knowledge of the subject and 3 means very knowledgeable. Tell them that the goal is to get everyone up to a 3 before the end of that class period.</p><p>Halfway through the class period, take a timeout and ask students to reassess their knowledge ratings. Have they improved? Then ask students to write down the questions they still have about the topic. What gaps in their knowledge are keeping them from getting to a 3? If you have the time, it's a good practice to ask students to voice these questions aloud, so you can focus your teaching in the second half of the class period on what students still don't understand. Repeat the exercise at the end of class, explaining that they should aim to get themselves to a 3 before beginning that evening's homework or reading.</p><p>What exam wrappers and knowledge ratings do is force students to think about their own learning practices. The goal here is to make students' behavior visible to themselves, with an eye toward gaining better control over that behavior.</p><p>Too often, we assume that students know enough about themselves that our comments and suggestions will be enough to provoke positive change. But self-awareness and self-reflection (not to mention good study habits) are not skills all students possess. Promoting those skills in class can make our lives as teachers a lot easier. We could all benefit from a little more thinking about how to get students thinking about student thinking.</p><p>David Gooblar</p><p><em>David Gooblar is a lecturer in the rhetoric department at the University of Iowa. He writes about teaching for Vitae and runs the teaching website</em></p>THE OFFICIAL FREE ACCUPLACER STUDY APP, 30 Aug 2016 08:42:10<ul><li>&nbsp;Become&nbsp;familiar with the style and&nbsp;content of test questions.</li><li>&nbsp;Access interactive ACCUPLACER sample questions.</li><li>&nbsp;Get immediate explanations of correct or incorrect answers.</li></ul><p><br>Includes interactive practice tests in:</p><ul><li>&nbsp;Arithmetic</li><li>&nbsp;Elementary Algebra</li><li>&nbsp;College-Level Math</li><li>&nbsp;Reading Comprehension</li></ul><p><br>You can access the FREE study app from a computer, tablet, or smartphone.</p><p>To get the free Web-based app, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>To learn more about ACCUPLACER visit <a href="" target="_self"></a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></br></br>CWU Testing Center Earns National Certification, 08 May 2015 16:12:43<p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">Central Washington University’s </span><a href="" style="line-height: 1.4;" target="_blank">Testing Center</a><span style="line-height: 1.4;"> and its staff have received certification by the </span><a href="" style="line-height: 1.4;" target="_blank">National College Testing Association</a><span style="line-height: 1.4;"> for providing quality testing services and following best practices in the industry. </span>CWU<span style="line-height: 1.4;"> is the second institution in Washington to be certified and one of four in the Pacific Northwest.</span></p><p>NCTA certification is valid for five years. To be chosen for the voluntary program, institutions must submit a detailed application with supporting documents and undergo a site visit. The certification means the CWU Testing Center operates under high standards and procedures for all types of testing.</p><p>“Overall, this certification is the culmination of a lot of hard work and signifies that our test center is dedicated to professionalism and quality in administration of testing services and programs,” said Bill Thelen, director of the CWU Testing Center.</p><p>The CWU Testing Center serves more than 500 people per month. Thelen and his staff, Deborah Williams, Jessica Scott and Kristalyn Huss, are certified proctors and are monitored to ensure they maintain high security standards.</p><p>The center is a resource for national and international testing companies that provide exams for agencies such as the FBI, the US Border Patrol and the US Postal Service, in part because of the center’s rigorous security measures. Last year the center became authorized by Pearson VUE®, which is part of Pearson, PLC, the largest commercial testing company and education publisher in the world. Pearson is Microsoft’s sole provider for certification and other exams. It also offers the Washington Educators Skills Test for teachers and a variety of certification exams, including CompTIA, Cisco Systems, C++ Institute, Linux, and GED.</p><p>The center also administers EMS paramedicine entrance exams, construction management exams, the Automotive Service Excellence exam, and oversees 60-plus health and fitness exams. Other services such as proctoring exams for online courses and employment screening for public safety professionals also are offered. This is all in addition to providing testing services for the university community. CWU’s Testing Center is located in Bouillon 125. For more information, go to&nbsp;<a href=""></a>.</p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.4;"><em>Media contact:</em></strong><em style="line-height: 1.4;"> Barb Arnott, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2841,</em></p><p>May 8, 2015</p></span style="line-height: 1.4;"></span style="line-height: 1.4;"></span style="line-height: 1.4;"></span style="line-height: 1.4;"></strong style="line-height: 1.4;"></em style="line-height: 1.4;">Nutrition, Fitness and Public Health Specialist Certifications, 16 Dec 2014 14:06:10<p><em>The following certification exams are available at the CWU Testing Center.<br>Visit the links below for more information and how to schedule.