A Salute to Richard Brummer: Part 1

“Real artists ship” is a quote attributed to Steve Jobs of Apple, but around the PAR office, it is a phrase closely associated with Richard Brummer, Senior Manager of Quality Assurance. This week, Richard will be retiring after 12.5 years with the company.

When Richard started at PAR in 2004, he thought he would be working on developing psychological assessment products in print. But in the years since, that has only been a small part of his responsibilities. Most notably, he has been a dedicated champion of the PARiConnect platform since the early days of development. Every PAR Customer has felt Richard’s influence—his tireless dedication to making sure each product is error-free, easily understandable, and intuitively designed is clear on everything he touches. Richard has taught all of us so much about creativity, innovation, and – just like his motto – making sure the focus is always on the Customer receiving a product that makes their job easier.

Here are a few memories we would like to share:

 

I believe that it was, in large part, Richard’s motivation to speak directly to Customers, gather information on their needs, and transform that into PARiConnect functions that lead to the excellent reputation the system has today.

Also, the treats that his wife makes for us are also spectacular.

-Julie Alexander, PhD, Senior Clinical Assessment Consultant

 

Richard Brummer at the PARiConnect launch on January 2, 2013.
Richard Brummer at the PARiConnect launch on January 2, 2013.

I remember Richard taking over as project manager on the development of PARiConnect. With a gleam in his eye, he courageously led a cross-functional team of employees and outside developers in a short time frame to develop a testing and reporting platform with the focus on the user experience. His leadership taught the entire team that anything is possible with perseverance and focus. I have learned so much from Richard throughout my time and PAR and will miss him tremendously!

 

-Donna Drackett, Vice President/Chief Financial Office

 

I thought the thorough and organized way in which Richard organized and elicited help for testing of the PARiConnect upgrade that was completed in 2015 was masterful! He provided clear and concise explanations of what needed to be tested, and how to accomplish it. It made it easy for many of us to assist.

-Kay Cunningham, President and Chief Operating Officer

 

One of my favorite Richardisms: That’s been around since Moses was a Cub Scout!

-Sue Trujillo, Manager of Data Collection

 

Richard was a great asset to me when I was developing forms for the first time. I truly appreciate his eye when it comes to usability and what will make sense to our Customers. He continues to be my go-to person for review when I am mocking up a form.

-Jenny Greene, Senior Research Assistant

 

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of this three-part series.

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Now available! The Emotional Disturbance Decision Tree™–Self-Report Form (EDDT™-SR)

The third in the EDDT series, the EDDT-SR allows clinicians to assess emotional disturbance from the perspective of a child or adolescent. A standardized, norm-referenced assessment, the EDDT-SR is completed by individuals ages 9-18 years and is intended to be used in conjunction with the EDDT parent or teacher versions to develop a well-rounded picture of an individual’s functioning.

The EDDT-SR:

  • Uses criteria presented in the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) with scales that map directly on to this criteria.
  • Provides additional analysis and scores developed for all three EDDT versions including base rates for discrepancies between raters and reliable change scores.
  • Includes scales that measure Inability to Build or Maintain Relationships, Inappropriate Behaviors or Feelings, Pervasive Mood/Depression, and Physical Symptoms or Fears, and clusters that measure Level of Severity, Motivation, and Resilience.

Spanish forms are available!

To order the EDDT-SR or learn more, click here!

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Concussion Safety:
PAR Honors Team Up Day

Did you know the Concussion Legacy Foundation has named today Team Up Day? The main goal is to make sure athletes know they have a responsibility to report to a team leader if they notice concussion symptoms in a teammate. To learn how you can get involved in this important cause, click here.

PAR is committed to concussion safety. In fact, we offer two apps that can help athletes, parents, coaches, trainers, and more. The Concussion Recognition & Response™ (CRR) app helps coaches and parents recognize whether an individual is exhibiting and/or reporting the signs of a concussion. In fewer than 5 minutes, a parent or coach can complete a checklist of signs and symptoms to help determine whether to seek medical attention. The app allows users to record pertinent information regarding the child with a suspected concussion, allowing them to easily share that information with health-care providers. Post-injury, it guides parents through follow-up treatment.

