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What makes a language a language?

by Roberta Lizzi - Senior project manager, external human resources director @cApStAn

In the framework of an international assessment study, some years ago I was asked to verify the Italian version of the Home Questionnaire aimed at collecting background information about the parents of the tested ...

A play on the word cApStAn

by Steve Dept - cApStAn partner

A capstan is a winch, a rotating machine used to multiply the pulling force of seamen. It consists of a vertical spinning drum around which a cable is wound and is used on sailing ships. A five ton anchor can ...

Including diversity in AI can help to minimise bias and also makes good business sense

by Pisana Ferrari - cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village

Bias and discrimination are "creeping" more and more into day-to-day (automated) decisions on access to jobs, credit, parole and many more areas. In a recent talk at EmTech Digital, Tess Posner, Executive Director at AI4ALL, says ...

How rapid feedback on assessments could help enhance teaching

by Pisana Ferrari - cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village

Data from current and past tests and assessments, class room behaviour, student retention, etc., are an important resource in evaluating the quality of educational programs and services and identifying areas for improvement. An interesting article in ...

Automatic Item Generation in testing

by Pisana Ferrari - cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village

Automatic item generation (AIG) is one of the innovations in testing discussed at the recent Association of Test Publishers' (ATP) annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. Multiple choice questions have been the traditional way of testing ...

Has Microsoft’s neural machine translation (NMT) really reached parity with human translation?

by Pisana Ferrari - cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village

While at cApStAn we investigate how neural machine translation (NMT) can be used to improve a human translator's output rate while increasing consistency, blue chip companies driving the progress in NMT still fall into the trap ...

The neural network-based translation technology “Amazon Translate” now generally available

by Pisana Ferrari - cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village

On April 4, Amazon Translate, which was in "preview" mode since 2017, was made available to anyone in the US and EU (with an Amazon Web Services account). In doing so, Amazon positions itself as one ...

ATP Innovations in Testing Conference 2018 in San Antonio

by Debasmita Gosh - enterprise growth @ cApStAn//Marielle Lerner - linguist and senior project manager @cApStAn

The cApStAn team attended ATP’s annual conference on Innovations in Testing in the hill country outside historic San Antonio, Texas. The team was welcomed to what would be a high-energy, ...

Revitalising multiple choice questions for the digital age

by Pisana Ferrari - cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village

Multiple choice questions (MQCs) have been the traditional way of testing for generations, and have not changed substantially since they were first introduced, over a century ago, by Frederick Kelly*. His "Kansas Silent Reading Test" was ...

“Personalised” or standardized testing?

by Pisana Ferrari - cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village

While cApStAn has collected empirical data on cross-language comparability of standardized test items, and recognises the value of standardized testing, we acknowledge that the approach described in this article is fascinating.

According to the author there ...