SL Cert Guide to Certification Testing
Overview of Certification
Certification is not directly linked to a training program, and neither should it be. Certification is intended to test a person's competence. If a person has extensive knowledge of a topic they should be able to sit a test without ever having to attend a designated training course.
So why involve the schools with certification? Simply because the number of people in the catagory described above will be few and far between. The schools will be an excellent resource for helping people enhance their knowledge to where they can pass an exam. However, courses should not be written to the tests. There will likely be a large uptake of people requiring training, but the courses should teach the subjects generally, and not be geared to helping people just "pass a test." Providing a list of approved schools to residents hoping to certify will be essential.
What issues will need to be dealt with in creating exams?
- Writing tests that comply to prometric standards
- Managing the candidates' applications
- Global availability. Making sure that the test system is available as widely as possible, taking into consideration geographic locations, language and accessibility issues for those with disabilities.
- Reporting and managing on-going certification requirements over time.
- Use of pro-metric testing to create the exams.
- Multi-languge support, although subject matter experts (SME's = you) in world will need to check the phrasing in the local language to ensure that the context of the question hasn't been lost in the translation.
Who will proctor the exams?
The topic is yet to be answered, but the choices include the school where someone took their classes, a third party testing company in-world, an agency responsible for creating the exams, an agency responsible for maintaining the certification lists, or some other solution.
How does the scoring work? Why don't the candidates just "guess" the answers?
Scoring normally applies one point for each correct answer, zero points for a blank answer and minus 0.25 for a wrong answer. This basically eliminates the possibility of someone just choosing option "a" all the way down and "hoping for the best". Usually a review period is given at the end of the test to go back and check answers the person feels they may have got wrong. There is a time limit for each test, which is based on "trial run" tests.
What types of tests can be produced?
This varies depending on provider, but the computer based testing usually follows these formats:
- Single choice answers
- Multiple choice with a point for all correct answers selected
- Multiple choice with a point for each correct answer selected
- Free text answers, using key word inclusion for scoring
- Location mapping, so that a click can indicate an area of the screen. For example, "Click on the incorrect statment in the script in front of you"
Practical testing can also be carried out in combination with computer-based testing, or in stead of computer-based testing. Discussions are ongoing about exactly how the tests will be created and given.
How much does it cost?
- There is an administration charge for running each test. Most companies pass this charge on to the candidate. What Linden Lab plans to do for this is yet to be decided.
- Failure of a test sometimes means that a re-test can be done at a lower rate.
- Current estimates are US $100.