</em></p><p><strong>American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)</strong><br><br>• Certified Group Exercise Instructor<br>• Certified Personal Trainer<br>• Certified Health Fitness Specialist<br>• Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist<br>• Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist<br>• Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer<br>• Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer<br>• ACSM/NSPAPPH Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist</p><p><strong>International Food Science Certification Commission Examinations&nbsp;</strong><br><br>• The Certified Food Scientist (CFS)</p><p><strong>National Registry of Food Safety Professionals Certification Testing </strong><br>• International Certified Food Safety Manager (ICFSM)</p><p><strong>American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE)</strong><br><br>• Board Certified – Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM)</p><p><strong>American Council on Exercise (ACE)</strong><br><br>• Personal Trainer (PT)<br>• Group Fitness Instructor (GFI)<br>• Health Coach<br>• Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (AHFS)</p><p><strong>Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer (BOC)</strong><br><br>• BOC Athletic Trainer Certification Exam</p><p><strong>Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)</strong><br><br>• Exam Certified Pilates Method Instructor</p><p><strong>Training and Wellness Certification Commission</strong><br><br>• Training and Wellness Certification</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>New Affiliation a Big Score for CWU Testing Center, 20 Aug 2014 10:57:33<p>From British Columbia to central Oregon, Central Washington University’s Testing Center is a regional resource that provides a secure facility for national and international testing companies. Recently, the Testing Center became an even more vital resource by becoming a Pearson VUE® Authorized Test Center.</p><p>Pearson VUE® is a part of Pearson, PLC, a $9 billion corporation that is the largest commercial testing company and education publisher in the world.</p><p>Pearson VUE® offers the Washington Educators Skills Test (WEST) Basic and Endorsements (B&amp;E) exams for teachers, plus a variety of certification exams including CompTIA, Cisco Systems, C++ Institute, and Linux, along with the new computer-based GED. Recently, Microsoft announced that Pearson VUE will be its sole delivery provider for certification and other exams effective January 1, 2015.</p><p>“That means that all the Yahoo, Google and Microsoft employees who need their certifications for the data farms up in Quincy will be able to take their tests here,” said William Thelen, director of the Testing Center.</p><p>The Testing Center, which serves, on average, more than 500 people per month, has attracted testing companies that provide exams for agencies such as the FBI, the US Border Patrol and the US Postal Service, in part because of the center’s rigorous security measures.</p><p>“Security is a major concern, not just to prevent people from cheating, but also to prevent people from stealing the material of the actual tests,” said Thelen. “There is a huge market for answers and content from many of the exams we offer especially admissions exams such as the LSAT and MCAT, and exams for non-native English speakers such as the TOEIC and TOEFL.</p><p>“We restrict what people can take into the examination room, and for one particular testing company, we have to ‘wand’ them—use a metal detector wand, similar to those used by the TSA in airports, to detect electronic devices.”</p><p>Thelen also said that every bit of scratch paper must be accounted for after tests, “even if it was used to wrap discarded gum.”</p><p>Thelen and his staff, Deborah Williams and Jessica Scott, are certified as proctors for each testing company and are monitored by the testing companies they contract with to ensure that they maintain high security standards.</p><p>“There is no one else like us in this area,” said Thelen. “We provide entrance exams for EMS Paramedicine Program, proctor construction management exams and administer the Automotive Service Excellence exams for mechanics from all over the region including Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Cle Elum and of course, Yakima.”&nbsp;</p><p>The Testing Center also oversees the 60-plus health and fitness exams offered through the CASTLE testing company, including tests from the American Council of Exercise, the Board of Pharmacy Specialists, and the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board. The center also offers services such as proctoring exams for online courses and employment screening for public safety professionals.</p><p>This is all in addition to providing testing services for the university community. The Testing Center provides space, proctors, scribes and readers for classroom tests for students with disabilities. For faculty, they can score exams completed on Scantrons and provide extensive reports on the results.</p><p>“There are a ton of programs that use our services,” said Thelen. “And we’re always available to help faculty. Just let us know and we’ll work with you to provide the testing service you need.”</p><p>CWU’s Testing Center is located in Bouillon 125, and is open year-round. For more information, go to</p><p>For more information about Pearson VUE go to</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p><p>August 20, 2014<br>&nbsp;</p></br>How To Get The Most Out Of Studying: A Video Series, 21 Jan 2014 11:52:34<p><br>Dr. Steven Chew of Samford University<br><br>Please take a look at videos offered here.&nbsp; They are short and informative. They may help you develop effective college-level study skills and find out what to do if you find you blew the exam.<br>“These videos represent both the latest in cognitive research on how people learn and my many years of experience teaching undergraduates. My approach is different from the popular collections of tips, gimmicks and folk wisdom one sees in most books and videos on studying. I present basic principles of how people learn and I try to correct counterproductive misconceptions so that students can improve their learning by devising their own effective study strategies. These videos should help students identify effective and ineffective study strategies so they understand that, although there is no magic bullet, they can learn to get maximal learning out of their study time. Although the videos are aimed at students, I believe they are a valuable resource for teachers as well. My hope is that teachers will use them to work with students to improve their learning.” Dr. Steven Chew</p><p><a href="" onclick=", 'HowtoStudyinCollege', 'resizable=yes,status=yes,location=yes,toolbar=yes,menubar=yes,fullscreen=yes,scrollbars=yes,dependent=no'); return false;">YouTube</a></p><p><a href="" onclick=", 'Samford', 'resizable=yes,status=yes,location=yes,toolbar=yes,menubar=yes,fullscreen=yes,scrollbars=yes,dependent=yes'); return false;">Samford University</a><br>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br>