Assessment and Measurement students and faculty travel to AERA and NCME

College of Health and Behavioral Studies
Kelsey Nason (second-year, Assessment and Measurement PhD Program) attended her first NCME/AERA conference this spring

In April 2024, students and faculty from the Assessment and Measurement PhD Program traveled to Philadelphia, PA to engage in the Annual Conferences of both the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Students and faculty presented their research, engaged in workshops, networked with alumni and professionals in the field, and attended numerous presentations meetings. Several of the faculty and students attended the gathering of the Women in Measurement, and a group of students/faculty were invited to discuss culturally responsive measurement. As highlighted below, Nick Mireles (third-year, Assessment and Measurement PhD Program) was formally recognized with an award from AERA Division D for his in-progress research he presented at the 2023 Annual Conference.

Below, several students share their experience at the conferences:

Autumn Wild (first-year, Assessment and Measurement PhD program) had an incredible experience attending both AERA and NCME sessions for the first time this year. Throughout the conference, Autumn was given ample opportunity to network with professionals in the field, such as during the Women in Measurement reception. Autumn was also able to interact with fellow graduate students, providing meaningful interactions and lasting relationships with potential future colleagues. Further, seeing peers and professionals within the field present their work was inspiring (and educational). Lastly, Autumn was able to share her first-year project with other students via an In-Progress Roundtable session. This presentation led to conversation that was invigorating and insightful, as Autumn was able to get feedback and diverse perspective on her work. Overall, attending these conferences was a valuable professional development opportunity, energizing Autumn in her research and helping to instill confidence as a member of the field.

AERA NCME 2024Nick Mireles (third-year, Assessment and Measurement PhD Program) had an eventful NCME. As part of NCME’s graduate student issues committee (GSIC), he participated in a planning retreat for the next year. He assisted in hosting a graduate student social at Howl at the Moon, a Historically Marginalized Group Reception, and a GSIC poster session. Outside of these responsibilities, he attended a half-day workshop on “Designing Learning Progressions to Advance Equity in Assessment and Learning” and other intriguing measurement sessions spanning student motivation and AI. He presented his research on mitigating student disengagement effects on diagnostic classification models using examinee and response level filtering. In between facilitating, attending, and presenting in sessions, he received his award for his study presented in the in-progress research session for AERA division D in 2023. Overall, he was able to create new connections, see old friends, and left the conference with new ideas for his dissertation.

Kelsey Nason (second-year, Assessment and Measurement PhD Program) attended her first NCME/AERA conference this Spring in Philadelphia, PA where she was able to present on her current research in a graduate student poster session. While in attendance, she took part in a mentoring program where she met with a renowned person in her field of study that provided great advice on carving her own path in measurement. She attended sessions on topics that she was familiar with as well as those that are new to both her and the field (conversations in AI). Amidst professional engagements, she was able to socialize with alumni from the Assessment and Measurement program and network with new connections as well. All in all, her conference experience was both enriching and fun.

AERA NCME 2024Josiah Hunsberger (first-year, Assessment and Measurement PhD Program) attended AERA/NCME for the first time. It was a valuable experience that impacted his research and career goals. He had the opportunity to attend presentations by authors whose work he frequently reads and cites. Witnessing their latest research and innovative conceptualizations inspired him to approach his own topics from fresh and unique perspectives. Additionally, he enjoyed the chance to network with fellow graduate students from various universities.

AERA NCME 2024Kate Schaefer (second-year, Assessment and Measurement PhD program) attended her second in-person NCME. She attended many sessions covering topics such as the importance of accurately measuring background knowledge, addressing disengagement, as well as the impact of test-optional policies in higher education. She had many opportunities to network, such as at the Women in Measurement reception as well as with alumni from JMU at various times during the conference. She was also able to speak with various HumRRO employees, with whom she worked with during the summer of 2023 internship program. This year, Kate took part in the NCME mentorship program which she greatly enjoyed. She is plans to attend NCME again in 2024.

Sarah Alahmadi (fourth-year, Assessment and Measurement PhD Program) attended this year's NCME conference for the last time as a doctoral student as she will be graduating in May. She presented her research on introducing Bayesian reasoning and mathematics to standard setting, which she conducted during her internship at ACS Ventures, LLC in summer 2023. Sarah enjoyed attending sessions on new innovations in testing, networking with women scholars at the Women in Measurement reception, reconnecting with A&M alumni, and making new connections with leaders in the field. She was particularly inspired by the contributions and service to the field provided by her program professors and program alumni which were highlighted during NCME's business meeting. Sarah looks forward to returning to NCME next year as a Psychometrician!

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