AAVSB Announces VTNE Item Writing Training Workshop

The American Association of Veterinary State Boards, owner of the Veterinary Technician National Examination, is planning its first item writing training workshop in Kansas City, Missouri in the spring of 2006. Item writers will be selected through a multi-phase process. Travel, meals and hotel accommodations will be paid by AAVSB subject to the AAVSB travel policy.

In addition to having all appropriate expenses paid, workshop participants will be paid an honorarium. During the workshop and on an on-going basis, an item writer will receive an honorarium of $10 for each item accepted to the VTNE item bank. AAVSB has applied for both veterinarians and veterinary technicians to receive continuing education credit for this training workshop through RACE, the Registry of Approved Continuing Education.

Everyone responding to this press release no later than December 1, 2005 will be contacted on or before December 15, 2005. Selected participants will be invited to participate in the next phase by completing an application providing AAVSB with more qualifying information. The application includes an item writing assignment on topics from a suggested list. The written questions will be reviewed by the AAVSB Veterinary Technician Testing Committee, a group of educators who volunteer their time each year to review the VTNE. Applications will be e-mailed to selected participants prior to December 25, 2005. The completed application must be returned to AAVSB by January 20, 2006. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

By February 10, 2006, AAVSB will notify applicants selected to participate in the workshop. These applicants will be asked to sign and return confidentiality statements prior to receiving the training packets. All training materials and assignments completed by item writers are considered proprietary and confidential and are the property of AAVSB. Training packets, including a more extensive item writing assignment, will then be forwarded to the workshop attendees.

A portion of the training workshop will include a peer review of written items. The goal is to help the group as a whole better understand the screening process and the importance of writing clear, concise questions with only one legally defensible answer. Emphasis will be placed on writing questions that are appropriate for an entry level position since the VTNE is an entry level examination.

Upon completion of the workshop, participants will then be asked to submit additional questions to be reviewed during the item review meeting in August, 2006.

Due to the time and expense involved in a training program of this nature, AAVSB requires participants to commit to a three-year term as an item writer. On-going, we anticipate a percentage of experienced item writers to become item reviewers each year. Honorariums will be paid to reviewers any time they are asked to meet to review test items. Historically, item reviewers have been paid $100 plus expenses.

AAVSB is also considering the development of a mentor program in which experienced item writers will be assigned to a group of inexperienced item writers to guide them through the learning process.

To Apply:

If you are currently a licensed, registered or certified veterinary technician or licensed as a veterinarian and are employed in the United States, its territories or Canada and can make a three-year commitment to the VTNE item writing project, please send the following information to [email protected]:

  • Your name, address (where you want to receive mail throughout the year), e-mail address, telephone number and fax number, if applicable.
  • Describe briefly (50 words or less) why you would like to become an item writer. This might include what you hope to gain from the experience or your personal goals.
  • Describe briefly (50 words or less) what special qualities or experience you would bring to this project. This might include item-writing, item reviewing, practical and/or teaching experience. If you are a veterinary technician, please indicate the date you passed the VTNE.
  • To be eligible for further consideration, responses must be received no later than December 1, 2005.

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