2014

ETS Creates New Center for Advanced Psychometrics

Researchers to address next-generation assessments

PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to fundamental shifts in societal views about teaching, learning and assessment, ETS has created a new Center for Advanced Psychometrics (CAP). The Center will focus on developing and applying psychometric models to support the development, analysis and scoring of a new generation of assessments.

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The Center will be located in ETS's Statistical Analysis, Data Analysis & Psychometric Research (SADAPR) area. Alina von Davier, Research Director at ETS, will lead the center. Robert J. Mislevy, who holds the Frederic M. Lord Chair in Measurement and Statistics at ETS, will be an advisor for the Center.   

"As education enters a new world of assessment with advanced computer/human interaction, intelligent tutorials, adaptive feedback and data mining, the fact remains that there is much to be learned about how to appropriately leverage advances in technology, statistics, and the learning sciences toward the creation of a new generation of valid assessments," says John Mazzeo, Vice President of SADAPR in ETS's Research & Development (R&D) division. "In order to prepare the measurement community to build assessments that are valid in this new world of teaching, learning and communications, one of the things we need to do is to develop appropriate psychometrics. The formation of this center at ETS is an important step in that direction."

"CAP will focus on supporting foundational research and development projects in novel areas," says von Davier. "Projects the Center takes on will have a long-term focus and a higher tolerance for risk. Our psychometric experts will try out ideas and methods, and consider cutting-edge approaches being used in other disciplines." 

The projects that CAP will eventually take on include, but are not limited to, research on:

  • data collected from simulations and intelligent tutoring systems
  • dynamic models
  • statistical models for complex assessment tasks of educational constructs that integrate cognitive science with psychometrics
  • psychometric modeling for novel constructs such as collaborative problem solving
  • data mining techniques applied to assessment data

The work of the Center will involve a great deal of collaboration with colleagues inside and outside of ETS who bring essential and complementary expertise. CAP will reach out to experts across diverse areas of expertise, including people who may have come to their knowledge about, and interest in, next-generation assessment through routes other than traditional psychometrics, measurement, or statistics training. The Center will include staff with backgrounds in areas such as quantitative psychology, cognitive psychology, computer science and intelligent tutoring, as well as advanced psychometrics and statistics.

The first scientist to join CAP is Yoav Bergner, a postdoctoral research associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Research on Learning, Assessing and Tutoring Effectively (RELATE group). "I am deeply interested in bridging psychometrics with the emerging field of educational data mining," says Bergner.

The ETS Research & Development division has already begun work on future assessments through its partnership with the Games, Learning and Assessment Lab (GlassLab) being directed by the Institute for Play, which intends to use video game like environments to explore the possibility of developing assessments of skills for college readiness. Research at CAP will also increase ETS knowledge in the area of new assessments that support programs such as the SMARTER Balanced Consortium (SBAC), the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

About ETS
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org

SOURCE Educational Testing Service



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