Proficiency testing

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Proficiency testing

Post by renapopma on Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:35 pm

I'm starting to create instruments that test someone's knowledge of mice at both the pet and the breeder levels. These might later develop into tests that could help in the screening process for placing mice in new
pet and startup breeder homes. Feedback from this community would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by Mrs. Beach on Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:07 pm

Coooool! I think a good way to get comments and feedback would be to post what you have already come up with.
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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by renapopma on Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:27 pm

Thanks! Great feedback. I need to get writing.
The first phase will be to write a bunch of questions.
Then people who are considered 'good' at those things
'take the test'. Anything they get wrong is chucked out.
More questions are added, etc. until the whole thing
is made up of questions that capture the essence of
the skill and knowledge sets.

My geeky side emerges.




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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by doganddisc on Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:22 pm

Out of curiosity would these be more fact based or opinion based? IE: "What is the gestation period of a mouse?" vs. "What steps does a reputable mouse breeder take to find good homes for their mice?"
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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by renapopma on Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:33 pm

Yeah. I'm actually trying to do a test with questions like
feeding my pet mouse my table scraps is: 1) a good way
to save money, 2) not a healthy enough diet, 3) okay as long
as he doesn't gain too much weight.
And
Of these choices, breeding does should be expected to
produce how many litters per year? 1) eight, 2) twelve,
3) none of the above.

I figure it can be paired with the more essay
type interview questions that would be more subjective and
Individualized. What do you think?

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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by doganddisc on Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:38 pm

Well, with the first example you have there, you'd have to be careful on wording. My mice get table scraps all the time but it isn't their main diet- they have lab blocks for that. So perhaps wording it differently:

Rewarding my pet mouse with table scraps as treats is...

or

Feeding my pet mouse a diet consisting exclusively of table scraps is..

Might make it a little more clear Big smile

Also, I hope nobody ever thinks breeding does should produce eight or twelve litters a year! Ugh!

It sounds good to me otherwise Happy Just be careful with wording! More specific is better.
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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by renapopma on Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:56 pm

Thank you. Those are exactly the kinds of things I will need to watch out for.
What makes sense to one person in the way a question is worded isn't necessarily universal. I'll watch to keep it more specific to reduce confusion. The 'best' questions will be the ones that 100% of the community agree on like the question about numbers of litters per year.
If I can find things that properly sort people into groups of ready for pets or breeding and not ready - need to learn more first, I'll be very happy!

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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by candycorn on Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:57 pm

I think multible choice is a bad idea. I prefer to hear the answers people come up with all on their own. It gives me a better feel for them as a person.
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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by renapopma on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:15 pm

Yes. I can see the the great value in the essay and fill in the blank and the provide the answer questions too. I'm looking to include both types and perhaps other ways of measuring for fitness as well. Much like the screening process for
jobs where you take a basic knowledge and skills test then move up to the
1:1 interview stage.

I would love to gather up people's questions they ask for that portion too.
Thanks for your input!


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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by Laigaie on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:19 pm

I'm with candycorn! With breeders I don't know, I ask questions like:

How do you house your mice?
What bedding do you use?
What do you feed?
What are your husbandry practices like?
What cull method do you use?
What are you breeding for?

For pet owners, I ask questions more like:

Have you had mice before/Do you have mice already?
Whose will the mouse be? (adult, child, teenager, etc)
Who will provide primary care for the mouse?
Do you already have housing for your mouse, and if so, what kind?
Do you already have food for your mouse, and if so, what kind?
Where will the mouse's housing be kept? (living room, bedroom, child's bedroom, etc)
What kind of veterinary budget do you have for your mouse, or if none, are you willing to contact me with veterinary questions/concerns?


While people do sometimes try to give me the answers I want to hear, it's usually pretty obvious, and it's still useful to know what answers they think I want to hear. Saying they have a HUGE hamster cage for their mouse, so they won't bring it for me to see when they pickup their mouse, is a really bad sign, for me, and not terribly unusual.

I can usually tell the good breeders because they have all the answers to my questions. I can tell the good pet owners because they ask for advice on their answers.

That said, there's nothing wrong with a screening test, especially if you're not good at reading people over the internet. Big smile
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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by renapopma on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:22 pm

Awesome feedback. Thanks for all the specifics!

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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by Mrs. Beach on Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:59 pm

I agree with candycorn that multiple choice runs the risk that someone might guess and guess right, which would not happen if they write in their own answers. On the other hand, if you wanted to post this test online and get the results automatically tallied, that would be the way to do it. But in that case, the essay questions would go down the drain.
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Re: Proficiency testing

Post by renapopma on Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:17 pm

Yes. I agree with the guessing right problem. It would also be essentially an open book test which can have it's own issues. I'm hoping to evolve something
quick and astonishingly useful to be one tool in the box.

I have a background in making tests for other purposes. It will be interesting
to see if this project can become something useful.

Brilliant suggestions everyone! I knew you guys would have great feedback.

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