Campus News

Educational psychologist named Aderhold Professor

Allan S. Cohen, professor of educational psychology and director of two major assessment and research centers in the College of Education, has been named the Omer Clyde and Elizabeth Parr Aderhold Professor in Research Methodology.

Cohen, who directs both the Georgia Center for Assessment and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Education and Human Development, is an expert in educational measurement, item response theory, test development and applied statistics.

His research focuses on examining methodological issues in educational measurement primarily with respect to applications in test development. This includes problems dealing with the construction and maintenance of achievement tests; equating, detection of item bias and estimation of item parameters under item response theory; and standard setting.

Cohen joined the faculty in 2003 as a professor and director of the Georgia Center for Assessment. The center’s major activities involve contracts with the Georgia Department of Education to support writing assessments, the Georgia High School Graduation Test and the Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills. Writing tests are given in grades three, five, eight and 11; the grade 11 test is part of the HSGT. The multiple choice portion of the HSGT covers language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

The GCA assists local school districts in preparing their students for these statewide tests by providing Supplementary Writing Assessments at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and a Predictor Test for the HSGT in science and social studies.

The GCA provides research and measurement services to several local schools districts, including Clarke, Cobb, Gwinnett and Cherokee counties, and education agencies such as the Southern Regional Education Board.
GCA researchers have been awarded millions of dollars in federal grants for innovative research in assessment. Many of these projects have generated important technical reports and research papers.