Mask wearing during at home test

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    Jared NCARB

    James,

    Personal protective equipment is not a testing tool nor does it serve the purpose of assisting a candidate in completing an assessment, therefore, the variation in use would not be considered a deviation from fairness and consistency across delivery modes.

    Candidates testing at a future online location will not be required by NCARB or Prometric to wear a mask.

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    James Martzahl

    Jared thanks for your response but I would disagree completely. Try to imagine going to a testing center already nervous to take an exam and then try to use the windows 95 calculator while your mask steams up your glasses while a Prometric employee yells at you for adjusting your facemask. There is absolutely a difference between the two, and there will obviously be an advantage to not having to wear one at home. If NCARB really wants consistency they should make it across the board just like the pen and paper or just acknowledge these testing experiences are completely different. 

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    Jared NCARB

    James,

    First, not knowing you, I'm trying to decipher whether your turns of phrase are witty sarcasm or absolute frustration (e.g. the windows 95 calculator reference). I will cautiously assume this entire experience and most recent communication debacle has you in the latter camp. I just responded to your other post on timing and considerations to slow this down and will reiterate that I am gathering and relaying sentiment.

    I agree with you that there is no way to control the multitude of environmental factors that will create a difference between onsite and online, between two onsite locations, or two online locations. There will be differences.

    I know it sounds like I'm splitting hairs when I address tools provided to test vs.other environmental factors, however, there is a difference in the two when it comes to assessment standards and NCARB is acting to ensure consistent tools are provided.

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    James Martzahl

    Jared, for the most part I am being witty out of shear frustration. You can listen to us all you want and relay information but it always seems to fall on deaf ears and that's why I feel the majority of us are at our wits end. How many times have people complained to NCARB that their computer lagged and crashed during a test and brought it up to NCARB and didn't receive a seat credit? it seems these issues have gone on forever and now NCARB seemingly wants to create another obstacle for us. Just look at your data and see how many people changed their test dates in the last few days to an opening before November 16th.

    Jared, I appreciate that you're at least responding to comments, I can only imagine how frustrated it is to have to deal with everyone seemingly against you...but here's the thing, we've been let down so many times this past year that I really believe the only way NCARB will save face is by doing more than listening, you have to do some acting. Listen to everyone and then act on it. 

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    Jared NCARB

    Thanks James.

    1) I do appreciate witty sarcasm, I'm sorry it is out of frustration

    2) Crashing exams are never good and not what we want for you or any candidate, we need to do better on this

    3) I know I don't have any capital to ask, but give NCARB a chance to act and be responsive by next week

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    Richard Balkins

    Online proctoring option would continue after the COVID-19 pandemic and in which case a face mask would be moot anyway. I'm not sure why wearing a facemask at home would make sense but there are many types of masks. Some of them are breathable material and then you can also apply anti-fog spray to glasses or even have an anti-fog coating applied or glasses that have an anti-fog coating applied to it. This would help with that issue. 

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    Richard Balkins

    Computers at test center belongs to the test center and the company that owns the test center. In which case, Prometric is responsible for the computer at the test center. NCARB and it's exam software is the responsibility of NCARB and the respective 'vendors' according to the agreements and intellectual property rights. NCARB is the client to these vendors contracted and consulted. ARE software ultimately rests with NCARB and the developer in the software copyright. I could use all kinds of powerful pdf/document viewers written in Javascript and run fairly decently in a "browser" environment. It just comes down to how we design the viewer UI and stuff like that. I come to the conclusion there are some issues but what I do know is the current demo exam closes out with a little splash that says "Exam Studio" by Zoomorphix

    ( https://www.zoomorphix.com/products/examstudio.html )

    They developed the software that is the core of the ARE exam software system. The PDF viewer is part of that software system. It is the very software system that also facilitates the item types used. I'm assuming their software is involved in more than just the demo exam but also the exam as proctored but then you have the proctor's "browser" to access this exam and then you have the server side backend to deliver the exam. So who's all involved.

    Zoomorphix was involved in the ARE 5.0 but the new ARE 5.x (5.1?), I don't know. How is Prolydian involved? Zoomorphix developed and created the unique item types such as Hot spot and Drag & Place that is currently only found in their software which to the best of my knowledge does not exist on other exam software so it's kind of a give away. To use the same exam content, I think Zoomorphix's Exam Studio platform is still being used. Problems that some mentioned about the PDFs and images may need to be directed at both NCARB and Zoomorphix.

     

     

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