Tag Archives: assessments

Have you visited the PAR Training Portal recently?

There is so much to learn on the PAR Training Portal! Designed with your valuable time in mind, the content on the portal gives you a quick way to become acquainted with select PAR assessments. Whether you become more knowledgeable about a test you know and use or you preview an instrument you are considering purchasing, the PAR Training Portal is a free, on-demand resource available 24/7.

Here are five things you should know about the PAR Training Portal:

  1. You can watch the whole course or skip to the parts you are most interested in! Each interactive course offers a course topics menu on the left-hand side of the screen that allows you to navigate to any page within the course. You don’t need to watch every screen and can select the parts that are most important for your needs. Arrows allow you to move to the next page or previous page in the course.
  2. There are many types of offerings! In addition to interactive courses, there are also recorded Webinars, supplemental materials, author videos, and notifications of upcoming live events and sessions!
  3. We are always adding new material! If you haven’t visited in a while, there is so much to see! We are always updating and adding new content.
  4. All courses are free… and you can watch them as many times as you want! Sometimes you just need a refresher on the finer points of an assessment. Stop by the portal for a quick reminder of what you need to know.
  5. The PAR Training Portal is a great way to train an individual or a whole staff! Many schools have used the portal to train all the individuals in their group. It’s an efficient and cost-effective solution for training.

Visit www.parinc.com/training today for FREE training!

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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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TCN/AACN 2010 Survey

In January, The Clinical Neuropsychologist (TCN) and the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN) released the results of the TCN/AACN 2010 Salary Survey. Doctoral-level members of the AACN, members of Division 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA), members of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, and other neuropsychologists were invited to participate in a web-based survey to learn more about their beliefs, their income, and their practice.

The following are just some of the findings that were released in the January issue of The Clinical Neuropsychologist.

  • The field of neuropsychology continues to see increasing numbers of women joining the profession – 7 out of 10 current postdoctoral residents are women. Furthermore, for the first time ever, more than half of the total respondents to the TCN/AACN survey were female.
  • Substantial numbers of young psychologists are entering the field of neuropsychology. The median age of APA members has been above 50 since the early 1990s, while the current median age of clinical neuropsychologists remains at 47 and has stayed relatively unchanged since 1989.
  • Neuropsychologists are preferring to use flexible battery assessments rather than fixed or standardized batteries. The flexible battery approach is continuing to see an upswing in popularity while the use of fixed batteries are on the decline.
  • Clinical neuropsychologists specializing in pediatrics are more likely than others to work part time, are more likely to be women, are more likely to work in institution settings, and also report lower incomes than respondents who see only adult clients or a combination of adult and pediatric clients.
  • Incomes are dependent on number of years in clinical practice, work setting, amount of forensic practice, and location (state and/or region of the country), and can vary considerably. However, according to survey data, job satisfaction has little relationship to income and is comparable across the variables of work setting, professional identity, and amount of forensic activity.
  • Neuropsychologists report higher job satisfaction than that reported for other jobs in the U.S. Fewer than 5% of respondents are considering changing job position.

Are you a neuropsychologist? Do you agree or disagree with these findings? Comment on this posting and let us know!

For the full results of this survey, see: Sweet, J. , Meyer, D., Giuffre , N., Nathaniel W., and Moberg, P. J. (2011). The TCN/AACN 2010 “Salary Survey”: Professional Practices, Beliefs, and Incomes of U.S. Neuropsychologists. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 25, 12-61.

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