By Martin Ramsay, LAMP Consortium
Susan McGreevy-Nichols, Executive Director of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) announced today that NDEO has completed the first year of conducting a national certification exam for dance instructors. McGreevy-Nichols made the announcement at the LAMP Pedagogy and Technology Conference, the annual conference of the LAMP Consortium.
The DELTA (Dance Entry Level Teacher assessment) certification exam brings a long-needed standardized way of certifying dance instructors across the United States, according to McGreevy-Nichols. She said that other arts disciplines have a similar praxis exam; NDEO has taken the lead in developing and deploying the exam for dance. According to Dale Schmid, DELTA Project Director, "the intent of DELTA is to codify crucial pedagogic content knowledge in dance education to ensure that beginning dance teachers have the requisite knowledge and skills for successful entry into the nation’s public schools.” The test was built in Sakai and delivered a variety of question types, including questions with video prompts that were streamed using Warpwire, a partner of the LAMP Consortium.
McGreevy-Nichols explained that five different institutions offered the exam at proctored locations using some of Sakai’s high stakes testing features. Other participants took the exam at home with an additional layer of security using RPNow software from PSI. NDEO had been concerned that the layers of software might be difficult to navigate for some users. “We arranged for extra support to be available during the five four-hour test windows,” explained McGreevy-Nichols. “But Sakai performed flawlessly.” Dave Eveland, who helped provide the support, noted that the biggest problems he saw were one person who did not have adequate bandwidth at home and a few others who had trouble logging in to the RPNow software.
McGreevy-Nichols finished up her presentation at the LAMP Conference showing some of the detailed statistics and item analysis extracted from Sakai’s Tests & Quizzes tool. Martin Ramsay, Executive Director of the LAMP Consortium, added that “if anyone asks whether Sakai is capable of supporting a national certification exam, the answer is a resounding yes!"