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Executive STEM Summit

Dr. Julia Phelan on a panel (What Works? A look at the Evidence) at Executive STEM Summit: Learning in the Digital Age

Hosted by Scientific American and Macmillan Education, the 2014 Executive STEM Summit: Learning in the Digital Age brought together leaders from academia, public policy, and the private sector to discuss key issues in education. The focus of this year's program was The Science of Learning. 

Dr. Julia Phelan participated on a panel and discussed research and evidence on how students learn. In addition to discussing best practices in teaching and learning, she emphasized how assessments can be part of the learning process and how we can bring assessments and use of assessment data into the classroom in a meaningful way. For more of what Dr. Phelan and others had to say at the Summit see: "What will the future of education look like?" 

Ampersand Article Features CATS Conference 2014

A new article in the online Ampersand magazine features the recent Center for Advanced Technology in Schools' (CATS) conference, "Warp Speed Mr. Sulu! Integrating Games, Technology and Assessment to Accelerate Learning in the 21st Century." 

In the article, Joanie Harmon from UCLA's Graduate School of Education & Information Studies summarizes the very successful conference, highlighting recent CATS game research as well as work by distinguished presenters from across the country.  Videos, presentations, posters, and photos from the conference are available.

Photo: CRESST Senior Researcher Christine Ong shares formative assessment research during the CATS Conference. Photo by Joanie Harmon.

CATS Conference 2014 - Major Success

The April 29-30, 2014 CATS Conference, "Warp Speed Mr. Sulu! Integrating Games, Technology and Assessment to Accelerate Learning in the 21st Century," was a major success, with attendance and favorable responses well exceeding expectations. Below are just a few comments from attendees:

Awesome; incredibly smart people; amazing; organized and well-run; people you convened were brilliant; thought provoking discussions; I was inspired, provoked, and informed.

Decide for yourself. CRESST is pleased to share videos, presentations, posters, and photos from the recent conference.  


CRESST Shares Consortia Study in Ed Leadership Magazine

As the Smarter Balanced and PARCC assessments move closer to full implementation, CRESST has been analyzing how well the two consortia are incorporating the Common Core State Standards into their assessment plans.

In this March 2014 Education Leadership article, Joan Herman and Robert Linn share their findings, concluding that the "consortia expectations will be a dramatic step forward in rigor." They predict that the assessment results are "likely to come as a shock for teachers and students alike."

Their article, New Assessments, New Rigor, is available on the Educational Leadership web site. 

CRESST Partners with ELPA21

ELPA21 (English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century) recently announced that CRESST will be a key partner in their efforts to develop an online assessment system to measure the performance of English language learners as they progress through their K-12 education.

CRESST will provide input into ELPA21 assessment design, item development and standard setting, and validation. 

ELPA21 is a consortium of 11 states funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The Consortium assessments are expected to be fully operational in the 2016-17 school year. Contact CRESST Co-Director Li Cai or CRESST Senior Researcher Mark Hansen for more information. 

Delacruz Quoted in EWA Blog

"Defining the intent of the game/assessment is critical to its success," said CRESST Senior Researcher Girlie Delacruz in a December 2013 Education Writers Association Blog article, Gaming: The Future of School Assessments?

According to Delacruz, the real goal of a high quality educational game is to teach children how to think rather than just teach them math or reading. 

Delacruz and dozens of other researchers will share much of their recent gaming and assessment research at the April 29-30, 2014 CRESST Conference, Warp Speed, Mr. Sulu: Integrating Games, Technology, and Assessment to Accelerate Learning in the 21st Century

Eva Baker Blogs in EdWeek

"An assessment of Standards should give correct and sufficient information to make inferences about learning (including content and cognition), teaching and schooling," says CRESST Co-director Eva Baker in a recent EdWeek blog series on assessing new assessments.

Read the full story, Can We Trust Assessment Results?

CRESST Researchers to Share at AERA/NCME

CRESST researchers and graduate students will once again have a strong presence at this year's annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Council on Measurement in Education, taking place in Philadelphia from April 2-7, 2014 in Philadelphia. 

On Saturday, April 5, Division D of AERA will honor CRESST Co-Director Eva Baker with the Robert L. Linn Distinguished Address Award, recognizing her lifetime contributions to educational measurement and other fields. A detailed list of CRESST related events is available. 

CRESST will again be a co-sponsor of the UCLA reception at AERA on Friday, April 4, from 7-10 p.m. in the Pennsylvania Convention Center. CRESST colleagues are invited to attend. 

Iseli to Present at Big Data Workshop - March 28

CRESST Senior Researcher Markus Iseli will present at the upcoming Big Data to Knowledge workshop on March 28th in the UCLA Neurosciences Research Building. 

His presentation, "Big Data in Education: Assessment of the New Educational Standards," will demonstrate a novel approach that evaluates essay content without need for time consuming human scoring while providing feedback on a student's understanding or misconceptions. 

"I believe that this method provides significant improvement compared to most of today's automatic essay scoring methods, which are often based on word choice, text length, and even the number of commas," said Iseli. More information is available at the workshop web site

Focus Areas »



CRESST's unique expertise makes it an ideal partner in military and medical simulation-based training and assessment. Our military and medical clients and partners include the: Office of Naval Research (ONR), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), Surface Warfare Officer's School Command (SWOS)... Read more »



Since its inception, CRESST has conducted research, development and evaluation that improves Pre-K–12 public education across the United States. Our innovative methods and indicators for evaluating educational quality are in broad use, including comprehensive approaches for monitoring and improving schools and their programs. Read more »

[Higher Ed]

Higher Education

Many CRESST projects overlap with the field of higher education, especially those that support teacher capacity building programs as well as adult learning. This area of our work will continue to grow as the need to measure postsecondary instructional quality and services expands. Read more »

[Adult Ed]

Adult Education

For more than 20 years, CRESST has conducted research and development supporting improvements in adult learning. Our current projects range from assessments and tools in military marksmanship to research-based guidelines for "what works" in distance learning. Read more »



During the past few years, CRESST has applied its evaluation, assessment, and instructional expertise to the field of medical research, development, and training. For example, we have recently assisted medical organizations in the design, development, analysis, and reporting of medical simulations while assisting other agencies in the evaluation of medical training interventions. Read more »

Learn more about what CRESST does. Watch our about video.