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ETS Research Forum Videos

The Research Forum Series comprises occasional events in which ETS researchers present and discuss their work with colleagues, policymakers and other interested parties. To learn more about the series or to be included on the invitation list for future presentations, email

  • Opt Out: An Examination of Issues
    Randy E. Bennett, the Norman O. Frederiksen Chair in Assessment Innovation at ETS, presented his report on the opt-out movement, which touches on its status, the demographics of those involved, underlying factors and proposed responses. The presentation was followed by a discussion with Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. July 12, 2016

    Watch the video (1 hr., 8 min., 27 sec.)
    Read the transcript
    Read the report

  • An Exploration of Pre-K Age 4 Learning Standards Across the Nation
    Andrea DeBruin-Parecki and Carly Slutzky of the Early Childhood Research and Assessment Center at ETS and authors of the ETS report, Exploring Pre-K Age 4 Learning Standards and Their Role in Early Childhood Education: Research and Policy Implications, presented their findings and offered updates and new insights about current pre-K learning standards. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion featuring Steven Hicks, Senior Policy Advisor for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education and Judith Walker, the Early Learning Branch Chief for the Division of Early Childhood Development at the ‎Maryland State Department of Education.
    May 12, 2016

    Watch the video (1 hr., 35 min.)
    Read the transcript
    Read the report

  • What Do We Know About Good Teaching? Results of a Research Synthesis
    Gary Sykes, Principal Research Scientist at ETS, and Suzanne Wilson, Professor of Teacher Education at the Neag School of Education within the University of Connecticut, provide an overview of the results of their research synthesis, focusing on the set of competencies that the research literature most strongly supports as being characteristic of good teaching. The difficulty of this enterprise — given the enormous and often contradictory body of literature on teaching — is discussed. Also, several issues of teacher quality are addressed, including: the role of context in teaching, teacher judgment, how the selection of the student outcomes we measure determines which teaching competencies we value, evaluating teacher quality, and the tension between the general and subject-specific aspects of instruction.
    December 15, 2015

    Watch the video (59 min., 21 sec.)
    Read the transcript
    Read the white paper: How Teachers Teach: Mapping the Terrain of Practice


  • Innovations in Conceptualizing and Assessing Civic Competency and Engagement in Higher Education
    Judith Torney-Purta, Ph.D., Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland, College Park; Katrina Roohr, Ed.D., Associate Research Scientist; and Ou Lydia Liu, Ph.D., Director of Research, both within the Higher Education Division at ETS, discuss the importance of measuring student learning outcomes and the challenges associated with measuring them. Most educators agree that one of the goals of higher education is to develop those skills of civic competency and engagement that will allow students to participate effectively in a democracy. High levels of these skills are associated with both economic growth and efforts to promote fairness and justice. A new assessment framework for measuring civic learning — focusing on civic competency and civic engagement — is also presented. Peter Levine, Associate Dean for Research, and Lincoln Filene, Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University's Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, join the discussion as well.
    November 4, 2015

    Watch the video (1 hr., 10 min., 15 sec.)
    Read the transcript
    Read the ETS Research Report: Assessing Civic Competency and Engagement in Higher Education: Research Background, Frameworks, and Directions for Next-Generation Assessment

  • Becoming a Nation of Word Learners: How Do We Get There?
    Paul Deane, Principal Research Scientist at ETS, and Margaret McKeown, Senior Scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center and Clinical Professor of the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh, discuss how selecting words for instruction must be strategic and focused on key content. Along with exposing students to rich language, teachers must help students become aware of words and help them build up their ability to infer the meanings of words. The goal of vocabulary instruction should be to teach students how to become word learners rather than just teaching them the meaning of words. In addition, the presenters describe recent work in psychology and linguistics that should inform our thinking about vocabulary assessment.
    October 21, 2015

    Watch the video (44 min., 14 sec.)
    Read the transcript

  • Formative Assessment as a Means to Improve Teaching and Learning for English Learners
    Mikyung Wolf, Senior Research Scientist, and Jane Shore, Research Scientist, describe a promising approach for improving the academic reading and literacy skills of EL students by using formative assessment.
    March 6, 2014

    Watch the video (50 min., 56 sec.)

  • HISPA: Inspiring Latino Students to Pursue Higher Education
    Watch a video in which Ivonne Díaz-Claisse, CEO/President/founder of Hispanics Inspiring Students' Performance and Achievement and Fred Cline, Lead Research Project Manager at ETS, discuss HISPA’s innovative Role Model Program that aims to keep Latino middle school students on the path to higher education. They also discuss the challenges associated with measuring the program's effectiveness.
    December 12, 2013

    Watch the video (46 min., 05 sec.)

  • State Pre–K Assessment Policies: Issues and Status
    Debra Ackerman, Lead Research Project Manager, ETS, and Richard Coley, Executive Director, ETS (Michael Nettles, Senior Vice President and Edmund W. Gordon Chair, Policy Evaluation & Research Center, ETS, gives opening remarks.)
    March 7, 2012

    Watch the video (45 min., 55 sec.)

  • R&D Forum Highlights Progress in Improving Students' Reading Comprehension
    From ETS’ Research & Development (R&D) Forum about "Reading for Understanding," an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences.
    November 3, 2011

    Watch the video (50min., 51 sec.)

  • Content Knowledge for Teaching: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
    Geoffrey Phelps, Research Scientist, ETS (R&D Senior Vice President Ida Lawrence provides the introduction and ETS Distinguished Researcher Drew Gitomer gives a framework for the importance of measuring the importance of teacher quality and issues related to accountability.)
    June 22, 2011

    Watch the video (38 min., 20 sec.)

  • English Language Arts Learning Progressions and the Common Core State Standards: Implications for the Design of Common Core State Assessments
    Paul Deane, Principal Research Scientist, Applied Research & Development, ETS (Editor's note: Video starts with an introduction by Randy Bennett, ETS's Norman O. Frederiksen Chair in Assessment Innovation.)
    March 24, 2011

    Watch the video (46 min., 20 sec.)

  • Making Sure Our Students Are Reading Appropriately Challenging Texts: Using Automated Tools to Predict Text Difficulty
    Kathy Sheehan, Principal Research Scientist, Automated Scoring & Natural Language Processing Group, ETS
    November 17, 2010

    Watch the video (46 min., 37 sec.)


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