James Madison University

Assessment & Measurement PhD and Psychological Sciences MA Students and Faculty Present at NERA Conference

A total of 35 JMU graduate students, faculty, and alumni traveled to the Northeastern Educational Research Association’s (NERA) annual conference in October 2012. Of these, 13 current Assessment & Measurement PhD students, 7 Psychological Sciences MA students, and 6 faculty engaged in the conference. Moreover, 9 alumni from the Assessment & Measurement PhD program and/or the Psychological Sciences MA program contributed to NERA as presenters, discussants, session chairs, and board members.

NERA is an organization whose mission is to encourage and promote quality educational research and to create a venue for experienced and new researchers. http://www.nera-education.org/index.php

PHOTO: Group of students

Research Presentations:


* indicates current graduate student

*Bashkov, B. M. (2012, October). Evidence using Benson's external stage. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Charsha,A., Smiley, W. & Anderson, R. (2012, October). Measuring cognitive engagement in low-stakes testing: Confirmatory factor analyses of the cognitive engagement scale-2. Paper presented at the annual conference of   the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Gerstner, J. J., Pastor, D. A., & Finney, S. J. (2012, October). Evaluating the psychometric properties of the Scale of Ethnocultural Empathy: A confirmatory factor analytic approach. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Grays, M. P., & Hulleman, C. S. (2012, October). Assessing the factor structure of achievement goals: Reconsidering the trichotomous model. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Grays, M. P., & Hulleman, C. S. (2012, October). Beyond numbers: Using think-alouds to understand item interpretation and responses. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

Hulleman, C. S., *Kosovich, J.J., Barron, K.E, & Daniel, D.B. (2012, October). Mediated motivation: Investigating expectancy-value theory through longitudinal and experimental design. Paper presented at the annual Northeastern Educational Research Association conference, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Jurich, D. P. & Bradshaw, L. P. (October, 2012).  Modeling testlet effects within a diagnostic classification framework. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, BC.

*Lazowski, R.A., Pastor, D.A., Hulleman, C.S., Getty, S., & Barron, K.E. (2012, October).  Examining effects of expectancy, value, and cost in an online science curriculum.  A hierarchal approach.  Paper presented at the annual conference of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Marrs, S. A. (2012, October). An investigation of the impacts of in-text citations on reading comprehension. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Naumenko, O. O., & Fulcher, K. H. (2012, October). An examination of a meta-assessment tool using generalizability theory. Paper presented at the annual Northeastern Educational Research Association conference, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Rodgers, M. (2012, October). Evidence using Benson's substantive stage Paper presented at the annual Northeastern Educational Research Association conference, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Sessoms, J., Finney, S. J., & *Kopp, J. P. (2012, October). Does academic entitlement change over time? Longitudinal mean and covariance structures (LMACS) study. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Socha, A., & DeMars, C. E. (2012, October). An investigation of sample size splitting on ATFIND and DIMTEST. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Swain, M.S. & Sundre, D. L. (2012, Oct.). Motivated examinees: Discriminating students who try when it doesn’t count. Paper presented at the annual Northeastern Educational Research Association meeting, Rocky Hill, CT.

*Young, W., Fulcher, K. & *Sessoms, J. (2012, October). Assessing the dependability of a performance assessment: Learning from multiple approaches.  Paper presented at the annual conference of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

Invited Panels and Workshops:


* indicates current graduate student

Faculty, alumni, and students presented invited workshops and panels during the conference.

Bandalos, D.L., Huff, K., Patelis, T., & Wendler, C. (October, 2012). Obtaining and maintaining a career in educational research. Invited panel at the annual meeting of the Northeast Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

Bradshaw, L. P. & *Jurich, D. P. (October, 2012).  An introduction to diagnostic measurement. Workshop presented at the annual conference of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

PHOTO: Dan

Pastor, D. A. (2012, October). An introduction to hierarchical linear modeling. Invited workshop at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.

Sundre, D. L., DiPaola, T. Gable, R. & Winter, P. (2012, October). Find out where research is going next: What course of study will give YOU an edge? Invited panel at annual Northeastern Educational Research Association meeting, Rocky Hill, CT.

Sundre, D. L., Markle, R. & Patelis, T. (2012, October). A change oriented plan of research. Invited panel at annual Northeastern Educational Research Association meeting, Rocky Hill, CT.

Awards and Recognitions from NERA:


Jerusha Gerstner, a first-year doctoral student and psychological sciences alum, was elected to the Board of Directors as the chair of the Graduate Student Issues Committee (GSIC).

