James Madison University

Psychological Sciences Students Present at the Northeastern Educational Research Association Annual Conference

PHOTO: Student at conferenceSix Psychological Sciences students traveled with faculty to Rocky Hill, CT on October 20th to present their empirical research at the Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA) annual conference. 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: Student at conferenceDuring this three-day conference, the six Psychological Sciences students (names in bold below) presented a total of  seven papers. These papers were co-authored with Psychological Sciences faculty and Assessment & Measurement Ph.D. students.

Bloom, J.1, Melchione, D.1, Grote, M.5, Nelson, S.5, Snow, M.5, Vijay, N.1, & Barron, K.2 (2009, Oct). What  Constructs Matter in Academic Motivation?

Brown, A. R.1, Barry, C. L.3, Horst, S. J.3, Finney, S. J.2, & Kopp, J.1 (2009, Oct). Modeling Test-Taking Motivation Over the Course of a Low-Stakes Testing Session: A Mixture Modeling Approach

Brown, A. R. 1, Finney, S. J.2, & France, M. K.3 (2009, Oct). Examining the Dimensionality of the Hong Psychological Reactance Scale

Jurich, D.1 & Goodman, J. A. 22009, Oct).  IRT Parameter Recovery of Mixed Format Examinations in PARSCALE and ICL

Koepfler, J.1, Fulcher, K.2, & Orem, C.4 (2009, Oct). Assessing Students' Writing Performance at the University Level

Zilberberg, A., Brown, A. R.1, Harmes, J. C.2 & Anderson, A. (2009, Oct). How Can We Increase Student Motivation During Low-Stakes Testing? Understanding the Student Perspective

Zilberberg, A., & Pastor, D. A.2 (2009, Oct). A Mixed Methods Investigation into the Functionality of the Willingness to Consider Contradictory Evidence Scale

  • 1 JMU Psychology undergraduate alum
  • 2 Psychological Sciences Faculty
  • 3 Psychological Sciences alum; current student in Assessment and Measurement PhD
  • 4 current Assessment and Measurement student
  • 5 current Psychology undergraduate student

PHOTO: Student at conferenceThe students participated in sessions purposefully geared toward graduate students regarding employment, future of the field, and skills necessary to be successful. In addition, they engaged in professional development by attending several free training sessions that focused on various measurement and statistical techniques.

Daniel Jurich, a first-year Psychological Sciences student in the Quantitative Concentration (who in May 2009 received his B.S. degree from JMU with a major in Psychology) offers the perspective of a “new” graduate student attending this conference, which is populated by many of the authors of the textbooks and articles he is currently reading.

PHOTO: Student at conference“Attending the NERA conference was a remarkable academic and professional experience. I feel lucky to have participated. I was able to present my research to an expert in the measurement field; an author of one of the quintessential books in my area of research. She provided feedback that was immensely constructive and beneficial to my development as both a researcher and presenter, including the strong  recommendation to publish my work. As you can expect, positive feedback of this nature was immensely encouraging, especially coming from a leader in the field. NERA also provided the opportunity to attend free professional development workshops. These workshops varied in scope, from specific measurement topics (standard setting, mixture modeling), to general information that all graduates could benefit from (Strategies for Writing and Dissemination). Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the conference was the opportunity to network. The conference format encouraged interactions between students and distinguished researchers, possible employers, and of course, colleagues from different academic institutions. PHOTO: Student at conferenceFor example, NERA hosted a graduate student panel session where professionals provided insight and advice regarding the skill sets necessary to be a successful upon graduation. Finally, NERA reinforced the pride I have in being a James Madison student. The sheer volume of Dukes (faculty, alumni, and current students) who attended was astounding. More importantly, many attending the conference recognized the quality of our work, which, in my opinion, was  second to none.”