Amazing student: Matthew Madison
Department of Educational Psychology (Ph.D. in quantitative methodology, M.S. in statistics)
In the world of high-stakes testing, Matthew Madison's research has the potential to change the way students are assessed.
Most test scores or percentile rankings do not help students or teachers know where the students need to improve, he says. Instead, the assessment models Madison studies provide ready-to-use feedback on students' specific strengths and weaknesses.
"Instead of saying, 'Matthew scored in the 60th percentile on math,'" he says, "the feedback from the assessment model would say, 'Matthew knows how to add, subtract, multiply, but needs to work on division.'"
After earning his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of South Carolina and a master's degree in mathematics from Central Michigan University, the Columbia, South Carolina, native wanted to work with faculty who think about assessment from a math teacher's perspective. He found that in his advisor, Laine Bradshaw. Madison says he considers it an incredible opportunity to work with leaders in the field of psychometrics in the College of Education's Department of Educational Psychology.
But Madison's favorite professor is his mother, who is a faculty member in South Carolina State University's rehabilitation counseling program. "While I've never taken an official course from her, I've learned more from her than anyone," he says.
Madison says he hopes to follow in his mother's footsteps and become a professor after earning his degrees. "I hope to use my research to make assessments more useful and accessible for educators. Knowing that my research is impactful keeps me motivated."