2015 was an incredible year that witnessed extensive changes at Assessment Systems! CERTIFIOR REBUILT Certifior, our credentialing management platform, was substantially rebuilt with a number of new modules, including Recertification and CE tracking. Certifior allows organizations to easily manage all kinds of credentialing programs: certification, certificates, recertification exams, practice exams, microcredentials, and state-based licensure. Visit […]
About Nathan Thompson, PhD
I am a psychometrician, software developer, author, and researcher, currently serving as Chief Product Officer for Assessment Systems Corporation (ASC). My mission is to elevate the profession of psychometrics by using software to automate the menial stuff like job analysis and Angoff studies, so we can focus on more innovative work. My core goal is to improve assessment throughout the world.
I was originally trained as a psychometrician, doing an undergrad at Luther College in Math/Psych/Latin and then a PhD in Psychometrics at the University of Minnesota. I then worked multiple roles in the testing industry, including item writer, test development manager, essay test marker, consulting psychometrician, software developer, project manager, and business leader.
Research and innovation are incredibly important to me. In addition to my own research, I am cofounder and Membership Director at the International Association for Computerized Adaptive Testing, You can often find me at other important conferences like ATP, ICE, CLEAR, and NCME. I've published many papers and presentations, and my favorite remains http://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=16&n=1.
Entries by Nathan Thompson, PhD
If you are looking around for an online testing system, you have certainly discovered there are many out there. How do you choose? Well, for starters, it is important to understand that the range of quality and sophistication is incredible. This post will help you identify some salient features and benefits that you should consider […]
The topic of test security is an emerging field within the assessment industry. Test fraud is one of the most salient threats to score validity, so methods to combat it are extremely important to all of us. So important, in fact, that an annual conference has been established that is devoted to the topic: the […]
Our psychometric software is widely used around the world, and I often receive questions on how to interpret the output. Below is a discussion on interpreting item statistics from classical test tehory, adapted from the Iteman manual. We will be publishing additional posts on other topics like distractor analysis and item response theory, but you can […]
Education, to me, is the neverending opportunities we have for a cycle of instruction and assessment. This can be extremely small scale (watching a YouTube video on how to change a bike tire, then doing it) to large scale (teaching a 5th grad math curriculum and then assessing it nationwide). Psychometrics is the Science of […]
I recently read a disturbing article in the New York Times regarding the Opt-Out movement in the State of New York. I find this downright appalling. There are many sorts of standardized assessments, and the ones we are talking about here exist to improve the quality of education. They check to see whether students are […]
Some time ago, I received this question regarding interpreting IRT cutscores (item response theory): In my examination system, we are currently labeling ‘FAIL’ for student’s mark with below 50% and ‘PASS’ for 50% and above. I found that this amazing Xcalibre software can classify students’ achievement in 2 groups based on scores. But, when I […]
Assessment Systems is located in Minnetonka, MN, just outside Minneapolis. Our location provides many advantages, including a highly skilled tech workforce, the benefits of being near Minneapolis without having to be in it, connections to the University of Minnesota, and being in the center of the surprisingly large cluster of the assessment industry located in Minnesota. […]
The State of Connecticut has enacted a new policy to require all 11th grade students to take the SAT (New York Times, 6 Aug 2015). As a lifelong advocate of quality assessment, this concerns me. I consider Instruction and Assessment to be the two primary components of Education; instruction without assessment is like a weight loss program […]
Local Newspaper Discusses Test Fraud The St. Paul Pioneer Press recently published an article on instances of test fraud and security breaches experienced in K-12 assessments in the State of Minnesota (where Assessment Systems is located). The article does a good job at explaining some of the issues: The root issue is that the […]