Are decisions based on tests justified? A critical discussion of their implications for society in both historical and international contexts at ITC Conference 2021

Published in:  Conferences
by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village

ITC Conference: ITC Symposium on “Testing and Society”: Friday July 9, 2021, 6.30 pm CEST

cApStAn co-founder Steve Dept is honoured to have been invited to be part of a prestigious panel of experts, moderated by Avi Allalouf, at the ITC Conference 2021. The panel members, who represent different and complementary assessment-related fields, will examine the impact that tests have on society via the prism of multiple disciplines, including sociology, economics, communications, and law.

Tests serve as the basis for consequential decision making in many fields. Policy makers and education systems evaluate schools & teachers; employers and institutions of higher education use tests to screen applicants; psychologists use them to diagnose personality traits; regulators use them for certification and licensing purposes, and polygraph examiners use them to determine credibility.

Should such weight be placed on tests? Are decisions based on tests justified? Are pass-fail and other grading decisions reasonable? Is there a better way to ensure focus of instruction on topics that are important to learn? Do tests perpetuate inequities in society? Are tests fair and, if not, what can we do to make them more equitable? How can we eliminate or reduce cheating?

These are just a few of many critical questions that the panellists will be addressing. A short discussion with audience participation will follow.

Organizer and Moderator:

  • Avi Allalouf, National Institute for Testing & Evaluation (NITE), Israel


  • Marise Ph. Born, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Gavin T. L. Brown, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Steve Dept, cApStAn Linguistic Quality Control, Belgium
  • Kadriye Ercikan, Educational Testing Service (ETS), USA
  • Daniel Lewis, Creative Measurement Solutions, USA

#74 on the ITC Conference Programme: Panel AO2, 18:30-19.30 CEST