A psychometrician is someone who practices psychometrics – the Science of Assessment. That is, they are familiar with the scientific literature devoted to the development of fair, high-quality assessments, and they use this knowledge to improve assessments. Psychometricians learn about many different topics, and can take a number of slants, such as applied vs. academic, […]
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
Item response theory (IRT) is the dominant psychometric paradigm for constructing, scoring, and analyzing assessments. Virtually all large-scale assessments utilize IRT because of its well-documented advantages. In many cases, however, it is referred to as a single way of analyzing data. However, IRT is actually a family of models, and a growing family at that. […]
The United States Congress recently passed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. This provides policies and authorizations for 2016 but no budgetary appropriations, which is done with subsequent legislation. While these Acts and related ones happen all the time, they rarely have direct impact on the field of testing and assessment. This one is different. There […]
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 […]
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 […]