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BEYOND TESTING Strategies for Growing Testing Departments Lou Woodruff NCTA National Conference Friday, September 8, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "BEYOND TESTING Strategies for Growing Testing Departments Lou Woodruff NCTA National Conference Friday, September 8, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

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2 BEYOND TESTING Strategies for Growing Testing Departments Lou Woodruff NCTA National Conference Friday, September 8, 2006

3 It seems like we never get out from under the day to day details

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5 Help But promoting the growth of our testing programs often requires us to move beyond the daily demands of operating them.

6 This presentation offers some strategies for moving beyond the daily demands of running our testing departments... to develop opportunities for positioning ourselves and our departments for growth. But promoting the growth of our testing programs often requires us to move beyond the daily demands of operating them.

7 some of these ideas may require investing more time and some will work better in one situation than in another Among them you may find an opportunity that fits!

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9 Align with Agents of Change

10 On every campus there are individuals who develop and lead new initiatives to improve the teaching and learning, or the overall well being of the institution. They gain the support of the administration and can actually shape the Institution’s priorities

11 Find The Assessment Link Within Each of Their Projects Think Assessment – Not Just Testing Then meet that need through your expertise and testing resources

12 Academic Initiatives Academic Initiatives - Hybrid Courses - Accelerated Learning Models - Outcomes Based Education - Modified Faculty Roles - On-Line Learning Communities Here are examples of initiatives with potential assessment components that may be in progress on your campus:

13 Institutional Initiatives Institutional Initiatives - Accreditation Responses - Retention Strategies - Recruitment Activities - Institutional Research Projects - Advising and Career Planning Here are examples of initiatives with potential assessment components that may be in progress on your campus:

14 When it’s the right person & the right project it pays off for both us and our Departments!! People are usually genuinely grateful when you offer to enhance their project as long as they can retain the credit and you take on any incremental work!

15 Testing

16 Align with Agents of Change Play the Political Scene

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18 Academic Departments Academic Departments The Faculty Union The Faculty Union Institutional Research Institutional Research Student Services Departments Student Services Departments

19 Welfare to Work Initiatives Welfare to Work Initiatives Education Organizations Business Councils Business Councils Job Corps Programs Believe you can! and you will

20 Align with Agents of Change Play the Political Scene Position with the Power Brokers

21 This traditional view can leave even the best of us feeling powerless Power on a campus is most often associated with authority and $$$ But power is a complex phenomenon extending beyond roles and dollars Broader understandings enable us to leverage the power we actually have

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23 Leveraging these qualities in building political relationships and engaging “agents of change” on campus will expand your power!

24 Align with Agents of Change Play the Political Scene Position with the Power Brokers Finances and Face Validity

25 Increasingly, budget concerns are driving decisions in every area within Higher Education Some Testing Departments must support themselves solely through revenue earned. The revenue earned by many of us disappears into a black hole called the General Fund! And all of us will at some point find ourselves trying to justify the costs of what we are doing.

26 Increasingly, budget concerns are driving decisions in every area within Higher Education Some Testing Departments must support themselves solely through revenue earned. The revenue earned by many of us disappears into a black hole called the General Fund! And all of us will at some point find ourselves trying to justify the costs of what we are doing.

27 Taking Credit for Your Revenue Managing Bottom Line Perceptions Telling Your Financial “Story” Controlling Your Budget Presentation Defining Your “Measures of Success” The Following Slides Will Look At

28 Even if the General Fund takes it without reporting back to you Taking Credit for Your Revenue For Tests For Which You Collect Revenue Report what the General Fund should have received: Test 1 Volume X Test Fee = Test 1 Revenue Test 2 Volume X Test Fee = Test 2 Revenue Etc. Revenue Generated Take Credit for Your Revenue Prepare Your Own Testing Revenue Report

29 Taking Credit for Your Revenue For Tests Delivered Through Vendors Whether P&P tests delivered on Saturdays or computerized tests delivered daily... Report all Honoraria as Revenue... Honoraria paid is revenue, disbursed to offset the expense of the work you perform in support of your mission. even if it is paid directly to a proctor! Take Credit for Your Revenue Prepare Your Own Testing Revenue Report

30 Taking Credit for Your Revenue Managing Bottom Line Perceptions Telling Your Financial “Story” Controlling Your Budget Presentation Defining Your “Measures of Success”

31 Manage Bottom Line Perceptions Tell “The Story” Every budget report has a story to tell... of drama, challenges, initiative and victory

32 Every budget report has a story to tell... of drama, challenges, initiative and victory There are opportunities to report success even in the midst of great declines! drama, challenges, initiative and victory Manage Bottom Line Perceptions Tell “The Story”

33 Don’t rely on the budget format from your financial system to deliver your message Tell “The Story” Manage Bottom Line Perceptions Control the Presentation

