NERA Webinar Series 2020
The Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA; https://www.nera-education.org/) will be hosting a series of FREE webinars in the coming months. Registration for this event is not limited to NERA members only. Non-members can register for the webinar as well. Those wishing to become a NERA member or renew their memberships can do so here: https://www.nera-education.org/membership.php.
As we expect high demand for this webinar, registration will be available for the first 500 people to sign up. If you register after the webinar has filled up, you may be placed on a waitlist. Either way, we will record the event and send you a link to the recording of the webinar once it is available.

Upcoming Webinar

Boston University COVID-19 Modeling: Insight on the Relative Impact of Interventions for Re-Opening a Large University in an Urban Environment

In the spirit of the NERA 2021 theme, “Using Data to Solve Education’s Challenges”, the first NERA webinar for the 2020-2021 year will be presented by Eric Kolaczyk of Boston University, entitled, “Boston University COVID-19 Modeling: Insight on the Relative Impact of Interventions for Re-Opening a Large University in an Urban Environment”. He will present how the use of data helped higher education institutions take on the monumental challenge presented by COVID-19 this year.

To register for the event, please visit https://www.viethconsulting.com/members/evr/reg_event.php?orgcode=NERA&evid=25105669

Registration will close on Tuesday November 17th at 11:59pm EST. All registrants will receive access information prior to the webinar.

WEBINAR DATE/TIME: Thursday, November 19th from 4:00 to 5:00 PM EST.

ABSTRACT: In support of Boston University's reopening for the Fall 2020 semester, we used agent-based network modeling to simulate possible outcomes under various proposed intervention strategies.  Results support the decision that it is possible, under full compliance, to reopen in a manner that keeps the university's infection rates on par with those of the surrounding community.  In this talk, I will aim to provide an appropriate sense of the structure, data, and interventions incorporated into a university-level model for COVID-19 transmission and control, as well as communicate what the results have to say regarding the relative impact of the various proposed interventions, particularly the cumulative impact of multiple interventions.

BIO: Eric Kolaczyk is a Professor of Statistics, in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, a founding member of the Faculty of Computing and Data Sciences, and Director of the Hariri Institute for Computing at Boston University. He is also affiliated with the Division of Systems Engineering, the Programs in Bioinformatics and in Computational Neuroscience, and the BU URBAN program.   His research is focused at the point where statistical theory and methods support human endeavors enabled by computing and engineered systems, frequently from a network-based perspective of systems science.  He develops novel methodologies for design, representation, modeling, inference, prediction, and uncertainty quantification foundational to new paradigms for data measurement and analysis.  He has published nearly 100 articles, including several books on the topic of network analysis. As an associate editor, he has served on the boards of the Journal of the American Statistical Association and the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series B in statistics, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IP and Transactions on Network Science and Engineering in engineering, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Journal on Mathematics of Data Science in mathematics.  He formerly served as co-chair of the National Academy of Sciences Roundtable on Data Science Education. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association, and the Institute for Mathematical Statistics, an elected senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute

Past Webinars

The Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA; https://www.nera-education.org/) will be hosting a series of FREE webinars in the coming months, with the first webinar set to launch on June 18, 2020
To register for the event, please visit https://www.viethconsulting.com/members/evr/reg_event.php?orgcode=NERA&evid=24005869
Registration will close on June 15th, 2020 at 11:59pm EDT.
Webinar Title: Intentional Online Learning: Shirking Assumptions of the Traditional Classroom
Webinar Date/Time: June 18th, 2020 at 2-3pm EDT
Description: As many have shifted to virtual learning environments during the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been myriad challenges to face. As we look to a future where online instruction will at least be more prevalent – if not the de facto model – how do we maximize student learning? What might teaching and learning look like, if virtual learning was the assumption, rather than a proxy for traditional classroom settings?
This is the modus operandi at Thomas Edison State University (TESU), where they’ve been developing innovative curricula since 1972. Currently a fully online university specializing in adult education, their model challenges assumptions about the classroom and can provide insights into how others might build learning environments in the future. 
This webinar will discuss their model of instruction, including aspects such as course design, technology, assessment, and proctoring in virtual environments. Additionally, as part of a round-table discussion, the team from TESU will discuss strengths and challenges of the virtual learning environment, and what lessons might be most helpful for those making this transition—regardless of their level of education.

