A group of subject matter experts met in Atlanta, Georgia, from March 17-19, 2012, to author new questions, known as “items,” for clinical simulation examinations in orthotics and prosthetics and multiple-choice examinations in orthotics, prosthetics, orthotic fitting, and mastectomy fitting for the Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC). In addition to practicing BOC certificants, the group comprised college professors and BOC-accredited facility representatives.
The item writers were led by a team of expert psychometricians from Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP), from Olathe, KS. With more than 25 years of test-development experience and over 100 clients representing a wide range of professional occupations, AMP is an important partner in BOC’s item-writing workshops.
The workshop started with a plenary session that allowed for a larger conversation among the various groups. “At times, I hear of issues that seem to be important to more than one test development group,” noted Jan paul Miller, M.A., M.Ed., BOC Director of Certification. “Providing a venue where these groups could interact face to face proved effective in moving discussions along on topics shared by several committees.”
Highly productive breakout sessions resulted in the generation of new clinical simulation scenarios, as well as new questions for self-assessment examinations (SAEs). The groups also created additional multiple-choice items for four BOC certification exams. A large “item bank” of multiple-choice questions enables BOC to offer these exams year-round at testing facilities nationwide, allowing candidates to test when ready, without waiting for a limited-time exam window. Moreover, BOC candidates receive instant scoring upon completion of their multiple-choice exams.
BOC President and CEO Claudia Zacharias, MBA, CAE, spoke at the concluding luncheon, thanking the subject matter experts (SMEs) and updating them on current initiatives. She said, “I was happy to thank our SMEs in person. The end result of their work is that they help BOC ensure the highest quality of care is provided to the patients our certificants serve.”
The new SAEs created as a result of recent test item development can be taken by BOC candidates any time during the year at www.bocusa.org/SAE.