• Director, Learning Sciences, Analytics, Navigation, and Consulting

    Job Locations US-IA-Iowa City | US-Remote
    Posted Date 1 month ago(3/20/2018 11:53 AM)
    Job ID
    # of Openings
    Up to 25% Travel
  • Overview

    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.org!



    The Director in Learning Sciences, Analytics, Navigation and Consulting will lead the Learning Sciences, Analytics, Navigation and Consulting department which consists of a multidisciplinary team that supports a holistic approach toward learning and performance in education and the workforce. The department includes staff with expertise in the learning sciences, education and career navigation, interests, and data mining.  This expertise is leveraged in foundational research in support of the ACT Holistic Framework across the K-career continuum and in consulting with internal and external customers. The resulting knowledge is used in designing and researching products and services maximizing the likelihood of meaningfully impacting the intended outcomes. Consulting provides solutions that help customers achieve their learning and assessment goals despite practical barriers and limitations by developing innovative approaches supported by research.

    Position objective:

    Provide leadership and direction in development, implementation and support of a research agenda which integrates the most recent findings from the learning sciences, principled design, digital learning and assessment environments, and data mining in support of ACT’s mission, strategic direction, and products.

    Lead a team of research scientists who will implement that research agenda in support of consulting and products. Staff will also serve as subject matter experts in design activities related to the development of assessments and learning environments, suggest the evidence needed to support validity and efficacy claims, and execute on research to support these claims. Work collaboratively with internal and external customers to implement innovative solutions.

    Identify and support opportunities for external consulting.

    Identify and support external partnerships in fields such as learning analytics, educational data mining and intelligent systems for purposes of joint projects that advance the work in the field of digital, technology rich learning and assessment tools.

    Support and contribute to the growth of externally funded research aligned with the strategic direction of ACT in fields such as learning analytics, educational data mining and intelligent systems.

    Contribute to the development and implementation of strategic direction of ACT and the Research Area, working closely with leadership across the organization and within Research and Development.

    Work closely with the Vice President, Innovative Research, Design, and Consultation, in the areas of learning analytics, educational data mining, and intelligent systems with the aim of growing the organization’s capacity for developing and applying approaches to making generalizable inferences about learner cognitive, behavioral and navigation skills.

    Provide thought leadership across ACT in fields such as learning sciences, principled design, digital learning and assessment environments, and data mining.


    Essential job responsibilities:


    Typical work-related activities include:

    • Participate in thought leadership in the design of innovative assessments and learning environments that address different transitions in the K-career continuum.
    • With Research senior leadership, establish a research agenda that reflects ACT strategic direction.
    • Work collaboratively with Research leadership team to ensure cross-departmental projects are implemented with the highest quality, on time and on budget, and to ensure results are effectively communicated.
    • Support the integration of learning analytics and evidence centered design in the development, implementation and improvement of technology rich environments for learning and assessment.
    • Present research study plans and results to technical advisory committees for feedback.
    • Oversee the execution of research studies to support the research agenda for the department.
    • Supervise research staff to promote their development, improve the quality and impact of research, and build additional staff expertise.
    • Support and contribute to the growth of externally funded research aligned with the strategic direction of ACT.
    • Identify and respond to opportunities for external consulting.
    • Increase visibility of ACT research through publications, presentations, and presence across relevant national and international research communities.
    • Participate within Research and across ACT creating in an innovative and collaborative environment.


    Minimum Qualifications:



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




    • A minimum of seven years of demonstrated leadership in the development and publishing of high-quality, research.
    • Experience in leading the design and implementation of research studies for technology rich learning and assessment tools.
    • Experience in obtaining external funding for research.
    • Knowledge of Evidence Centered Design, basic psychometrics, data mining techniques and research design
    • Experience in learning progressions, learning sciences, data sciences, game-based learning, or related field.
    • Expertise in data analytics, including data mining, learning analytics, and statistical modeling preferred.
    • Evidence of scholarly contributions in refereed journals and development through publications or presentations at national conferences.
    • Experience consulting with external customers.
    • Experience leading and/or managing teams of researchers.

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

    • 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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