Director, Next Generation Assessments

Job Locations US-IA-Iowa City | US-Remote
Posted Date 1 week ago(3/9/2018 12:17 AM)
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.


Learn more about working at ACT at!


The Director of Next Generation Assessments will provide leadership and direction in developing, implementing and managing a research agenda which integrates the most recent findings from psychometrics, the learning sciences, principled assessment design, and educational data mining in support of ACT’s mission, strategic direction, and products. The Director will lead a team to evaluate models appropriate for working with complex and multidimensional data structures and which support real time personalized and adaptive feedback. The Director will leverage their experience with educational assessment design to bring to scale a range of state of the science solutions within psychometrics and assessment design pulling from theories and methods such as learning progressions, Evidence Centered Design (ECD), Multidimensional Item Response Theory (MIRT), Cognitive Diagnostic Models (CDM), Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT), Bayesian Inference Networks (BIN), Response Time Modeling (RTM), Automated Item Generation (AIG), and Computational Psychometrics. This position  is tasked with taking (and identifying) applicable foundational research, from the advanced psychometrics group in ACTNext and other sources inside or outside of ACT, and turning it into production ready methodology and software, and facilitating its use and implementation in actual products/projects.




Typical work-related activities include:

  • Provide thought leadership for the design of next generation assessment programs that comprise multiple facets (formative, summative) of the K-career assessment continuum.
  • Collaborate closely with content developers on the overall assessment design and content specifications for next generation assessment products.
  • Participate in design activities related to the development of next generation assessments, determine the evidence needed to support validity claims for next generation assessments, and execute on research to support these claims.
  • Design and develop procedures for applying new statistical and psychometric models for scaling and scoring of next generation assessments.
  • Supervise research staff to promote their development, improve the quality and impact of research, and build additional staff expertise in issues related to next generation assessment design.
  • Present research study plans and results to the ACT Technical Advisory Committee for feedback.
  • Contribute to business functions within the ACT Research area (e.g. estimate labor hours and direct costs for internal product development, generate text for responses to proposals and grants related to next generation assessment, etc.).
  • Participate within ACT 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, learning analytics 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 experience in assessment design, assessment implementation, or assessment research
  • Experience leading and/or managing teams of researchers in assessment settings
  • Experience working with large complex data sets in assessment settings
  • Experience in leading the design and implementation of research studies
  • Experience in working with technology delivered assessments
  • Familiarity with psychometric models beyond Classical Test Theory and unidimensional Item Response Theory (e.g. Multidimensional Item Response Theory (MIRT), Cognitive Diagnostic Models (CDM), Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT), Bayesian Inference Networks (BIN), Response Time Modeling (RTM), and Computational Psychometrics).
  • Familiarity with processes related to personalized learning, educational data mining, and learning analytics.
  • Familiarity with learning progressions, principled assessment methodologies (e.g. Evidence Centered Design), Automated Item Generation (AIG), and Item Difficulty Modeling (IDM).
  • Evidence of scholarly contributions in measurement, psychometrics, and assessment design and development through publications or presentations at national conferences.
  • Experience working as a practicing psychometrician for an operational assessment program a plus


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Detailed knowledge of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Innovative thinker
  • Exceptional collaborator and team member


Starting salary commensurate with qualifications. Excellent benefits and work environment.


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