Ocean County College Director Gets Standardized Testing Patent After 12 Year Wait
Dr. Mary Morley, Director of Institutional Research at Ocean County College, was recently named, along with her fellow research team members, as a co- inventor of a computer-based testing software program. The group’s computer-based test item generation was recently awarded a patent by the United States Patent Office.
According to Dr. Morley, while working for Educational Testing Service, she and eight team members worked on the project beginning in 1996. The patent was filed in 2000 and was subsequently granted on June 19, 2012. The patent was assigned to the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.
“It is great to be part of a patent,” she said. “I was never expecting this at this point … after so many years.”
Dr. Morley explained that there was a need to make standardized test development more efficient. The new software algorithmically generates test questions. Its unique capability is to keep the integrity of the grammar and mathematics throughout an evolving storyline – in short, it uses common sense.
Patents granted for software programs are relatively new and relatively rare. According to the United States Patent Office, this particular program is “a computerized method and system for creating test items by generating variants from a test item model, comprising the steps of creating a new test item model by identifying elements of an initial test item or test item model to be variabilized.”
“The value of the process is in the simplification of altering test questions while not altering the matter tested so that the ‘creator can store and forward acceptable test item variants for later use as test items,’” Dr. Morley added.
A former faculty member at Ocean County College, Dr. Morley assumed her current position as Director of Institutional Research in 2012. She holds a Master’s degree and Ph. D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Rutgers University. en charged with DUI and numerous other motor vehicle charges.