ETS Receives Grant to Develop Psychometric Models for 21st Century Educational Survey Assessments
- Jason Baran
- Jason Baran
Princeton, N.J. (March 18, 2011) —
Educational Testing Service (ETS) recently received funding to develop psychometric models that are better aligned to the innovative item types that are increasingly in use in educational survey assessments.
To improve learning and support systemic education reform, policymakers and other educational stakeholders rely on data from educational survey assessments, such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA). These survey programs and others have evolved over time to better incorporate changes in how students learn, for example how the use of technology has changed instruction. Therefore, the models used to analyze the data from such survey programs have to be updated to keep pace. The U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences has awarded ETS a three-year, $1.2 million grant to address this issue.
"Technological advances have brought about the development of innovative item types, including technology-based tasks and integrated tasks that have the potential to tap multiple skills," says ETS Senior Research Scientist Frank Rijmen, who is leading the project with fellow ETS Principal Research Scientist Matthias von Davier. "The same technology also has affected how students learn so it is to be expected that such item types will become even more prevalent in these programs."
"Knowing this, the psychometric models we are proposing will need to mirror how current assessment frameworks characterize the relationship between tasks and the content domain being assessed," von Davier says. "In addition, we intend to develop models that are attentive to the complex sampling design used in these studies. We therefore plan to incorporate a flexible, general approach that is based on recent developments in statistical methodology."
Working with Rijmen and von Davier on the project will be research colleagues at the University of California – Berkeley, University of Maryland, Wake Forest University, and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.
"In many instances, the educational survey assessment programs have adapted statistical methodologies that were originally created at ETS," says ETS Senior Vice President for Research & Development Ida Lawrence. "We are proud of that legacy and feel that it is fitting that ETS is leading this effort to further develop these methodologies."
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational and professional institutions, foundations and numerous 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 in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million assessments annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries. For more information, visit our website, www.ets.org.
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