Monday, December 3, 2012

Testing on an iPad - Part 3

It was my birthday and I have a new toy!

iPad mini is a darling! And so is my husband.

The screen 'feels' the same size as the full- sized iPad and is much crisper to view - I think it may be using smaller pixels.
Typing is also quite comfortable, much more comfortable than on my netbook, which also has a small keyboard.
I admit that typing may not be as easy for the guys.

Also, the main advantage of the iPad mini (fits easily into a handbag) may not appeal as much to the male of the species.

Anyway, on to the third, and arguably the most important, part of testing on the iPad:

The Q-interactive from Pearson.

For those who didn't go to the conference, or were too busy to visit the Pearson stand while there, Pearson is releasing a new way of administering tests.

WAIS, WISC, CVLT and four subtexts of D-KEFS are being released on an iPad. Soon to be followed by Children's Memory Scale, NEPSY and WMS. If you go to you can watch a video that tells you how much this new technology will change our way of doing things.
However, I would not worry about any drastic changes yet. For this release, Pearson is using the old normative data, so the administration needs to be very similar to that performed using the old booklets and pen. So, instead of writing on paper, you write with the stylus on the iPad screen. The are a few benefits: information about discontinuation is clearly provided, you can record audio during testing (but not save it with the rest of the data), and the scoring criteria are provided with each question.

On the minus side, to use the system, you need 2 iPads. So why would you buy them just to do the same testing in a more showy way?

The benefit is in the pricing. You pay $300 per year for the use of the system, and then you only pay for the tests or subtests you use. The price per subtest is currently set at $1.50, which adds up to $15/client, considerably more than the cost of the booklets (these are current prices from the US, that may change on travelling all the way across the ocean to Australia).
So far, not that good. BUT I understand that there is no upfront cost for any of the batteries. And this is where it gets worthwhile. For people who are starting a practice, and for those times when we need to update a test battery to a newer version, the iPad administration is suddenly very worthwhile. Add a little glamour that comes with shiny new electronic toys, and with time we will all move over to the new way of testing.

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