Our faculty and researchers develop and improve tests and tools to better assess learning. This work ranges from infants to adults, and from specific skills and competencies to broad measures of proficiency. Work in this area represents new development and evaluation of tests and measures, application of classical and contemporary measurement models, and work on innovative technology-based solutions. Researchers also consider applications of tests and measures that contribute to improved performance.
Dr. Bart (psychological foundations of education) investigates the cognitive and educational effects of origami training, a form of school-based instruction commonplace in Israel and East Asian countries such as Japan and Korea. Origami training facilitates understanding of key mathematical concepts in geometry such as shape congruence.
Dr. McConnell (special education) focuses his research primarily on preschool-aged children, and the skills and competencies that will enable them to learn and participate in school and other settings. Dr. McConnell has worked with colleagues to develop Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDIs), tools that allow teachers to efficiently monitor young children’s language and early literacy development. They continue to improve and expand these tools, working with a private company to disseminate products based on this work.
r. Rodriguez (quantitative methods in education) researches the psychometric properties of tests. This work has included research on the effects of item formats and the use of constructed-response versus multiple-choice items. Dr. Rodriguez has a strong interest in applied measurement, spending a good deal of time working with schools and school districts to develop methods for improving their use of large-scale test information for planning and evaluation.
Dr. Turner (counseling and student personnel psychology) has developed and co-developed measures to assess students’ readiness to engage in educational and career development processes, including students’ efficacy for self-regulated learning, career exploration and goal setting, the utilization of soft skills, and the utilization of social support.
Dr. Wackerle-Hollman (school psychology) is an educational psychologist who's measurement work focuses on development of early literacy and language measures for preschool age students. She is the PI for four separate IES awards all of which contribute to the Individual Growth and Development Indicator (IGDI) portfolio: Spanish Individual Growth and Development Indicators (S-IGDIs), English Progress Monitoring IGDIs (PM-IGDIs); Spanish Progress Monitoring IGDIs (S-PM-IGDIs) and IGDIs in an Automated Application for Performance Evaluation in Early Language and Literacy (IGDI-APEL). Collectively, these projects are designed to support evaluating progress on language and literacy with English speaking and Spanish speaking preschools in various formats and technologies. Dr. Wackerle-Hollman is specifically interested in issues related to reducing standard error of measurement, measurement to support effective data-based decision making and research to practice application in measurement design and utility.