As I reported yesterday, ETS (formerly the Educational Testing Service) is seeking a new executive director for the Office of Testing Integrity.  If I was to advise the incoming director I would recommend the following changes.

1. Staff up. Staff way up. Administrative review for TOEFL tests is supposed to finish in 2-4 weeks. I often hear from students who have waited for much longer. One student who spoke to me recently waited for 102 days.

2. Help test-takers help themselves. I often hear from students who have experienced score cancellations due to unauthorized software running in the background. Remember that in the Windows 10+ era it is a lot harder to control what goes on in the background of our systems than it used to be. Needless to say, modern versions of Windows are built in a way that makes remote proctoring a challenge. Duolingo recently produced a little video showing students a few ways to avoid such problems. The OTI should have made the same sort of content two years ago.

3. Reconsider the use of statistical data as a justification for score cancellations. There are very valid reasons why a student might, for example, have a speaking score much lower than their listening score. Some of those reasons are cultural. Think about that for a moment.

As always, ETS, you know how to reach me. In lieu of a consulting fee I’m willing to accept meal vouchers for the ETS cafeteria.

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