Virtual Exam Development Summit Combines Fun and Hard Work

Members of the PAEA Exam Development Boards (EDBs) showed tremendous commitment, hard work, and a bit of fun while participating in the 2021 Exam Development Summit March 11-14, 2021.

In these four days, they reviewed and edited exam questions for the coming publication cycles over Zoom while balancing program and family demands that are harder to avoid when you don’t have the chance to travel. The primary purpose of this annual meeting is to conduct the second peer review of exam questions as the culmination of a year-long writing and review cycle. From writing new items in the late Spring and Summer, to small group peer review and editing in the Fall, this year’s cycle was more challenging than usual. During the meeting, each EDB goes through a process of reviewing each question with the goal to improve the quality and prepare it for publication. You can learn more about the exam development process, including the additional steps used to standardize the End of Curriculum exam, on the process page of the assessment website.

At the Summit, the smiles were evident as members reconnected with their friends and met new additions to the team. This year, we welcomed seven new Exam Development Board members and bid so long to six longtime friends.

Exam Development Boards enjoying the start of the day | Photo Credit: Emily Yunker

On Friday evening, families joined for a magical evening featuring the Extreme Magic of Eric Wilzig. It was a very fun way to celebrate the halfway point of the meeting. We were not allowed to take pictures, but you can ask us to show you the card tricks and illusions we learned!

Participants also celebrated the 25th anniversary of PACKRAT® by donning special tee shirts featuring our logo.

The PAEA Assessment Team celebrating knowledge and the 25th Anniversary of PACKRAT | Photo Credit: Emily Yunker

It wasn’t all fun and games – the Exam Development Summit is a major undertaking — even more so when done virtually — and one that provided a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment to participants, with the guidance of their chairs and in collaboration with editorial consultants. Everyone adapted very well, completing high-quality work. Huddling around computers fine-tuning exam questions was no easy task. Members lightened the mood by creating special signs to vote on approving items or continuing to work on them.

Exam Development Summit participants used their creativity to keep item review flowing, not just on the items themselves! | Photo Credit: Emily Yunker

PAEA offers its gratitude to our exam development partners for helping to facilitate our work. To the EDB members, we are so proud of your hard work and resilience this year. To the chairs, we are so grateful for your leadership.