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Professor receives international award in educational assessment from NCA

  |   Kathryn Kao   |   Permalink   |   Kudos,   Research,   Spotlight,   Students and Faculty

Last month, George Engelhard, a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, received the 2015 Qiyas Award for Excellence in Educational Assessment (outstanding scholarly work) at the National Center for Assessment's Second International Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Qiyas Award was established in 2014 to promote excellence in the field of educational measurement, assessment and evaluation. The National Center for Assessment (NCA) selected Engelhard for the award based on his contributions to the field of education, his outstanding scholarly work and for his book, "Invariant Measurement: Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral and Health Sciences."

During the conference's opening ceremony, Engelhard—who was the only scholar honored at the event—officially accepted a certificate of merit, as well as a monetary award of over $25,000 from Prince Dr. Faisal bin Abdullah Al-Mishari Al Saud, president of NCA.

"It is not common for folks in my field to have this much attention for their scholarship," said Engelhard. "It represents explicit recognition of the importance of assessment as a technology that can be used appropriately to improve education and society more generally."

Saudi Arabia is currently working with top international scholars in educational measurement to examine lessons about the relationships between educational assessment and learning, said Engelhard. During the event, he discussed future collaborations with the prince regarding progress in educational measurement and policy in Saudi Arabia.

"It is exciting to me for policymakers and governments to recognize the importance of testing and educational policy to improve education around the world," said Engelhard. "I have been approached by faculty from other universities in the Middle East to provide workshops and lectures on my research."

Engelhard's program of study is focused on the improvement of educational measurement at the local, national and international levels. His book, "Invariant Measurement," describes the principles of invariant measurement; illustrates how invariant measurement can be achieved with Rasch models; and demonstrates how invariant measurement can solve social, behavioral and health sciences problems.

"I believe that the book was selected for its didactic value," he said. "I have sought to translate complex ideas and models in measurement into some accessible concepts that do not 'dummy down' the development and appropriate use of assessments."

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