The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

School of Education - Educational Research Methodology

An ERM Alumnus’ Journey to Aligned Impact

March 3rd, 2015

By Kelly Hannum, ERM Alumnus ‘03

A few years ago I turned 40. It dawned on me that what had seemed like a limitless number of years ahead of me to build a career and have an impact, suddenly wasn’t. I probably had about 20 or so years of work left. Having already worked 20+ years, I was at the halfway mark of my career. I was ready to make a change. I found myself wanting to do something that was deeply focused on evaluation and in service of a greater good; something that blended teaching, practice, and research and that cut across sectors. Not many places were hiring for the job I wanted to do, so I decided to create it myself. I founded an organization called Aligned Impact LLC.

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ERM Masters Student Receives Award from AERA

January 25th, 2015

First-year ERM M.S. student Myrah Stockdale has received the 2015 Graduate Student Travel Scholarship from the Cognition and Assessment Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Myrah was awarded this scholarship in recognition of her paper Assessment of Global Engagement, Intercultural Knowledge & Competence, and Student Outcomes of Funded Undergraduate Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, to be presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of AERA being held in Chicago in April of 2015.

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ERM Helps Community, Establishes Nonprofit Evaluation Support Program

November 19th, 2014

ERM’s Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services (OAERS) has recently partnered with the SERVE Center for Evaluation to establish the Nonprofit Evaluation Support Program (NESP). Many nonprofit organizations have little in-house capacity for conducting program evaluation activities critical to informing program effectiveness and program improvement. NESP aims to fill this need by providing a range of program evaluation services and capacity-building support to nonprofit organizations in the region. In its first six months of operation, NESP has already had an impact on our community, providing services to numerous nonprofit organizations, including: Read the rest of this entry »

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Recent ERM Alumni Secure Influential Positions

October 7th, 2014

We are always proud to report on the fantastic accomplishments of our Alumni. Five recent ERM Alumni have assumed new influential positions in fields of measurement, psychometrics, and program evaluation.

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ERM Launches Alumni Endowment

September 16th, 2014

ERM is proud to announce the launch of the ERM Alumni Endowment, which will help support the learning opportunities of ERM students for years to come. Funds generated by the endowment will aid ERM students in numerous ways, including providing scholarships to offset educational costs, covering costs associated with conference attendance, and providing support for additional professional development opportunities. More information about the Endowment can be found on the Alumni Page of the ERM website under the “ERM Alumni Endowment” tab.

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Dr. Terry Ackerman named President-Elect of Psychometric Society

September 2nd, 2014

ERM Professor Dr. Terry Ackerman has been named president-elect of the Psychometric Society. Terry is an internationally recognized expert in psychometric models and a leading authority in multidimensional item response theory (MIRT) models. His scholarship pertaining to the use and interpretation of MIRT models in educational testing contexts has been highly influential and is widely cited in the educational and psychological measurement literature.

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ERM Student Receives Outstanding Poster Award at International Conference

August 15th, 2014

Kelli Samonte, a third year ERM Ph.D. student, recently received the Outstanding Poster Award at the 2014 annual meeting of the Psychometric Society, held in Madison, Wisconsin. Her poster, titled “Using Factor Mixture Models to Model Dimensionality Differences Across Proficiency Levels”, described a latent variable modeling approach to operationalizing and measuring growth in proficiency. Often gains in proficiency are modeled as increases in attributes, whereby the attributes are treated as consistent across all levels of proficiency. Some researchers, however, suggest that information is reorganized (e.g., becomes automatic) and constructs change as individuals increase in proficiency. Kelli’s study examined whether confirmatory mixture multidimensional item response theory (MIRT) models could be used to classify individuals into the correct proficiency level. To this end, Kelli conducted a simulation study in which the relationship between the factors and the group size was varied to examine how the models would perform in different situations. The preliminary results suggest that the models perform best (i.e., correctly classifying individuals and adequately recovering parameters) in conditions with low correlations between factors.

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Dr. Jill Chouinard Joins the ERM Faculty

June 5th, 2014

After an extensive two-year search for a professor specializing in program evaluation, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Jill Chouinard has been hired as Assistant Professor of Program Evaluation Methodology in ERM. Dr. Chouinard received her Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa in 2010 where she studied under famed program evaluation expert Dr. Brad Cousins. Since completing her Ph.D., Dr. Chouinard has been a part-time professor in the Faculty of Education of the University of Ottawa and a program evaluator in the educational, social services, mental health, and international sectors. She has also served as an affiliate researcher at the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Chouinard has published widely in the areas of participatory evaluation and cross-cultural evaluation, with her scholarship appearing in journals such as American Journal of Evaluation, Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation, and Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Accountability. Dr. Chouinard’s arrival to ERM marks a valuable expansion in ERM’s capacity in program evaluation, where she will join fellow program evaluation expert Dr. Holly Downs.

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Dr. Henson Receives Federal Grant to Develop Diagnostic Classification Models

May 21st, 2014

Dr. Bob Henson, Associate Professor of ERM, has recently been awarded a three-year grant funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the US Department of Education, entitled Development of Accessible IRT-Based Models and Methodologies for Improving the Breadth and Accuracy of Item Option-Scored Diagnostic Assessments. The funded project advances a new set of diagnostic classification models, which are a set of multivariate item response theory models for which the latent variables are categorical. While traditional diagnostic classification models estimate the examinee’s mastery profile from the pattern of correct and incorrect responses to test items such that all distractors are treated uniformly as incorrect, the proposed models will also consider which specific incorrect options are selected to further inform the examinee’s mastery profile. These models hold promise for the highly efficient measurement of student skill mastery, which will better inform student strengths and weaknesses in educational settings. The funded project will develop estimation software for the models in question, and test the models using real and simulated data sets.

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ERM Students Awarded Prestigious Summer Internships

May 5th, 2014

ERM students have a long history of being highly competitive for the top internship awards, and this year is no exception. A record number of ERM students have been awarded prestigious internships for the summer of 2014. To date, the internships awarded to ERM students include:

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