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Senior Assessment Developer-Prototyping
Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah
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Date Posted April 09, 2020
Admin-Computing-Network/System Administration
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Job Number: JR-004385

Location: Phoenix Office

If you're passionate about building a better future for individuals, communities, and our country-and you're committed to working hard to play your part in building that future-consider WGU as the next step in your career.

Driven by a mission to expand access to higher education through online, competency-based degree programs, WGU is also committed to being a great place to work for a diverse workforce of student-focused professionals. The university has pioneered a new way to learn in the 21st century, one that has received praise from academic, industry, government, and media leaders. Whatever your role, working for WGU gives you a part to play in helping students graduate, creating a better tomorrow for themselves and their families.

Position Summary

The senior assessment developer is responsible for the development and maintenance of college objective and performance-based assessments. The senior assessment developer contributes to design and development workshops using industry best practices to ensure assessment validity and reliability. The senior assessment developer is responsible for working with vendors and subject matter experts to ensure that deliverables meet design specifications and assessment quality criteria. This individual combines strategic and creative thinking with efficient, time-sensitive execution to drive the creation of assessments and to mitigate risks. The senior assessment developer collaboratively contributes to the design and develops components of the assessment traverse, ensuring alignment of assessments to course competencies, skills and proficiencies.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

  • Facilitate the design and development process for both objective and performance assessments, including milestones and timelines, and progress tracking

  • Communicate project status updates to cross-functional teams and stakeholders 

  • Collaborate with, instructional designers, instructional technologist and other stakeholders to develop formative assessment experiences

  • Assure assessments are aligned to course skills/proficiencies and competencies

  • Collaborate with instructional designer, instructional technologist, and other stakeholders to design and develop and deploy innovative assessment solutions

  • Ensure assessments test skills and proficiencies (e.g. applied, case-based, problem-based)

  • Collaborate in exploring and recommending alternative and innovative, valid, and reliable formative and summative assessment approaches 

  • Collaborate with program designers, program owners, and the assessment portfolio specialist to recommend, deploy, and monitor assessment interventions that respond to program and course health metrics 

  • Oversee subject matter expert involvement in the design, development, and review processes, as well as in the validation of an assessment's congruency and accuracy 

  • Maintain assessment design and development standards set by the assessment portfolio specialist and/or internal assessment council to ensure assessment integrity 

  • Identify and mitigate risks that may impact the quality or on-time delivery of assessments 

  • Collaborate with the assessment portfolio specialist, psychometricians, and other stakeholders to define and execute assessment policies, processes, and best practices 

  • Ensure alignment and consistency of assessments in the college 

  • Collaborate on the development of item- and exam-level scoring guidelines and then successfully implement and validate the guidelines 

  • Participate in assessment quality assurance processes, identifying and resolving issues and trends, as required

  • Maintain knowledge of exam performance and make necessary quality improvement adjustments throughout the exam lifecycle 

  • Participate in cross-functional team efforts to implement exam security measures 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Thorough understanding of large-scale, high-stakes assessment design and development, including creating of test blueprints

  • Application of practical measurement and test design principles to develop assessment instruments (formative and summative)

  • Ability to interpret item- and assessment-level analysis

  • Management of test banks and item lifecycle

  • Application of measurement theory, measurement models and validity theory to item and assessment development

  • Demonstrated ability to learn new technologies, solve emergent problems, and share learnings and suggestions with a team to come to a quick, value-driven solution

  • Advanced technical writing and editing skills

  • Ability to manage multiple projects at different stages while meeting deadlines and quality standards

  • Ability to work independently, under minimal supervision

  • Advanced critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis skills

  • Advanced skills in planning, organizing, and self-management

  • Ability to facilitate collaboration, support, and approval from a variety of stakeholders


  • Problem Solving Skills: Investigates appropriate resources and involves partners when appropriate; future-oriented; assesses what will help/hinder achieving goals; focuses on what is important. 

  • Interpersonal Skills: Deals with others in a considerate, respectful, and unbiased manner; approaches conflict proactively; solicits and shares feedback openly; listens with empathy and maintains composure. 

  • Accuracy: Draws on factual information garnered from careful cultivation of a broad knowledge of WGU's goals and processes; investigates beyond assumptions. 

  • Adaptability: Course corrects behaviors and communication style to meet the needs of a wide range of situations; tackles obstacles appropriately; is comfortable with ambiguity. 

  • Reliability: Accountable to others; does what it takes to get the job done; actions are consistent with words; follows through on commitments; exhibits exceptional integrity. 

  • Attitude: Displays commitment to the organization and to personal growth; self-motivated and able to motivate and inspire others; asserts self appropriately to champion ideas; tells the truth in a direct and constructive manner. 

  • Initiative: Self-directs with a strong bias for action; leads the way in improvement of performance or processes; displays keen interest in students and organization.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in a college discipline or equivalent experience (master's degree preferred) 

  • Three or more years of assessment design and development experience, 

  • Experience with large-scale, high-stakes assessment development

  • Project management experience (PMP certification preferred) 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with both objective and performance assessment 

  • Experience in online high-stakes assessment and education

  • Experience in the development of machine-scored, technology enhanced assessment items, CAT, simulation- or game-based assessment

  • Experience managing vendor and external resources relationships

As an equal opportunity employer, WGU recognizes that our strength lies in our people. We are committed to diversity.

*Please mention AllHigherEd to employers when applying for this job*
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