The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of US States working together to develop educational assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards. This is a daunting task, and PARCC is doing an admirable job, especially with their focus on utilizing technology. However, one of the new item […]
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
Background of the NCCA Annual Report As a way of ensuring that accredited certification programs continue to provide high-quality certifications, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) requires the submission of an NCCA annual report. The report includes operational information, but also statistics regarding the psychometric performance of your exams. Psychometrics remains a black box to […]
The International Association for Computerized Adaptive Testing (IACAT, www.iacat.org) will hold a research summit this year in Princeton, NJ. Hosted by Educational Testing Service, the summit will bring together researchers on the advanced psychometric algorithms that form the foundation of adaptive testing. Nathan Thompson, PhD, Vice President of Client Services and Psychometrics, has been invited […]
The San Francisco Examiner has published a highly cogent article, written by the superintendent of schools, on the use of computerized adaptive testing from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. This involves moving away from the old standby of paper and pencil, which dates back 100 years, and utilizing technology in assessment. Why not? Students use […]
Certification… Certificate… Accreditation These three terms might seem similar, but mean very different things. The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, which is the association of certification associations and therefore the leader in the field, defines the first two thusly. Accreditation is something that is applied to a Certificate or Certification. Note that a Certificate is based […]
Are states prepared? Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) has been in the news for quite some time as a technology being adopted at the state, and district level to improve the academic assessment performance for K-12 students. Legislation such as NCLB, and a push for a common-core standard have put pressure on many states to […]
Psychometrics – the science of educational/psychological testing- is an essential aspect of assessment, but to most people it remains a black box. However, a basic understanding is important for anyone working in the testing industry, especially those developing or selling tests. Why is psychometrics so important, and how will it benefit your organization? There are two […]
The No Child Left Behind Act is an important piece of US legislation that governs assessment in the K-12 education system. It is currently up for re-authorization, and language is being considered that will specifically mention computerized adaptive testing (CAT). “Adaptive testing is proven to be a more effective tool for assessing student performance and […]
The quote below is from a newsletter released by the SMARTER Balanced Consortium. Obviously, purchasing student assessments directly from the Consortium will remain expensive, though less expensive than what many states currently pay private vendors. FastTest , on the other hand, remains exceptionally affordable. You can utilize our adaptive testing platform to create formative assessments […]
The efforts of the SMARTER Consortium are leading to more mentions of computerized adaptive testing in the news. I recently came across the following article that covers a paper by Mark Reckase, one of the most respected researchers in the field. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2011/05/computer-adaptive_testing_pose.html Want to improve the quality of your assessments? Sign up for our newsletter […]