Conducts research and provides training in the areas of psychometrics, research methods, and educational statistics to promote fair, useful, and efficient educational assessment practices.
The Center for Educational Assessment in the College of Education the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducts research and evaluation studies, and provides training in the areas of psychometric methods, research methods, and educational statistics to promote fair, useful, and efficient educational assessment practices. Formerly known as the Laboratory of Psychometric and Evaluative Research, the Center was founded in 2000 by Professors Ronald Hambleton, Stephen Sireci, and Hariharan Swaminathan in response to the increasing use of educational tests in educational reform movements in the United States and throughout the world.
The Center has strong, technical expertise in the areas of classical test theory, item response theory, test development, identification of item bias, test score equating, standard setting, test selection and evaluation, test score report design, new forms of assessment, computer-based testing, and program evaluation. Recent and current Center research activities include performing quality control analyses on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System annual equating, developing assessment systems for adult basic education in Massachusetts, conducting content and construct validity studies on state assessments, evaluating score report designs, conducting research on the computerization of certification exams, designing studies to translate and adapt educational and psychological tests, setting performance standards on state and national assessments, and conducting studies to evaluate the National Assessment of Educational Progress (e.g., utility of score reports, invariance of item parameter estimates across states, and standard setting).
The Center has become a valuable resource for educational policy makers and others who use tests to make important decisions regarding individuals, organizations, or institutions. Services provided by the Center include test development workshops; statistical services such as scaling and equating; conducting standard setting studies; internal and external audits of current testing programs; evaluating test translations; helping teachers and policy makers better understand and use test results; and training individuals in statistical and psychometric modeling. For example, in 2008, the Center provided a five day workshop on the topic of item response models and applications, and 42 persons from eight different countries were in attendance. Faculty routinely provide short term workshops on a variety of educational assessment topics.
Ronald K. Hambleton, Co-Director
Stephen G. Sireci, Co-Director
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