News from NOCTI (February 2024)

02.07.2024 | News, Newsletters

Welcome to 2024! Here are the latest updates from NOCTI.

NOCTI 2024 Pilot Testing is Open!

Join NOCTI’s pilot test program to help launch new and revised credentials, gain early access, and influence improvements. It is essential to ensure students can access high-quality, industry-based credentials to validate their learning experiences!

Pilot testing offers an opportunity for a preliminary review of the assessment content by providing access to the standards and competencies underlying the test’s development. While the pilot results are not applicable for official reporting, the score reports offer instructors valuable insights into student knowledge and can serve as a helpful tool for instructional improvement. Moreover, pilot testing allows each site to experience the testing process in a low-pressure environment, serving as a “dry run” to assess internal testing procedures before formal testing.

Participating in pilot testing is an excellent opportunity to enhance the test’s quality. The data collected during pilot testing is valuable for identifying potential areas of improvement in item content, alignment, difficulty, and other important test-level information. Successfully addressing these aspects before the test becomes active helps to ensure that a valid, reliable, and high-quality assessment is offered for skill verification.

NOCTI enthusiastically invites everyone to take advantage of this opportunity! Click the link below to explore a list of available pilot titles and access the application for participation. This experience is sure to be both informative and rewarding, and we look forward to seeing the results of your successful pilot testing!

Click here for the Pilot Testing Application.

NOCTI Board of Trustees Update

On December 31, 2023, Dr. Mary Jo Self of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Dr. Dennis Harden of Des Moines, Iowa, completed their term on the NOCTI Board of Trustees, and Dr. Peggy Kennedy of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, completed her term as advisor to the NOCTI Board of Trustees. The NOCTI Board of Trustees, alongside the NOCTI and NBS staff, extend best wishes to Dr. Self, Dr. Harden, and Dr. Kennedy in their future endeavors.

In October 2023, the NOCTI Consortium of States re-elected Dr. Charisse Childers of Little Rock, Arkansas for a second term. Additionally, Dr. Jeff Allen from Aubrey, Texas, and Ms. Nicole Hampton from Flagstaff, Arizona, were newly elected to the NOCTI Board of Trustees. Their term spans from January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2027. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Allen and Ms. Hampton to the NOCTI Board of Trustees.

  • Dr. Jeff Allen holds the esteemed position of Regents Professor within the Department of Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas, a role he has held since 1994. He is an internationally recognized scholar of wisdom and assists organizations in making evidence-based decisions grounded in individual and cultivated collective wisdom. His extensive work encompasses three domains: knowledge management, human resource development, and workforce development. Dr. Allen has served on several national and international organizations. Presently, he contributes his expertise to organizations such as the International Council on Knowledge Management, the Knowledge and Information Professional Association, and the Association for Information Science and Technology, among others.
  • Ms. Nicole Hampton holds the position of Associate Teaching Professor and CTE Area Coordinator within the College of Education at Northern Arizona University, where her tenure spans over 25 years. Alongside her teaching responsibilities, she fulfills the crucial role of the university’s NOCTI coordinator. Ms. Hampton’s dedication extends to her involvement in various committees, including her current service on the ACTE Postsecondary Advisory Group, the University’s Graduate Committee, the Academic Standards Committee, the College of Education Student Scholarship Committee, and the ACTE Arizona Board of Directors.

The following Executive Committee officers were elected for a two-year term of January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2025 at the November 2023 NOCTI Board of Trustees Meeting:

  • Dr. Charisse Childers of Little Rock, Arkansas, was elected Chairperson and Crossover member to the NBS Board of Directors.
  • Dr. Sarah Martin of Manassas, Virginia was elected Vice Chairperson; Dr. Patience Lehrman, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was elected Secretary.
  • Dr. Bryan Albrecht, of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, was elected Treasurer.
  • Former Chairperson, Dr. Edward Bouquillon of Fairlee, Vermont, will serve as Immediate Past Chairperson for a term of January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2024.

Subject Matter Expert Spotlight: Mark Wray

Mark Wray, NOCTI Subject Matter Expert

How long have you been an instructor?

