Educational Psychology

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Research topics: progress monitoring/assessment

Determining the most powerful approach
to meet individual learner needs

Our researchers develop tools for monitoring and analyzing academic and behavioral progress in order to determine effectiveness of interventions to meet the needs of learners.

Faculty & researchers

William Bart headshot
William Bart

Email | Lab

Dr. Bart (psychological foundations of education) investigates the utility of the Elo rating for progress monitoring and assessment. The Elo rating is the gold standard measure of chess competency used worldwide. Elo ratings range from 0 indicating an absence of chess competency to approximately 2900 indicating a world champion level of chess competency. Elo ratings are likely indicators of cognitive ability necessary for various levels of academic achievement. For example, an Elo rating in the 1000-1200 range may likely indicate a level of cognitive ability sufficient to master high school subjects. The Elo rating is an international measure used to assess competency and to monitor progress and has the potential to inform other efforts in education at progress monitoring and assessment.

Theodore J. Christ headshot
Theodore J. Christ

Email | Lab

Dr. Christ (school psychology) develops innovative, cloud-based, adaptive reading assessments and corresponding interventions. He leads the Formative Assessment System for Teachers Lab (FAST Lab), which is dedicated to research, innovation and translation.

Panayiota Kendeou headshot
Panayiota Kendeou Email | Lab

Dr. Kendeou (psychological foundations of education) investigates the development of higher-order language and cognitive skills that support reading comprehension. She also conducts lab-based studies investigating how people learn new knowledge and revise pre-existing knowledge during their reading experiences.

Jennifer McComas headshot
Jennifer McComas


Dr. McComas (special education) applies functional analysis for problem behavior in educational and residential settings. She focuses on basic behavioral processes maintaining desirable and undesirable behavior, such as schedules of reinforcement, stimulus control, and establishing operations. She also studies behavioral treatment of problem behavior based on concurrent schedules of reinforcement as we as antecedent stimuli. Finally, she analyzes the academic behavior performance of students with behavior problems.

Scott McConnell headshot
Scott McConnell

Email | Lab

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.

Kristen McMaster headshot
Kristen McMaster

Email | Lab

Kristen McMaster (special education) collaborates with colleagues in cognitive psychology and school psychology to develop theory-based assessments and interventions to improve the reading comprehension and early writing skills of children identified as at risk or with disabilities. She also develops systems and supports to promote teachers’ use of data-based decisionmaking and evidence-based instruction.


EPSY 5614W - Assessment and Due Process in Special Education

Participants will learn basic standardized assessment and how it directly relates to special education. In addition, students will use the assessment as part of an ongoing process for making instructional programming decisions. Students will apply skills in designing and evaluating assessment plans and in making eligibility decisions.

EPSY 8811 - Assessment in School Psychology I: Foundations of Academic Assessment

Theories and models of psychoeducational assessment of children and adolescents within home, school, and community. Conceptual and empirical foundations of ecobehavioral assessment that lead to efficient but comprehensive assessment of children presented from problem-solving perspective.

EPSY 8116 – Reading for Meaning: Cognitive Processes in the Comprehension of Texts

This course draws provides a review of reading research from the fields of psychology, education, and cognitive sciences. In this course students gain an understanding of the cognitive processes that take place during comprehension and of the development of these processes. They also explore the applications and implications of this knowledge for educational practice, including instruction and assessment.

EPSY 8815 - Behavioral and Social Emotional Prevention and Intervention

Theories, research, and practice underlying socio-emotional interventions for students. Systems consultation/organizational change.

EPSY 8816 - Academic Prevention and Intervention

Theories, research, and practice underlying instructional/academic interventions for students. Systems consultation, organizational change.