General Sessions

Join the community and industry thought leaders to discuss and learn about the new challenges faced by assessment organizations. We have five informative general sessions/keynote presentations on hot topics related to today’s rapidly changing world planned for you.

Opening Keynote: Making It Relevant: Assessment as a Meaningful Tool for Students, Teachers, Employers, and College Admissions Officers

September 14th | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

September 14th | 10:20 PM – 11:20 PM EDT

September 15th | 4:45 AM – 5:45 AM EDT

In a rapidly changing economy, students with in-demand, transportable skills -- including problem solving, critical and creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and ethical reasoning -- are most likely to thrive throughout their education and careers. But until now, high school tests have not provided employers or institutions of higher education information necessary to confirm graduates’ competencies in these areas. Using the PLTW experience, Vince will illustrate these concepts and how PLTW delivers the promise of an assessment measuring both subject matter knowledge as well as transportable skills that are in demand to broader the testing industry.

Presented by:

  • Vince Bertram, President and CEO of Project Lead The Way

Cultural Competence: The Road to Transformational Equity

September 15th | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

September 15th | 10:20 PM – 11:20 PM EDT

September 16th | 4:45 AM – 5:45 AM EDT

Transformative Equity is a paradigm shift, from tolerating cultures and cultural differences to embracing the experiences of diverse cultures. Organizations that embrace a transformational commitment to equity, infuse cultural competence throughout their business mission, practices, and products and do so through the inclusion of diverse perspectives. Participants will learn about strategies for evaluating and discussing transformational equity practices in their organizations and communities.

Presented by:

  • Randy Ernst, Ed.D. is the chair of the education department at Nebraska Wesleyan University, and a co-founder of the Cultural Competence Center.
  • Dawn Mazzie, Ph.D. is an Assessment/Evaluation Specialist for Lincoln Public Schools, Nebraska and a co-founder of the Cultural Competence Center.
  • Teresa Wanser-Ernst, Ph.D. is an Assessment/Evaluation Specialist for Lincoln Public Schools, Nebraska and a co-founder of the Cultural Competence Center.

Artificial Intelligence in Post-secondary Education: Is There Practical Value for Making Decisions About Students?

September 16th | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

September 16th | 10:20 PM – 11:20 PM EDT

September 17th | 4:45 AM – 5:45 AM EDT

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have the potential to automate, optimize and advance decision making in higher education. Potential areas may include anticipating enrollment, assisting in enrollment selection, predicting student success and informing learning and remediation pathways for individual students. This panel consists of four experts: two in the AI space and two from the learning and assessment space. The panel will discuss and debate issues relevant to higher education including current and future applications of AI and ML in educational technology such as providing actionable data for more efficient education, equity and fairness in student learning and outcomes, data privacy concerns and potential decision biases that may arise from these emergent technologies.

Presented by:

  • Ada Woo (Moderator), Chief of Staff, Assessment Sciences, Ascend Learning
  • Lev Gonick, Chief Information Office, Arizona State University (ASU)
  • Sergey Karayev, Head of AI for STEM, Turnitin
  • Andreas Oranje, Vice President, ETS
  • Jerry Gorham, Chief Measurement & Testing Officer Innovative Learning Sciences, Ascend Learning

Workforce Trends and Strategies in The Era of Rapid Change: Let’s Hear from The Experts

September 17th | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

September 17th | 10:20 PM – 11:20 PM EDT

September 18th | 4:45 AM – 5:45 AM EDT

The nature of work has been rapidly evolving in recent years with advances in technology and the digitalization and automation of routine tasks and processes. Even before the pandemic, millions of jobs have been displaced by automation, particularly in manufacturing, but now also in areas ranging from finance to recruitment and customer service. The trajectory of change has been rapidly accelerated by the recent pandemic and its effects on the economy, the job market, and the now-common virtual workplace. These changes and disruptions have created a number of challenges for organizations and the people affected. One result we are seeing is a surge in outboarding and reskilling initiatives to enable people and organizations to adapt to the new world of work.

Here today to discuss these trends and strategies, we have assembled a panel of experts in economics, industrial psychology, and work placement and outplacement. The panel will discuss key questions regarding these issues, such as:

  • What are the trends in the displacement of jobs near and longer term? What are some examples of jobs that have been displaced?
  • What is the impact on the competencies required for individuals to succeed in future jobs?
  • How are organizations using outplacement services to help employees adapt to the new economy?
  • What are some examples of re-skilling initiatives?
  • Can people and organizations “future proof” their skill sets? What types of jobs will be least likely to be displaced by automation?

Presented by:

  • John Weiner (Moderator), Chief Science Officer, PSI
  • Dr. Alexander Alonso, Chief Knowledge Officer, SHRM
  • Angie College, Senior Vice President, Adecco North America
  • Dr. Elena Simintzi, University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

Using Assessment to Promote Equity: How are We Doing?

September 18th | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

The need for equitable access to education and professional resources has been accelerated by the rapid societal changes we all experienced in recent months. The utilities and fairness of standardized, large scale assessment are under increasing scrutiny against the backdrop of the pandemic and a world-wide call for equity.

Broadening access to education and professional opportunities is a core mission of the assessment industry. We achieve this by accurately and scientifically measuring test-takers’ knowledge and abilities. Our industry has continuously improved and leveraged advances in education technology to make tests more precise, fair, and accessible. How are we doing as an industry to address society’s need for diversity and equity? Are our tests narrowing the opportunity gap? What can we do to better serve our stakeholders’ needs?

In this session, industry leaders from different world regions will take stock and reflect on their work in making society more equitable. They will share challenges and lessons learned, as well as discuss strategies that assessment professionals can adopt to increase equity.

Presented by:

  • John Kleeman (Moderator), Founder and Executive Director, Questionmark
  • Norihisa Wada, Executive Vice President & Co-Chief Operating Officer, EduLab
  • Tim Oates, Cambridge Assessment
  • Janet Godwin, Interim Chief Executive Officer, ACT
  • Kellye Testy, President and Chief Executive Office, LSAC


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