Summer Internship: Digital Assessment Research

Job Locations US-IA-Iowa City
Posted Date 1 month ago(1/4/2018 10:09 AM)
Job ID
# of Openings
No Travel Required


ACT is a nonprofit organization helping people achieve educational and workplace success.  Our programs are designed to boost lifelong learning in schools and workplaces around the world. Whether it's guiding students along their learning paths, enabling companies to develop their workforce, fostering parent, teacher, and counselor understanding of student progress, guiding job seekers toward career success, or informing policymakers about education and workforce issues. ACT is passionate about making a difference in all we do.


Learn more about working at ACT at!


ACT’s Digital Assessment Research group has as its mission to lead the research, design, and development of next generation assessments that facilitate adaptivity and personalization by leveraging digital technologies, new measurement models, and digital data sources.The Research Intern will provide support for a set of projects related to developing digital assessments. Specific tasks will include conducting literature reviews, participating in small scale cognitive labs and usability studies, and analyzing both traditional psychometric data, qualitative data, as well as process data including eye-tracking and response times.

Projects that the intern will support may include:

  • ACT’s effort to create a research based visual style guide that specifies best practice for rendering assessment content digitally across a variety of test delivery software platforms and digital devices.
  • Research to explore Technology Enhanced Items from the psychometric viewpoint to aid future development and implementation of such items.
  • Research to establish a relationship between screen size and those item characteristics which would promote the least and greatest degrees of comparability across screen sizes.
  • Evaluation of the comparability of student interactions across different digital interfaces through analysis of eye-tracking data.
  • Evaluation of the comparability of student interactions across modes (paper vs. digital) using data from cognitive labs and large scale mode comparability studies.
  • Analysis of data from computerized adaptive tests to explore applications of different types of adaptive functionalities and models.
  • This is a unique opportunity to work with data from a variety of traditional and innovative assessment and methodological approaches in an applied research context.

As part of the position expectations, the intern will also contribute to conference proposals and publications related to work conducted at ACT.

Typical work related activities include:

  • Identify and review relevant literature to inform project work
  • Assist with the design and execution of analyses using multiple types of research data
  • Conduct analyses on qualitative and quantitative data
  • Interpret results of data analyses
  • Develop written documentation of process and results


Educational Requirements:  Currently enrolled pursing a gradudate degree in Educational Measurement, Educational Psychology, Quantitative Psychology, Cognitive Psychology or a related discipline. 


Submit both a cover letter and resume with your application.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:



  • Knowledge of assessment concepts and methodologies (e.g. reliability, validity, scaling and equating, etc.)
  • Knowledge of literature and methods related to score comparability across modes and devices
  • Demonstrated experience programming with SAS and/or R
  • Interest in computer-based and computer adaptive testing
  • Strong problem solving capabilities
  • Ability to communicate technical ideas clearly in written English
  • Willingness to work collaboratively to solve problems


  • Experience structuring, cleaning, and analyzing process data (e.g. eye-tracking data; response time data; log file data)
  • Knowledge of principles of Human Computer Interaction and User Interface/User Experience methodologies
  • Experience facilitating and/or designing concurrent or retrospective think-alouds for use in cognitive labs and usability studies
  • Experience working with XML and JSON file formats


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