NERA Pre- an In-Conference Workshops
October 18th-20th, 2017

Pre-Conference Workshops

How to Create a Viable Action or Mixed Methods Research Proposal – Thomas W. Christ, Ph.D. (Wednesday, October 18th, 9:30am-12:30pm)

Mixed-methods and action research are extremely popular research designs. This three-hour workshop highlights a variety of methodological skills used to define, frame, and prepare an action or mixed-methods research proposal. The workshop emphasizes the strengths and limitations of various research paradigms and how they are logically mixed or integrated within a single study. Special attention will be paid to the critical role of the researcher, theory, forms of validity and credibility, generalization of the results, and specifics about data choice, collection, analysis, blending and integration. This workshop is designed for graduate students and postsecondary research teachers who learn strategies that enhance the mixed or action research proposal process with reference to headings, methodological diagramming and key literature.  

Moving from Paper to Online Assessments: Psychometric, Content, and Classroom Considerations – Susan McNally, Ed.D and Ye Tong, Ph.D. (Wednesday, October 18th, 9:30am-12:30pm)

Moving away from paper, or to both paper and online assessments, requires considering comparability, and the best way to assess content. Creating meaningful online assessments requires understanding issues faced by psychometricians, content experts, and teachers and students. Decision-making processes for developing and administering online assessments from both psychometric and content points of view will be discussed, along with classroom implications based on teaching experience and teacher feedback. Participants will receive instruction around common practices and challenges faced by technology enhanced items (TEIs). Hands-on experience with TEIs will focus on making decisions about assessment formats, item types, and scoring.

In-Conference Workshops

Applications of an Alignment Evaluation Framework - Ellen Forte, Ph.D., Liz (Towles) Summers, Ph.D., Elizabeth Greninger, Ph.D., and Lauren Deters, Ph.D. (Wednesday, October 18th, 1:30pm-4:30pm)

Based on Forte (2013, 2017), this workshop will provide participants with solid grounding in alignment evaluation methods for standards-based assessments within the contexts of principled-design assessment development, US federal peer review requirements, and the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA/APA/NCME, 2014). Participants will break into groups for an activity in which they consider an alignment plan and conduct ratings of standards, claims, Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs), task models, blueprints, and items. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of communication strategies in terms of reports and questions from stakeholders, including the media, parents, and technical advisory committees.

Using R to Automatically Generate Technical, Research, and Score Reports – Andrew Jones, Ph.D. and J. Carl Setzer, Ph.D. (Thursday, October 19th, 8:15am-11:15am)

Organizations and researchers often create reports and manuscripts by manually copying information from statistical software output into a document. Such processes are inefficient and are susceptible to error. The purpose of this session is to demonstrate R’s capability to generate automated reports for technical documentation, research manuscripts, and examinee performance reports. We will utilize the statistical software R, through R-Studio, to demonstrate report generation using R Markdown with KnitR and LaTeX. Examples of reports that participants will be able to generate include research manuscripts, technical reports, and examinee score reports.

The Teachlive Lab: Using Avatars in Mixed Reality Simulations for Teacher Candidates and Professional Educators – Jody S. Piro, Ed.D., Marcia A. B. Delcourt, Ph.D., Catherine O’Callaghan, Ph.D., Wes Desantis, and Erik Gundel (Thursday, October 19th, 8:15am-11:15am)

WCSU’s TeachLivE Lab is a mixed-reality environment where preservice teachers interact with student-avatars or administrators-in-training converse with adults in real time.  Actual and virtual worlds combine to give users a sense of immersion and presence. The session presenters will provide a live demonstration of the lab, introduce participants to the virtual students and adults who interact with our educators, and describe ways that faculty members and doctoral students are conducting research about this simulated world.  Be prepared to teach your first class of avatars and discuss how they might inform teacher education and professional educators.

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