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 […]
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
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 […]
EdSurge (http://www.edsurge.com) has compiled a list of EdTech conferences, complete with a fun infographic. It includes big ones like Maker Fair, SXSWEDU, and ISTE, as well as smaller or more regional conferences. I appreciate all the time that EdSurge put into this. I’m also interested in their endeavor to update their EdTech Index, since […]
Last night, I had the honor to sit on a panel discussing Current Themes in Educational Assessment at an Educelerate event. Educelerate “is a networking forum for people who are passionate about promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in education – particularly through the use of technology.” It is a national network, and the Twin Cities has an […]
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 […]
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 […]