The Concussion Assessment & Response™: Sport Version (CARE) app is a tool for athletic trainers, team physicians, and other qualified health care professionals to assess the likelihood of a concussion and respond quickly and appropriately.

The CRR app is available free of charge. The CARE app costs just $4.99. Both apps are available for download through the Apple® App StoreSM and Google Play for use on your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod® Touch, Android™ device, or tablet!

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Five Things to Know About the VAS

You may know the Vocabulary Assessment Scales™ (VAS™) is a picture vocabulary test that uses high-quality digital photographs to measure vocabulary and language throughout the life span. Here are five things you may not know.

    1. Assess with greater iconicity and ecological validity. Full-color photographs provide the highest degree of realism possible. Beyond simply improving aesthetics, using photographs instead of drawings may allow for a more accurate assessment of an individual’s vocabulary.
    2. Choose between paper or digital stimuli. The VAS stimulus books are available digitally, for use on your tablet, or on paper, for traditional administration.
    3. Free training is available. PAR offers a free training course to assist users in becoming acquainted with the measure. This interactive online presentation is available on demand through the PAR Training Portal.
    4. Evaluate hard-to-test individuals. Ideal for use with nonreaders, beginning communicators, or people who have reading or written language impairments, the VAS requires no reading or writing. The response format places a low demand on motor skills.
    5. Obtain an enhanced skill assessment. Composite and discrepancy scores enhance your ability to interpret expressive and receptive scores. When both the VAS-E and VAS-R are administered, examiners can calculate a Vocabulary Composite Score as well as an Expressive-Receptive Discrepancy Score.

 

To learn more about the VAS, visit the product page.

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Join PAR For Our Fall Webinars!

During the next month, PAR will be offering free Webinars on many of our newest products. Whether you have already begun using these assessments and are seeking a deeper understanding of the science behind the test or you are considering adding the assessment to your professional library, these Webinars will offer insight into the measure, explain administration and scoring details, and assist in interpretation. Each Webinar will give you the opportunity to ask questions and interact with knowledgeable PAR staff.

If you’ve been wondering about PAR’s newest assessments, take this opportunity to learn more!

Space is limited, so register today!

Introduction to the Academic Achievement Battery (AAB)–Screening Form
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
2:30 to 3 P.M. ET
Register here
Assess four areas of achievement throughout the life span

Introduction to the Academic Achievement Battery (AAB) –Comprehensive Version
Thursday, September 29, 2016
1 to 2 P.M. ET
Register here
Assess seven areas of achievement throughout the life span

Introduction to the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales, 2nd Edition (RIAS-2)
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
1 to 2 P.M. ET
Register here
Assess intelligence and its major components

Introduction to the Child and Adolescent Memory Profile (ChAMP)
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
1 to 2 P.M. ET
Register here
Assess visual and verbal memory in children, adolescents, and young adults

Overview of the Feifer Assessment of Reading
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
1 to 2 P.M. ET
Register here
Examine the underlying cognitive and linguistic processes that support proficient reading skills

Introduction to DBR Connect
Thursday, September 15, 2016
12 to 1 P.M. ET
Register here
Rate student behavior in minutes

Register today! Space is limited!

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A look inside PAR:
What is Quality Assurance?

PAR prides itself on creating assessment products that are both high in quality and in value. The process of taking an idea and molding it into a useful product involves the hard work and dedication of many people, and although no single effort or particular phase of development is more important than another, some roles are naturally more visible than others. One department Customers may not be familiar with, but certainly benefit from, is the unwavering diligence of Quality Assurance.

Richard Brummer, MBA, M Ed IT, CSTE, Senior Manager of Quality Assurance (QA), helps shed some light on the role the QA department plays in the development of PAR products.

 

What is quality assurance?

Quality assurance is a continuous, unrelenting focus on the processes of product development.

Why is quality assurance important?

QA works closely with each print and software product from its initial design all the way through postproduction support, giving feedback about usability and accuracy.

“You cannot enhance a product’s quality during the final testing phases because that it too far down the road,” Brummer explains. “Quality begins at the very beginning.”

QA’s close involvement from the initial design ensures that any inaccuracies are corrected quickly, which saves time and money, and eliminates the risk of persisting errors.

