Society & Culture

UGA College of Education professor cited for career in educational measurement

Athens, Ga. – Allan Cohen, director of the Georgia Center for Assessment and the Aderhold Professor of Research Methodology in the University of Georgia College of Education, has been named the recipient of a national award for his career contributions to educational measurement.

Cohen will receive the 2012 Award for Career Contributions to Educational Measurement from the National Council on Measurement in Education at the group’s annual meeting in April in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Cohen, whose center handles many of Georgia’s standardized school tests, is widely respected for his work in the field. Recently, he led a team of UGA researchers in developing a new statistical method for measuring the growth of students’ problem-solving skills in mathematics.

The new method enables researchers to simultaneously measure both the different ways that students can reason about individual questions on a mathematics test and their overall growth in mathematics ability.

Current methods for detecting growth of students’ skills in math by score-level analysis may fail to reflect subtle changes that might be evident at the item level, said Cohen. The new method combines an analysis of individual performance on each test question, coupled with methods that provide a deeper analysis of the differences in reasoning that students use to answer each test question.

The work earned Cohen and his colleagues the 2011 Award for an Outstanding Example of an Application of Educational Measurement Technology to a Specific Problem from the National Council for Measurement in Education. The team included UGA colleague Seock-Ho Kim, a professor of educational psychology; lead author Sun-Joo Cho, a UGA College of Education doctoral graduate and now assistant professor of educational psychology at Vanderbilt University; and Brian A. Bottge, the William T. Bryan Endowed Chair in Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky.

Cohen also has been director of the College of Education’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Education and Human Development since 2010. He joined the UGA faculty in 2003 after 24 years as a faculty member and testing expert at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.


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