  • Heather Russino, Instructional Designer, TESU
  • Mark Snyder, Assessment Developer, TESU
  • Mike Fagioli, Technology Specialist, TESU
  • Jacqui Rossetter, Associate Director of Test Administration, TESU
  • Ross Markle, NERA President (Moderator)

NERA Webinar Series 2019

On Tuesday, October 8th at 12:30 pm, NERA hosted a third and final pre-conference webinar, Getting the Most out of the NERA Meeting. This webinar highlighted the various
events at NERA's 50th Annual Meeting at the Trumbull Marriott in Trumbull, CT (October 16-18, 2019), and offered attendees tips for scheduling their time, networking with colleagues, and having the most rewarding conference experience possible.


Presenting at NERA: Key Suggestions for Different Presentation Types (video)

On Wednesday, September 18th at 12:30pm (EDT), the Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA) hosted a webinar entitled Presenting at NERA: Key Suggestions for Different Presentation Types. This webinar highlighted each of the ways NERA members may be presenting their research at NERA's 50th Annual Meeting at the Trumbull Marriott in Trumbull, CT (October 16-18, 2019), and offered presenters tips for providing the most engaging and effective presentation of their research. The webinar also discussed overall goals and best practices for paper presentations, posters, and roundtables, as well as the specific requirements for each at NERA.

Presented by: Bridget Thomas, 2019 NERA Conference Co-chair
Summarize Your Research in Three (3) Minutes (video)

On Wednesday, May 1st at 12:30pm (EDT), the Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA) hosted a webinar on the 3-Minute Thesis Competition and a comparable competition for Professionals, which will be held during NERA’s 50th Annual Meeting at the Trumbull Marriott in Trumbull, CT (October 16-18, 2019). The competitions will challenge participants to present their research in just 180 seconds, in an engaging form that can be understood by an intelligent audience with no background in the research area. As we consider this year’s conference theme, “Transformation by Design,” this will be another way that we can improve how we share our research with a broader audience.

Presented by: Bridget Thomas, 2019 NERA Conference Co-chair

NERA Webinar Series 2017

Cultivating Sociocultural Consciousness in Students: Using Town Hall Meetings in the Urban Classroom
Monday, May 22nd from 6:00 to 7:00 PM EST
Presented by Melissa Soto, John F. Kennedy High School
Moderated by Darlene Russell, Teacher-as-Researcher Committee Chair
Bio: Ms. Soto is a William Patterson University alumna with a degree in Secondary Education and History. She has taught for three years at the JFK Campus High School as a Global Studies teacher. Currently, Melissa is the Social Studies Department Chaire, and has led professional development workshops in culturally responsive teaching.

Instructions: Please register for the event using the following link: https://www.viethconsulting.com/members/evr/regmenu.php?orgcode=NERA. Further instructions will be provided upon registration.


NERA Webinar Series 2015

Past NERA Webinars

Measuring Student Learning Outcomes in Higher Education: Current State, Research Considerations, and an Example of Next Generation Assessment
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 from 3PM-4PM
Presented by Ou Lydia Liu, Educational Testing Service and Katrina Roohr, Educational Testing Service & NERA conference co-chair

Influences and pressures from statewide governing boards, state mandates, regional and program accreditors, and a greater drive for accountability have resulted in an increase in the measurement of student learning outcomes (SLOs), or competencies, across United States colleges and universities (Kuh, Jankowski, Ikenberry, & Kinzie, 2014; Toiv, 2013; Richman & Ariovich, 2013). Institutions use a variety of tools to assess SLOs such as national and locally developed surveys, rubrics, performance assessment, e-portfolios, and standardized measures. Despite the increased use of these measures across higher education institutions, there are still a number of challenges that exist in SLO assessment such as insufficient predictive evidence, design and methodological issues with value-added research, and concerns with the effect of student motivation on test performance (Liu, 2011). The purpose of this presentation is to provide an introduction to SLO assessment, discussing the current state of assessment, and challenges in both implementation and use. We focus our discussion on research that has been conducted on student motivation. Additionally, we also discuss the importance of developing next-generation SLO assessments, and provide a working example of a next-generation assessment in quantitative literacy.
A 2013-2014 Presidential Initiative by NERA President John Young
Coordinated and Hosted by NERA Presidential Advisor on Special Projects Steven Holtzman