PHOTO: Jerusha

Left to Right: Debbi Bandalos, Chris Coleman, Megan Rodgers, and Jerusha Gerstner

Bo Bashkov, a first-year doctoral student and psychological sciences alum, received runner-up for The Best Paper Award by a graduate student for his paper titled “Is psychological entitlement really stable over time? An empirical investigation”, co-authored by his advisor Sara Finney. Bo was also selected to be the co-editor of The NERA Researcher, which is the official quarterly newsletter of the Northeastern Educational Research Association.

PHOTO: Bo

Left to Right: Sara Finney and Bo Bashkov

Several students offer their perspective of NERA:


Alan Socha, a second-year doctoral student, appreciated the opportunity to network with leaders in the field.

This was my second time attending NERA. Both this year and last year I was surprised at how incredible of a conference NERA is. NERA may be a small, regional conference, but many professionals show up from other regions and countries. Of all the conferences I have been to, NERA is the most intimate and enjoyable. The lunches, dinners, and receptions are extremely welcoming and provide many opportunities to meet others in the field, including many “big names”. The opportunity to meet others in the field was undoubtedly my favorite part of the conference, as it allowed me to network, exchange ideas, and learn about different career paths and opportunities.

Besides the social events, there were paper and poster sessions, keynote speeches, free workshops/training sessions, and graduate student sessions. There is something for everyone, and the caliber of the research presented is extremely high. The relaxed yet professional environment of the conference provides a great experience from which to learn about the research of others, as well as the priorities and challenges of the field.
NERA was also the perfect environment for me to present my research and receive feedback from professionals. Presenting at a conference such as this also allowed me to better connect to others with similar interests and further develop my own research interests. NERA was an invaluable experience and I look forward to attending many more times in the future.

PHOTO: Alan with other students

Left to Right: Alan Socha, Keston Fulcher, and Donna Sundre

Wendy Young, a first-year doctoral student, provides her perspective as a first-time attendee of NERA:

The NERA conference was my introduction to a professional conference in the domain of educational research.  As a part-time student in the Assessment and Measurement PhD program, it provided a great opportunity for me to network with my colleagues at JMU and to meet other professionals in the field.  I was also fortunate to be able to present for the first time at this conference on using multiple approaches to estimating dependability.  My discussant, Dr. Kristen Huff, provided a thorough and extremely thoughtful review of not only my paper but all of the papers presented during my session.  I appreciated her enthusiasm and passion about research and the importance of its application in society.

Coming from a Student Affairs background, I was impressed with the blend of sessions and focal points in keynotes about the importance of measuring cognitive and non-cognitive variables in order to understand excellence in teaching.  I particularly enjoyed this emphasis in the keynote address given by the president of NERA, Dr. Lynn Shelley.  This emphasis on the non-cognitive demonstrated that NERA has a commitment to understanding the whole student from kindergarten through higher education.

PHOTO: Wendy

Left to Right: Makayla Grays, John Sessoms, and Wendy Young

Bo Bashkov, a first-year doctoral student, valued the opportunity to present his work to scholars in the domain and attend free training sessions:

This was my second time attending NERA. Last year I had an amazing experience and didn’t think it could get any better. However, this year’s conference went well beyond my expectations. Similar to last year, I had the opportunity to present my research and receive feedback from colleagues and professionals from other universities. The discussions of my own and my colleagues’ research enriched my understanding of how what we do at JMU in terms of assessment and measurement relates to and fits the greater research and practice agenda in our field. These conversations gave a greater meaning to the work I do on a daily basis.

 In addition, I attended several free workshops/training sessions and symposia delivered by internationally recognized experts in the field. A few weeks ago, I was reading chapters and articles by these authors, and NERA provided me with the chance to meet and talk with them in person. These sessions provided me with a unique insight into the latest lines of research in educational measurement and sparked ideas for future research I could pursue.

Finally, NERA 2012 was a great networking experience. This year I was able to meet even more people from other institutions, ranging from fellow graduate students to faculty at other universities to working professionals at testing companies and research organizations.

PHOTO: Group

The Assessment & Measurement and Psychological Sciences students and faculty thank Dr. Donna Sundre, Director of the Center for Assessment & Research Studies, for helping to support our travels to NERA. 
PHOTO: Group in front of bus

Announcements


  • Faculty position opening
  • December 8-12
    Final examinations
  • December 13
    Commencement begins at 10 a.m. in the Convocation Center.
  • January 12
    Classes meet as scheduled
  • January 19
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
    Classes do not meet.
  • March 9-13
    Spring Break.