34 Use a reporting format that supports all the details of your story Tell “The Story” Manage Bottom Line Perceptions Control the Presentation

35 Tell “The Story” Manage Bottom Line Perceptions Fixed Semi-Variable Variable try to maintain or reduce use to explain changes good for shaping perceptions Control the Presentation Recurring costs that stay about the same each year Costs that vary with changes in volumes or levels of services Costs that vary with some changes but not with others

36 Tell “The Story” Manage Bottom Line Perceptions Control the Presentation Define the “Measures of Success” Select measures that frame the facts as success

37 Traditional measures of success are OK if your financials work well with them ! Plan Actual % Var$ Var Last Year Expense Category Sub-Total Expense Category Sub-Total But if comparing your plan to your actual, or this year to last year, doesn’t paint a positive enough picture...

38 Highlight Measures of Efficiency & Productivity How effectively you manage your Operating Expenses How much work is done by your staff compared with Staff Expenses

39 First, clean out your expense lines. Show (non-staff) Operating Expenses and (operational) Staff Expenses only. Highlight Measures of Efficiency & Productivity Set Aside: - Non-Operational Expenses - Administrative Staff Costs - Costs for Special Projects - Test Purchases

40 Highlight Measures of Efficiency & Productivity Next, identify “Units of Measure” taken from the work performed within your area of responsibility. Examples: - Other Measures - Test Volumes - Scanning Volumes - Service Hours

41 Highlight Measures of Efficiency & Productivity Align your Staff Expenses and Operating Expenses with the Units of Measures you identified. Put each Unit of Measure together with the Staff Expenses and Operating Expenses associated with it... into a formula to yield your Staff Expense per Unit and your Operating Expense per Unit.

42 Operating $$ per Unit Operating Expenses Unit of Measure Staff $$ per Unit Highlight Measures of Efficiency & Productivity EfficiencyProductivity Test Volumes Scanning Volumes Service Hours Other Measures Staff Expenses Then compare each of your actual $$ per units this year with what was planned, or with what actually happened the previous year. Example: relates to

43 If your Staff $$ per Unit has decreased Your Productivity has gone up !! If your Operating $$ per Unit has decreased Your Efficiency has improved !! Highlight Measures of Efficiency & Productivity EfficiencyProductivity

44 Tell “The Story” Behind the $$ Control the Presentation Define Your “Measures of Success” “Finances and Face Validity” (Review)

45 Align with Agents of Change Play the Political Scene Position with the Power Brokers Finances and Face Validity Use Your Value Add

46 Your “Value Add” is the fuel that protects your program and promotes its growth...

47 But YOU cannot decide what “Value Add” you have to offer...

48 The “Value” that you “Add” is determined by the needs of those who receive it.

49 Stay alert to the many needs you are meeting and those still unmet... which represent opportunities for enhancing your “Value-Add” on campus.

50 focus on meeting the needs of others focus on meeting the needs of others identify needs they didn’t realize they had identify needs they didn’t realize they had continue to broadcast the value you add continue to broadcast the value you add On the Road to Value Add On the Road to Value Add remember... it’s all about the journey Be Intentional Be Intentional

51 Align with Agents of Change Play the Political Scene Position with the Power Brokers Finances and Face Validity Using Your Value Add Market Everything Every Day

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53 Marketing is a state of mind that finds the opportunity for shaping perceptions in every moment

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55 So what should we actually market? Services Revenue Convenience Customer Service Academic Contribution Affiliations Professional Standards Community Involvement Market Yourself Professional Expertise

56 Align with Agents of Change Play the Political Scene Position with the Power Brokers Finances and Face Validity Using Your Value Add Market Everything Every Day Earning Prophe t Status

57 They don’t really understand what testing is all about. They don’t really understand what testing is all about !

58 Status in Academia is earned in part, through demonstrated expertise in your field.

59 However, some individuals on campus may downplay your skills if they feel there is nothing special about what you do.

60 develop a testing mystique develop a testing mystique speak about applying national testing standards reference affiliations with with major test vendors and test publishers underscore your alliances within academic affairs highlight your partnerships within student affairs leverage your involvement in NCTA be knowledgeable about assessment issues that impact higher education

61 Market Yourself as a Testing Professional

62 Align with Agents of Change Play the Political Scene Position with the Power Brokers Finances and Face Validity Using Your Value Add Market Everything Every Day Earning Prophe t Status Skills Desire Our Initiative it is

63 Skills Desire Our Initiative it is THAT WILL MOVE US BEYOND TESTING TO IDENTIFY, DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT STRATEGIES FOR GROWING OUR OURSELVES, OUR TESTING PROGRAMS, AND DEPARTMENTS

64 “It’s always better with a friend!”

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67 For a copy of this slide show contact Lou Woodruff


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