[LPI-News] LPI Holds South African Exam Item Writing Workshop

Arlene MacFarlane arlene at lpi.org
Fri May 20 15:30:04 EDT 2005

LPI Holds South African Exam Item Writing Workshop

(Toronto, ON – May 20, 2005): The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), 
the premier Linux certification organization, worldwide 
(http://www.lpi.org), announced today that it will hold an Item Writing 
Workshop in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22, 

“LPI's Item Writing Workshops provide an opportunity for Linux 
professionals to contribute and monitor the validity of the examination 
and certification process employed by LPI, as we continue to pursue and 
promote the value of vendor-neutral and standards based certification 
for Linux administrators. This is the essence of what LPI is about: 
recognized certification of Linux professionals by their own peers,” 
said Evan Leibovitch, President, LPI.

LPI offers a standardized, multi-national and highly respected program 
to certify levels of individual expertise in Linux. Exams are created 
using psychometric (the scientific study of testing) techniques to 
develop high quality exams with direct relevance to the skills being 
tested. LPI's certification program is delivered worldwide in seven 
different languages with the support of employers, vendors and trainers. 
Level One and Level Two certifications (LPIC-1 and LPIC-2) reflect the 
successful completion of two exams at each level.

The development of LPI's exams is highly dependent on “hands-on” 
involvement from the Linux community and, in keeping with its 
grass-roots philosophy, that means the community actively contributes to 
on-going refinement of the exams through a series of item writing 
workshops. By gathering together a small group of certified or highly 
experienced, senior-level, Linux professionals to write items 
(questions) at various times and in various locations around the world, 
LPI builds its selection of exam questions, based on the 
industry-knowledge of the community.

Once the questions are developed, they go through a subsequent and 
rigorous review process before they are pilot tested and submitted for 
psychometric testing. From the item writing stage to examination will 
require several months. Item writing workshops have previously been held 
in St. Louis and China for Level One question formulation. A recent 
workshop in Essen, Germany, was the first Level Two question writing 
event. The Pretoria workshop will add new question item selections to 
the Level One exams.

Item writers submit question suggestions and follow a process of 
corresponding and providing feedback to each other before assembling to 
review a short-list of possible new additions.

LPI's certification (LPIC) is the internationally recognized 
certification program for Linux administrators. This workshop will 
involve a group of 10 professionals, selected from the successful 
candidates who were LPIC-1 certified at LPI's Big Exam Lab held in 
Johannesburg in February 2005.

Alan McKinnon, Production Director of Linux Holdings (Pty) Ltd., in 
Pretoria, and the organizer of both the February exam lab and this item 
writing workshop says, “The LPI exams, like almost everything else in 
Linux, are built by the

community in a co-operative fashion. It's an open and transparent process where everyone who wants to contribute may do so. 
Some of us in this community write the software, others write documentation, some of us participate in marketing. Most of us, in some way, take the time to give back to the community.  We operate as a "gift culture", where your standing in the community is measured by how much you give away, not by how much you have.
Our back-office administrators now have another way to give back to their peers - by helping to develop the exam that will certify the next generation. By using their own real-life experience and solutions to problems, they generate realistic questions that actually measure something useful. This is how we get around a common complaint about exam questions - that they are often not relevant to real life.
It is extremely important for the industry to have an independent certification body that can issue certificates that are respected, meaningful and valid. I consider it an honour and a privilege to be able to take part in this effort."

Globally, LPI's certification program has delivered more than 75,000 
certification exams since the program's inception in 2000.

LPI supports affiliate networks on five continents, worldwide, including 
Brazil, Bulgaria, Jamaica, United States, Japan, Canada, Germany, 
Australia, China, France, the United Kingdom and South Africa.

To learn more, contact the Linux Professional Institute at 
http://www.lpi.org or Linux Holdings (Pty) Ltd. at 

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About Linux Professional Institute:
The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) develops professional 
certification for the Linux operating system, independent of software 
vendors or training providers. Established as an international 
non-profit organization in 1999 by the Linux community, LPI develops 
accessible, internationally-recognized certification programs which have 
earned the respect of vendors, employers and administrators. LPI's 
activities involve hundreds of volunteers and professionals throughout 
the world in many different capacities, and the group encourages active 
public involvement through mailing lists and its website at www.lpi.org. 
LPI's multi-level program of exams is administered globally through 
Pearson VUE and Prometric testing centers. LPI's major financial 
sponsors are Platinum Sponsors IBM (NYSE:IBM), Bradford Learning, Linux 
Journal, Linux Magazine, Maxspeed, Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL), SGI 
(NYSE:SGI), and TurboLinux as well as Gold Sponsors, Hewlett-Packard 
(NYSE:HWP) and Wave Technologies.

About Linux Holdings (Pty) Ltd.:
Linux Holdings (Pty) Ltd. incorporates a unique combination of 
resources, intelligently applied to provide value-added services to our 
clients. Our team includes a dynamic group of instructors who are at the 
forefront of determining the specific training needs of the open source 
software market. They are strategically positioned to design training 
programs and support systems which are tailor-made for the client. 
Collectively, we have over a decade of training experience. Over the 
last three years, the focus was aimed at developing the advanced Linux 
administrator courses. We have developed and adapted our own training 
material which has greatly contributed to the success of our students. 
Linux Holdings is the result of incorporating expertise and experience 
on various levels core focus of the business is the provision of 
training, and the company has additional strengths within the company's 
domain which include marketing, technical, hosting and software 

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