How does the PAR QA process improve our assessment products?

Most companies enhance a product’s quality by investing all focus into testing the product in order to find and correct defects. While this approach is effective, it is also lacking because it does not necessarily make the product better; it simply provides a product without inaccuracies.

At PAR, a product that simply has no inaccuracies is not good enough.

“We take a more progressive and proactive approach during the entire product development lifecycle that focuses on maximizing the Customer experience with a product that is also free from defects,” Brummer says.

To do this, QA utilizes best practices developed by the software industry for usability, which they apply to both print and software products. It’s not enough to just say that our products work; they also have to work well, be easy to use, be useful, consistent, and pleasing to look at.

Every product’s forms and norms, for instance, are developed with the examiner in mind. Is there space for examiners to note every piece of important information they will need? Is everything clearly labeled? Is the pertinent information organized in a way that will make sense during administration and scoring?

“Whether designing a graphical user interface or a paper assessment form, it is paramount to highlight important information and present it in a readable fashion,” Brummer explains. Even if the forms and norms tables are technically accurate, anything that may be confusing or hard to read introduces the potential for user error, which increases the risk of the user misreporting results.

PAR’s confidence in each product can be largely attributed to QA’s strong commitment to each assessment.

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Five Things to Know About the Personality Assessment Screener (PAS)

You may know the Personality Assessment Screener (PAS) can help you assess a broad range of clinical problems. Here are five things about the PAS that you may not know:

  1. The PAS screens for the major domains covered in the trusted Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Its 22 items are those from the PAI that are the most sensitive to a broad range of contemporary clinical problems.
  2. The PAS requires only a 4th-grade reading level. This enables individuals with poor reading skills to provide accurate self-descriptions.
  3. The PAS assesses the potential for emotional and behavioral problems. Items are organized into 10 different scores that represent 10 distinct clinical problem domains.
  4. The PAS is designed for use as a triage instrument. It’s suitable for use in health care and mental health settings, corporate employee assistance programs, and college health services.
  5. The PAS is quick and convenient. Administration takes just 10 minutes and is available in pencil and paper format or 24/7 via PARiConnect, our online assessment platform.

Learn more about the PAS today!

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Find a career that fits with the new WVI

As the old adage goes, “Find a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”

Though you may be passionate about a particular career or field of study, how do you know it will really make you happy? Nothing could be worse than studying for years to become a financial trader on Wall Street, for example, only to discover the first day on the job that you prefer a quieter, more stable, and more predictable type of working environment.

When considering a career, knowing more about what type of environment you prefer can impact job satisfaction. Do you prefer to work on a team or independently? Do you like positions of leadership? Do you desire recognition for a job well done?  Do you want a supportive employer? These are all aspects about yourself as an employee that you may not even realize. Employees who are a good fit have been shown to be happier, stay longer in a position, and be more productive.

The Work Values Inventory™ (WVI™) is a new test that measures work values (also known as vocational needs) to help users find job satisfaction by identifying a career that fits. It is based on and tied to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET). In just 10 minutes, users learn their top three work values (Achievement, Independence, Support, Relationships, Working Conditions, and Recognition). Using the WVI Occupations Finder, users then match their top work values to careers that are a good fit.

The WVI is self-administered, self-scored, and self-interpreted, and no special training is required. It benefits job seekers by helping them learn more about what they need in a position for job satisfaction. It also benefits career counselors, and it is a useful tool for human resource personnel when evaluating potential job candidates.

The WVI is an important part of the career personality puzzle—but it’s not the only part. The Working Styles Assessment™ (WSA™) evaluates work personality and approaches, such as initiative, cooperation, and innovation. The Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) examines aspirations, activities, competencies, and levels of interest in different occupations. Used together, these three tests help identify a user’s complete work personality to help him or her find a career that a fits.

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PAR has so much in store for APA 2016!

Are you heading to Denver for the 2016 APA Convention? Make sure to stop by the PAR booth to say hi! We will have samples of new products on hand, so be sure to ask about our latest releases! Also, be sure to pick up a complimentary clipboard while you are at the booth.

