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 […]
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
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 […]
The Contrasting Groups Method is a common approach to setting a cutscore. It is very easy to do, but has the important drawback that some sort of “gold standard” is needed to assign examinees into categories such as Pass and Fail. This “gold standard” should be unrelated to the test itself. For example, suppose you […]
If you are involved with educational assessment, especially in the US, I recommend a video by Gage Kingsbury: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldCgAKt2YSA. Want to improve the quality of your assessments? Sign up for our newsletter and hear about our free tools, product updates, and blog posts first! Don’t worry, we would never sell your email address, and we promise […]
ASC provides a number of instructional videos regarding our leading-edge software, to help customers better understand the use of the software as well as advanced concepts in psychometrics. This, in turn, helps you develop higher quality tests and assessments, enhancing reliability and validity. We have recently released two new videos: Item Response Theory with Xcalibre 4, and an […]
Happy New Year! We hope you and your family enjoyed the holiday season and you are looking forward to the opportunities of the upcoming year. FastTEST Web updates FastTest Web (www.fasttestweb.com), our online leading edge platform for testing organizations, has released a number of additional and enhanced functionalities. – The most important addition […]
New functionality is constantly being added to our online testing platform, FastTest Web. We recently implemented linear-on-the-fly testing (LOFT), which builds unique but parallel forms for each examinee when they sit down to take a test. LOFT sits between traditional tests and computerized adaptive testing (CAT), providing another paradigm for test delivery. We have also […]
Here are some brief updates and news for September 2012… Xcalibre 4.1.8 update provides new functionality A free update to Xcalibre 4.1.8 has been released. Current users can download the update at our support page, http://assess.com/xcart/pages.php?pageid=8. If you do not yet use Xcalibre to produce your IRT reports, you can download a copy at […]