Chase Nordengren, PhD

Chase Nordengren, PhD

Principal Research Lead, Effective Instructional Strategies

Chase Nordengren, PhD, is the principal research lead for Effective Instructional Strategies at NWEA. His work supports the long-term growth and development of the Learning and Improvement Services teams through primary research, thought leadership, and strategic planning. With insatiable curiosity, Chase works closely with leading scholars from around the globe to turn theory into actionable practices to drive instructional improvement. He received a PhD in leadership, policy, and organizations in K–12 systems from the University of Washington and is the author of Step into Student Goal Setting: A Path to Growth, Motivation, and Agency from Corwin Press.

Featured industry publications

These items were published outside of NWEA.


Step Into Student Goal Setting (Jan 2022)
Nordengren, C. (2022) Step into Student Goal Setting. Corwin.


Chart a Clear Course (Oct 2020)
Nordengren, C., & Guskey, T. R. (2020). Chart a clear course: Evaluation is key to building better, more relevant learning. The Learning Professional.


Development and validation of a survey on outcomes of professional learning (Dec 2020)
Nordengren, C. R. (2020). Development and validation of a survey on outcomes of professional learning. Professional Development in Education.


Goal-setting practices that support a learning culture (July 2019)
Nordengren, C. (2019). Goal-setting practices that support a learning culture. Phi Delta Kappan, 101(1), 18–23.


Starting the Conversation About Alternative Grading Systems
Nordengren, C. (2021). Starting the Conversation About Alternative Grading Systems. Edutopia,

Featured Resource Center publications


Focusing Squarely on Students: A Theory of Change for NWEA Professional Learning
Every professional learning provider should be able to clearly articulate their theory of change: the relationship between their offerings and improvements in learning for students. Here’s ours.


Why do we grade?
The pandemic revealed stark flaws in traditional grading protocols and simultaneously presented a profound opportunity for actual change. What should educators, families, and society in general consider around why change is needed and where to begin?


Empower teachers with tailor made professional learning
We want our PL to apply to practice, and that requires a partnership, where educators also come ready to learn, ready to be challenged, and ready to start thinking about instruction differently.”


Working Smart: An action plan for school restart
Join researchers Dr. Chase Nordengren and Dr. Nate Jensen to learn how MAP Growth can help support fall 2020 school restart plans


“No fun games”: Engagement effects of two gameful assessment prototypes
Assessments with features of games propose to address student motivation deficits common in traditional assessments. This study examines the impact of two “gameful assessment” prototypes on student engagement and teacher perceptions among 391 Grades 3–7 students and 14 teachers in one Midwestern and one Northwestern school.
Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 50(2) 134-148.

Learn more about NWEA Professional Learning