An Exam Development Board Member’s Work is Never Done

PAEA's Assessment Editor in Chief Kim Cavanaugh addresses an off-camera audience at a PAEA Education Forum event
Kim Cavanaugh, Assessment Editor in Chief

The PAEA Exam Development Board (EDB) members have been busy – but when aren’t they. In March, PAEA’s nearly 70 EDB members participated in the Exam Development Summit. Conducted virtually, members completed large group peer review of newly written test items for PAEA’s suite of exams including End of Rotation™ exams, PACKRAT®, and the End of Curriculum™ exam. In total, these subject matter experts reviewed more than 1,000 items over the four-day meeting. Over the past three years, PAEA EDB members have demonstrated significant grace and flexibility as we have transitioned the Exam Development Summit to the virtual environment. While different than the in-person environment, EDB members have been unwavering in their commitment to the work.

In April, these volunteers got right back to work writing exam items for the next year. PAEA exam development is a year-long process, which officially kicks off each April when our EDB members begin authoring exam items for upcoming versions of PAEA exams. Item writing continues through August (think spending summer vacation, item writing, on a sandy beach). In the fall, our EDB members complete a small group peer review process, reviewing all newly written items and providing feedback to the authors. Authors then make edits to items based upon the peer review and feedback received from an editorial team. EDB members then review all items in preparation for the Exam Development Summit in March. And then it all starts over again!

As one can see, PAEA EDB members dedicate significant time throughout the year sharing their knowledge and content expertise in the development of high-quality exams, which support assessment of PA students across the country. The rigorous multi-stage writing and peer review process is critical to the development of superior exams. We are so grateful to all of our EDB volunteers who demonstrate their commitment to developing PAEA’s exams and we appreciate the true impact they have on PA education.