I’ve been an instructor at the Academy of Careers and Technology in Beckley WV since 2015. This marks my 8th year teaching Computer Repair as well as the Coding, Application and Game Design courses.

What made you choose the career you’re in?

To quote The Beatles, it’s been a long and winding road. I became involved in technology around 1992 and as I learned more it opened new doors and new directions. If you had asked me 20 years ago, where would I be today – a teacher/instructor would not have been at the top of my list. However, the door opened for such an opportunity and I stepped through. I absolutely enjoy it.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job/career?

Seeing students grasp a complex idea or concept and it just clicks. Watching students celebrate their achievements on the NOCTI Audit tests. It reinforces their pursuit of skills and raises their confidence in their own abilities. Students hitting the marks for the workforce entry re-enter the classroom with the biggest grins and smiles. Those achieving the prestigious Governor’s Award are celebrated by everyone and congratulations by all. Finally, watching their graduation is a huge reward knowing they are starting their career out on solid footings.

What made you choose to become an SME for NOCTI?

NOCTI had put out a call looking for SMEs. I looked into what that meant and the qualifications needed. I applied out of mostly curiosity and was a bit surprised when I was selected to be offered the opportunity. The experience from my first SME project built the excitement to join the next opportunity. It has been an excellent experience and a pleasure working alongside other professionals and experts.

List the NOCTI test projects you have worked on (titles) and when they took place (years).

I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working as a SME since my first role as a SME for Computer Repair in late 2018. Since that time, I’ve been welcomed to serve as a SME for Web Design (2019), CyberSecruity (2022) and most recently as a SME for Networking Fundamentals (2023).

Describe your first encounter with NOCTI.

If I recall, it was my 2nd or 3rd year teaching and I was asked to pilot a Computer Repair benchmark and audit exam for the school and the state. This would later help guide the school to wholly embracing the NOCTI platform and objectives. It provided me with insight to my student’s performance and my abilities as an instructor and has continued to do so.

Please elaborate on some of the more interesting or positive aspects of your associations with NOCTI.

The integration of the NOCTI platform into the academics and hands-on environment of CTE has helped highlight areas where students exhibit both strengths and weaknesses in their courses. This helps me better align the curriculum to fit the student instead of a one-size-fits-all for instruction. Working alongside other professionals to improve an already great testing platform is a great way to see what is happening in the industry and what other instructors are doing or experiencing. All my interactions with NOCTI staff have always been professional and friendly. Even during intense moments of discussion among SMEs, the NOCTI host(s) maintained professionalism and composure to keep everyone on track.
What advice would you have for someone considering involvement in a NOCTI test revision or development project?
During the review and modification process, it can get intense. Be sure you know your material. Listen attentively! Provide patience for others to state their thoughts. Given the scope of the material, be sure to stay focused on what an entry level or minimal experience should encounter in a ” day in the life of…” for the industry. As experts and seasoned professionals it is easy to forget the scope of the exam and its targeted students. Lastly, work with NOCTI’s preferences for test design. They’ve done this a long time and know how to design great tests with results that are measurable and insightful. Be open-minded. Be open to being challenged and challenging others in a meaningful and contributory manner.

Would you serve as an SME again? Why or why not?

Absolutely! Working with NOCTI is an amazing experience. Being an SME provides one with an opportunity to work with other professionals in the field (teaching) and the industry (technology). NOCTI has always, in my opinion and experience, selected great people that work together for a common goal.

Share something unique or unusual about yourself (this might include hobbies, interests, etc.).

To decompress and do something unrelated to work I usually do some woodworking. I like to restore antique and vintage furniture by hand using tools and techniques from the period. This also includes doing home DIY projects. I am also becoming a budding audiophile where I enjoy listening to music on a vintage stereo system and am slowly rebuilding my vinyl collection. I am currently pursuing 5 highly sought after 1st pressings of certain albums. My solid state system is pretty much where I want to be, but the next step is into tube electronics for stereo receivers and amps. Dabbling in the audiophile world almost makes me want to pursue credentials as an audio engineer.