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Our Discovery Process for Simulation Assessment Items

Virtual simulations allow users to actively demonstrate mastery of skills and build their diagnostic reasoning and critical-thinking skills.

When translating real-life experiences into digital ones, what is the first step? To start, Breakthrough Technologies partners with your organization on a fact-finding exploration of your assessment needs and the real-life skill you are looking to simulate. This highly collaborative discovery process involves your item writers, subject matter experts, and psychometricians, so we can gather a comprehensive understanding of your unique goals and determine how we can help. Through a “ride-along” demonstration with your experts, we’ll get an up-close look at how a process, instrument, or piece of equipment works and determine how it could be converted into a simulation assessment item. Plus, we’ll work with your existing test delivery vendor to ensure that any simulation items we create can be seamlessly delivered using their test driver.

We’re also here to share our insight and expertise as you explore virtual simulation and inspire thought-provoking questions to discuss within your organization. Whether you want users to demonstrate mastery of a skill or correctly complete procedural steps, we can help you determine if a simulation is a good fit and identify the level of fidelity required, the “happy path” as well as common error paths of the process or equipment calibration, and how the simulation item should be scored. We’ll show you examples of how simulations are used in assessments including low-stakes and high-stakes assessments.

As we progress through the discovery process, we begin to create an actionable plan based on your project’s requirements, business outcome goals, schedule, and budget. We also identify the technologies and platforms that may work best for your organization, helping to save you both time and money. Breakthrough works closely with you every step of the way. Our discovery process can include documentation that provides you the ability to move right into development, such as a high-level roadmap, estimated timeline and pricing, well-defined feature list, workflow diagrams, and wireframes/mockups, and prototypes.

To learn more about simulation-based assessment items and our discovery process, contact Kevin Leonard at

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