Modeling Item Response Profiles Using Factor Models, Latent Class Models, and Latent Variable Hybrids
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 from 4PM-5PM EST
Presented by Dena Pastor, James Madison University

There are a wide variety of latent variable models, both old and new, appropriate for modeling the relationships among observed variables. More traditional models include those using only latent continuous variables (e.g., factor models, item response theory models) or latent categorical variables (e.g., latent class analysis). More recently introduced models, known as latent variable hybrid models (Muthén, 2008), incorporate both latent continuous and latent categorical variables (e.g., factor mixture models or mixture factor models). To enhance the understanding of the hybrid models, Muthén (2008) provided a framework which highlights how the hybrid models are both similar and different to one another and to their traditional counterparts.  This presentation will use Muthén’s framework to illustrate the model-implied item response profiles (IRPs) that correspond to these latent variable models used with dichotomous item response data. The IRPs associated with the more traditional latent class and factor models are presented along with the IRPs of the newer hybrid models. A graphical representation of item response profiles is first described, followed by a discussion of the ways in which IRPs can vary across examinees and the latent variable models best utilized to capture certain forms of variation. To illustrate the use of these models in practice, an exploratory model selection approach is used to determine which of the various model best represents college students’ responses to items assessing their knowledge of ethics and generalizability in psychosocial research.

The Promise of Learning Progressions for Identifying Pathways for Student Success
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 from 4PM-5PM EST
Presented by NERA Secretary Jennifer Kobrin, Pearson

In recent years, learning progressions have captured the interest of educators and policy makers. As defined by the National Research Council (NRC, 2001), learning progressions are “descriptions  of the successively more sophisticated ways of thinking  about a topic that can follow one another as children learn about and investigate a topic over a broad span of time” (pp. 165-166).  In this webinar, I will define and provide examples of learning progressions, and discuss the process for collecting validity evidence to support them.  Then, I will describe how learning progressions can be used in formative assessment and to provide feedback to teachers. I will end by talking about current challenges and future research directions to realize the promise of learning progressions for identifying pathways for student success.

National Research Council [NRC] (2001). Knowing what students know: The science and design of educational assessment. (Pelligrino, J., Chudowsky, N., and Glaser, R., Eds). Committee on the Foundations of Assessment, Board on Testing and Assessment, Center for Education. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

To learn more about Pearson's learning progression research, please visit Jennifer's blog.  

Taking the Mystery Out of Qualitative Data Analysis
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 from 4PM-5PM EST
Presented by Felice Billups, Johnson and Wales University

Have you decided to conduct a qualitative study involving interviews, focus groups, observations, artifact/document reviews - or some combination of these data collection strategies? Or have you already collected your qualitative data and are unsure about how to analyze pages and pages of transcriptions or notes - or where to begin? Just as there are numerous statistical tests to run for quantitative data, there are a variety of options for qualitative data analysis. This overview is designed to provide beginning qualitative researchers with the tools to apply the appropriate data analysis strategies to match one of the various qualitative research designs.

Expanding Education’s Predictors and Criteria: The Research and Assessment of 21st Century and Noncognitive Skills
Friday, February 28, 2014 from 3PM-4PM EST
Presented by NERA 2014 Conference Co-chair Ross Markle, Educational Testing Service

Over the past two decades, a great deal of educational research and practice has expanded our notions of what students should learn and our understanding of the factors that
influence learning. This expanded set of skills, behaviors, and attitudes goes by many names (e.g., psychosocial skills, noncognitive factors, 21st century skills) and contains many constructs (e.g., motivation, time management, interpersonal skills, self-regulation). This webinar will provide an overview of several key issues in the research and assessment of noncognitive skills. First, we will discuss research into the role of these factors, focusing on their relevance to other important student outcomes. Second, we will examine several innovations in the assessment of these skills that can improve or move beyond self-report methods. Finally, we will look at various ways that noncognitive factors have impacted educational practice, including effective student intervention and models of student learning outcomes.

Applying for 2014 Summer Internships
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 from 5PM-6PM EST

Presdented by NERA President John Young, Educational Testing Service

The first-ever NERA webinar took place on Wednesday, December 4th from 5:00 to 6:00 PM EST and focused on applying for 2014 summer internships. It was led by NERA’s President, Dr. John Young of Educational Testing Service (ETS). He has been involved in the intern selection process at ETS for the past several years. Information was provided on the summer internship programs for ETS and other organizations and there was time for Q&A.

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