Many PAR authors will be participating in sessions at APA, so take this opportunity to learn from the psychologists who created some of your favorite assessments. Here are just a few sessions we think you will enjoy. Check your program guide for locations.

Session 1044: Continuing Education Workshop #107: Advances in Addressing Violence—Assessment, Attachment, and Treatment
Thursday, August 4
8:00 AM to 3:50 PM
Lisa A. Firestone, coauthor of the Firestone Assessment of Self-Destructive Thoughts™ (FAST™) and Firestone Assessment of Suicide Intent™ (FASI™), Firestone Assessment of Violent Thoughts™ (FAVT™), and the Firestone Assessment of Violent Thoughts™-Adolescent

Session 1305: Beyond the “Replication Crisis”—Diverse Considerations for Psychology’s Future
Thursday, August 4
2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Scott O. Lilienfeld, author of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory™–Revised (PPI™-R)

Session 4018: Integrating Science and Practice—Beneficial Theory–Detrimental Theory
Sunday, August 7
8:00 AM to 9:50 AM
Scott O. Lilienfeld, author of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory™–Revised (PPI™-R)

Session 3357: Lee Gurel Lecture: Public Misunderstandings of Psychological Science and Their Implications for Teaching
Saturday, August 6
4:00 PM to 4:50 PM
Scott O. Lilienfeld, author of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory™–Revised (PPI™-R)

Session 2022: Understanding and Reducing Cognitive Biases
Friday, August 5
8:00 AM to 9:50 AM
Scott O. Lilienfeld, author of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory™–Revised (PPI™-R)

Session 1143: The DSM-5 Alternative Model for Personality Disorder: Rationale and Research
Thursday, August 4
11:00 AM to 11:50 AM
Leslie C. Morey, author of the Personality Assessment Inventory™ (PAI®) and the Personality Assessment Inventory™–Adolescent (PAI®-A)

Session 1243: Sophisticated Simplicity—The Art of Writing Reader-Friendly Assessment Reports
Thursday, August 4
1:00 PM to 2:50 PM
Cecil R. Reynolds, author of the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales™, Second Edition (RIAS™-2), the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™), the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™), and more

Session 1262: Mental Health and Well-Being–II
Thursday, August 4
2:00 PM to 2:50 PM
William M. Reynolds, author of the Reynolds Child Depression Scale™–2nd Edition (RCDS™-2) and Reynolds Child Depression Scale™–2nd Edition: Short Form (RCDS™-2:SF), the Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale, 2nd Ed. (RADS-2™) and Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale, 2nd Ed. Short Form (RADS-2™:SF), and more

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Now available! Help college students succeed with the KLDA

College can be difficult even for the most prepared of students. For those struggling with an undiagnosed learning difficulty, it can be overwhelming. They may have poor coping skills, increased levels of stress, executive functioning and working memory deficits, low self-esteem, and even significant academic, interpersonal, and psychological difficulties.

The worst part? They don’t know why.

The new Kane Learning Difficulties Assessment™ (KLDA™) is a tool that screens college students for learning difficulties and ADHD to give them the answers they need.

According to a National Council on Disability report, up to 44% of individuals with an attention deficit disorder were first identified at the postsecondary level. The KLDA screens college students for learning difficulties and ADHD as well as other issues that affect learning, such as anxiety, memory, and functional problems like organization and procrastination. It identifies those who should seek further assessment, so they can get the help they need to succeed in college.

The KLDA measures academic strengths and weaknesses in key areas, including reading, listening, time management, writing, math, concentration and memory, organization and self-control, oral presentation, and anxiety and pressure.

It is useful for all levels of postsecondary education, including vocational schools, technical colleges, community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities, and graduate schools.

The KLDA is a self-report form that can be completed with paper and pencil or online via PARiConnect. Administration takes just 15 minutes, and no special training is required to administer or score.

Scoring and reporting is completed exclusively through PARiConnect. A Student Feedback Report is generated for students that provides them with a comparative sense of their academic skills in relation to their peers. A Score Report is generated for the test administrator.

For students, knowing that are at risk for a learning difficulty, ADHD, or other issue that affects learning—and getting the help they need—can be a first step toward academic success. For more information or to order the KLDA, visit the product page.

 

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Creating Connections. Changing Lives.