Turning Data Points into Student Success
ETS and AIR Host Unique Institutional Assessment Forum
- Robert Turano
- Robert Turano
Princeton, N.J. (August 12, 2008) —
Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) together with leaders in institutional research (IR) gathered July 20 – July 22, 2008 at ETS headquarters in Princeton to confront the critical, complex and often controversial issues of learning measurement. The conference, titled "Measuring Success: Making Assessment Data Work for Your Institution," drew a diverse group of some 70 assessment professionals representing more than 50 educational institutions from across the United States.
"This was a unique opportunity for ETS and the broader IR community to openly share our challenges and successes in higher education," said conference organizer and ETS Product Manager Stephen Denis. "And it was a unique opportunity for such a large group of external researchers to get an inside look at ETS and its 60-year commitment to excellence in institutional research."
Leaders in institutional research addressed timely and diverse topics confronting the IR field today. ETS researchers and product specialists then led a series of breakout sessions designed to allow attendees to share their experiences and qualitatively improve standards for measurement.
"ETS was the perfect host. In a truly collegial atmosphere, they shared their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm," said Jeffrey Anderson, Associate Vice President at Saint Leo University in Florida. "Attendees, speakers and top assessment researchers were able to compare and contrast notes on the complex issues surrounding assessment that we at the university level confront daily."
Christine Harrington, Associate Professor at Middlesex County College in Edison, N.J., added, "This conference provided stimulating workshops and conversations about assessments, acknowledging challenges but focusing on productive processes that will easily be transferred into assessment initiatives at my college."
"In the end, assessment of standardized tests is a vital factor in helping undergraduate and graduate students confront both their strengths and weaknesses in their chosen fields of study," said David Payne, ETS Associate Vice President of College and Graduate Programs. "It's part of a learning toolkit that helps ensure an individual's success."
"Our ultimate goal, as institutional researchers, is the success of students everywhere," said AIR Executive Director Randy Swing. "What we shared — what we learned — at this vital symposium helped us realize that solid partnerships in test assessment can turn data points into real actions that teachers and students will use to reach their goals."
For more information and a complete list of topics, speakers and attendees, please visit www.ets.org/measuresuccess on the web.
ETS, a nonprofit organization, celebrates a 60-year history of advancing quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services for all people worldwide. In serving individuals, educational institutions and government agencies around the world, ETS customizes solutions to meet the need for teacher professional development products and services, classroom and end-of-course assessments, and research-based teaching and learning tools. ETS today develops, administers and scores more than 50 million assessments in more than 180 countries, at more than 9,000 locations worldwide. Additional information is available at www.ets.org.
The mission of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) is to support members in their efforts to continuously improve the practice of institutional research for postsecondary planning, management and operations, and to further develop and promote the institutional research profession. More information is available at www.airweb.org.