Director, ACT Assessment Programs

Job Locations US-IA-Iowa City | US-Remote
Posted Date 1 week ago(3/8/2018 11:58 PM)
Job ID
# of Openings
25 - 50% Travel


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.


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The Director of ACT Assessment Programs is responsible for leadership and direction of operational psychometric and research activities related to the ACT and related assessment programs. Lead a team of psychometricians and researchers to support both the operational tasks for existing ACT assessment programs and support the design, development, and launch of new educational assessment products. The Director will review and evaluate the current psychometric methods and work flow processes, make recommendations for transforming those methods and processes to meet future assessment program needs, and oversee the transformation of psychometric and research methods and processes. Areas of responsibility include test construction, field test design and item analysis, equating design and analysis, score comparability research, research on response processes, and technical documentation. The Director will incorporate process data (e.g. response time, eye-tracking, log file data) into psychometric procedures to support adaptive and personalized assessment solutions. The Director will also actively support modernization efforts by providing input to technology teams and data engineering teams on capabilities needed for test delivery and scoring as well as data outputs and formats for analysis for both paper based and digital assessments.




Typical work-related activities include:

  • Plan and oversee the execution of annual psychometric activities for the ACT and related assessment programs
  • Interpret and synthesize results from psychometric activities and make recommendations to ACT and related assessment product owners based on those results.
  • Supervise psychometric and research staff to promote their professional development and preparation to work with next generation psychometric methods and models.
  • Direct the creation and maintenance of technical specifications and documentation for ACT and related assessment programs
  • Implement and oversee a program of research to generate validity evidence based on response processes through use of cognitive labs, usability studies, and eye-tracking research.
  • Contribute to labor hours and direct cost estimation for internal product development and external product support (e.g. state contracts).
  • Determine staffing support needed for ACT and related projects and initiatives.
  • Lead support for proposal development in response to domestic RFPs, international tenders, and similar requests for services where ACT and related assessments are involved
  • Present research study plans and results to the ACT Technical Advisory Committee for feedback.
  • Collaborate closely with Test Development on development of overall assessment design and content specifications for current and new assessment products.
  • Support the development of a research agenda to support the transition of existing large scale educational assessments to new assessment modes and measurement models as well as the development of new assessments (both formative and summative) which utilize next generation psychometric methods.
  • Participate within Research and across ACT in creating an open, innovative, and collaborative environment.
  • Increase visibility of ACT research through staff publications, presentations, and presence across relevant national and international research communities.


Minimum Qualifications


  • Doctoral degree in educational measurement, educational psychology, quantitative psychology or related field.  
  • Or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired 


  • A minimum of 7 years of demonstrated leadership in the development and publishing of high-quality, large scale educational assessments
  • Demonstrated experience implementing program and project management methods for complex assessment programs (e.g. creating/managing schedules, creating/managing program documentation and analysis specifications, resource allocation, change management, etc.)
  • Experience in working with technology delivered assessments including knowledge of processes for authoring, publishing, delivery, and data acquisition.
  • Experience with transitioning large scale assessment programs to new modes of delivery, new measurement models, etc.
  • Experience in developing scoring methodologies and applying psychometric models for technology enhanced item types
  • Experience with developing proposal responses for state assessment programs
  • Experience applying Item Response Theory in support of field testing, test construction, and operational scaling and equating practices
  • Experience with the use of Automated Test Assembly to build parallel test forms to IRT targets
  • Experience advising on the development of item pools and content constraints for Computerized Adaptive Testing
  • Experience deploying CAT algorithms for assessment clients
  • Experience presenting to Technical Advisory Committees
  • Experience leading and/or managing teams of researchers in assessment development


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of IMS Global Standards (e.g. QTI, Caliper, etc.)
  • Detailed knowledge of the ESSA, Federal Assessment Peer Review Guidance, and Federal Peer Review Process
  • In depth knowledge of the Standards of Educational and Psychological Testing
  • Familiarity with Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Innovative thinker
  • Exceptional collaborator and team member
  • List specific knowledge, skills, and abilities required to do the job


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