Championing the use of quality data that help teachers teach and leaders lead
Our researchers help us deliver what communities around the globe want: effective products and services that help educators maximize every student’s achievement and growth. They provide high quality, psychometrically robust assessments, participate in key educational policy and research discussions, and support our commitment to provide professional development rooted in research-based best practices.
The NWEA Research team continually looks at ways assessment data can be used to improve teaching and learning. Areas of inquiry include exploring different models of adaptive testing, diagnostic testing, and new ways of reporting data.
5 Fields of Expertise
Discover 5 fields of research-based expertise under 1 roof
Psychometrics iThe science of measuring psychological traits and attributes, including knowledge, ability, and personality.
Testing and measurement
Our researchers’ wide-ranging experience allows them to contribute to our mission: helping all kids learn. As leaders in their field, they present at research conferences and publish in peer-reviewed journals, trade journals, and education media. They also share their knowledge via webinars, our Teach.Learn.Grow. blog, and NWEA events.
The Latest from our Researchers:
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Featured Blog Posts
Find our opinions online: We’re part of the Teach.Learn.Grow. blog
Dr. Steven Wise shares his knowledge around students’ engagement with test-taking, including pioneering methods NWEA used to detect low test-taking effort on computer-based tests. Read how he and his NWEA colleagues developed criteria for identifying test events where low student effort invalidates resulting test scores. He also covers important findings bout student engagement with our flagship interim assessment, Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®).
Dr. Beth Tarasawa explores how even the highest-achieving U.S. students struggle to get need-based financial aid, deferring their dream of attending college. Learn how states across the nation are allocating funding, and how it often pits need-based aid against merit-based (academic) assistance—and read what national reports say about the role income and race play in growing college participation gaps.
Dr. Andrew Hegedus explains that MAP interim assessment data can’t reveal whether a student’s growth is “good”—but MAP norms data CAN help educators can define what “good growth” looks like locally. Learn how MAP national normative data permit educators to compare a given student (or set of students) in one school /district to students across the country.
Dr. Nate Jensen clarifies the different purposes of MAP Student and School norms. Learn why the two types of norms give you two different stories about performance—with student norms providing context to individual student’s achievement and growth, and school norms providing information about groups of students’ achievement and growth.
Dr. Michael Dahlin discusses the appropriate role of MAP norms when measuring student performance and growth against state proficiency studies. Learn how MAP/State Test linking studies, not national norms, provide information about the level of performance on MAP assessments that correspond to the various state test proficiency standards.
How Our Research & Mission Relate
Explore how our research helps bring our mission to life
NWEA Research advances testing and measurement—but they also pursue research related to teaching, learning, and educational policy. They focus their efforts in five key areas.
Standards and accountability
Teaching and learning
Use of data
Assessments that help drive decision making
Discover assessments rooted in research
Our computer adaptive assessments help educators answer a crucial question: Are my students learning? By delivering precise, real-time information about every student’s learning triumphs and challenges, we set educators—and students—up for success.