chez cApStAn

where great minds come together and share

In setting up this space two factors came into play: the first is that, over the years, we have had (and still have) the privilege of working with some of the most eminent researchers in psychometrics, in survey methodology or in linguistics. We have worked with pioneers of the testing industry and innovators in talent management. At coffee breaks, we heard stories about the challenges they encountered. The second factor is that the coronavirus prompts us to go virtual for everything, including coffee breaks. So we set up a virtual coffee-bar and invited the stars to share a story or lead the conversation. And chez cApStAn came into being.

Dr Satish Y. Deodhar, Professor, Economics – IIM, Ahmedabad

satish deodhar

The Importance of Professional Translation in the Educational Testing Arena

Advanced technology permitting, entire world’s supply of food can be grown in a flower pot.  The purport of this imagination is slowly coming true.  With globalization, distances – physical, cultural, social, and technological are getting narrowed down and we are living in a global village.  In fact, with rapid technological advances, the world is now becoming glocal – the global issues are going local, coming to one’s doorstep. Read more

Dr Richard D. Roberts, CEO and Co-Founder of RAD Science

Why are We Still Debating the Proper Framework for Social and Emotional Learning? A Case Study for the Times

If you look at country systems, education, and health during the current pandemic, one of the hottest topics to emerge is social and emotional learning (SEL). It is given as THE reason in America, if not many developed countries, schools should, nay must open-up, even if a few students, parents, grandparents, family, and friends may die along the way. Read more

Dr Dorothée Behr, Senior Survey Sethodologist, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

On the interplay between survey translation and survey programming

Back in 2009, having just submitted my PhD (Behr, 2009), I was thrown into the biggest challenge of my young working life, namely into the Programme for the International Assessment for Adult Assessment, short PIAAC, commissioned by the OECD and managed by an international consortium led by ETS. Read more

Dr Kadriye Ercikan, Vice President of Psychometrics, Statistics and Data Sciences at ETS

Complexity of Creating Multiple Comparable Language Versions of Assessments

Multiple language versions of assessments serve important roles within different countries and internationally. They provide opportunities to assess individuals in languages in which they can most optimally demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Read more


Dr Alina Von Davier, Senior Vice President, ACTNext


Multidimensional thinking by a visionary researcher

My strategy at ACTNext is multifaceted: I bring together passion for supporting learners, with the technical and computational psychometrics framework in which we operate; this novel perspective needs a carefully crafted story that helps us communicate, both internally and externally. Read more

John Kleeman questionmark

John Kleeman, Founder and Executive Director, Questionmark


Why assessment translation matters

I am writing this article in dark days. Many good people have had their lives cut short by COVID-19, and many, many more have lost opportunities and face a troubling future. I hope that some of you will be reading this article in better times. But in good times and less good times, I suggest that high quality translation of tests and exams really matters to our world. Read more

Avi_Allalouf NITE

Dr Avi Allalouf, Deputy Director and Director of Scoring & Equating, NITE


Translatability of test items and challenges in scoring and equating adapted tests

Dr Avi Allalouf tells us why the Israeli Psychometric Entrance Test is administered in six languages? How translatable are test items assessing verbal and quantitative reasoning? What are the challenges involved in equating adapted tests? Read more

Paula_Korsnakova from IEA

Dr Paulína Koršňáková, Senior Research and Liaison Adviser, IEA


A Tale of Joint Resolution of Seemingly Insuperable Challenges

The work on large-scale assessments in education is similar to working on other projects. One just needs to imagine a rather complex endeavour that includes global coverage, multiple languages, and rigid timelines. Read more


Dr Maria Elena Oliveri, Research Scientist and Learning Specialist

Considerations for Designing Accessible Digital Assessments for Diverse Populations

Culturally and linguistically diverse populations have been at the heart of Dr Maria Elena Oliveri’s research for many years now. Maria Elena shares her perspective on the complexities of designing digital assessments for culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Read more

Dr Bryan Maddox, Executive Director, Assessment Micro-Analytics

How valid is Monolingual Language Testing in Multilingual Contexts?

The question of valid and authentic assessment in multi-lingual contexts was recently brought home to me with a visit to Senegal in West Africa, where I observed some field trials of the OECDs ‘PISA for Development’ (PISA-D) reading and mathematics assessment for out-of-school youths. Read more