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CRESST Helps Develop Colorado Assessment System Framework

CRESST has partnered with the Colorado Department of Education to develop a framework to support the understanding of the varied purposes and uses of assessment information that guide actionable educational decisions.  CRESST has also developed a video explaining the Colorado Assessment Framework.


Access the draft Assessment Framework here

Access the video here



Serious Play Conference 2014

CRESST Senior Research Scientists, Girlie Delacruz and Ayesha Madni Conduct Workshop at 2014 Serious Play Conference

Drs. Girlie Delacruz and Ayesha Madni conducted a workshop for designers, developers, and users of educational games who were interested in integrating assessment and measurement into their design process. They described the approach used at CRESST which follows an engineering process to assessment design and development, putting primary emphasis on front-end analysis to generate the specificity and precision about the outcomes of interest to generate the assessment architecture.

Download the presentation here

Serious Play Conference 2014

Girlie Delacruz Presents Her Work at the 2014 Serious Play Conference

CRESST Senior Research Scientist, Girlie Delacruz, presented her work on validating patterns of gameplay via cluster analysis at the 2014 Serious Play Conference, held at the University of Southern California. The Serious Play conference brings speakers from all parts of the globe to share their expertise and experience creating and using games for education. Dr. Girlie Delacruz’s talk discussed the analysis of log data generated by an educational physics video game, Go Vector Go, as an example of how game levels can be designed to target and provide diagnostic information about specific learning objectives. Cluster analysis was used to generate gameplay patterns. 

Download the presentation here

Global 3D Tech Forum

Gregory Chung Speaks at the Global 3D Tech Forum

CRESST Assistant Director of Research Innovation, Gregory Chung, spoke at the Global 3D Tech Forum in Seoul, Korea about the approach CRESST uses to design, development and educational games and simulations. Dr. Gregory Chung’s talk discussed how CRESST’s innovative design approach of fusing engineering, learning, and assessment processes enabled us to develop and deploy learning-effective games for underperforming students in typical school environments. Dr. Chung describes this approach within the context of UCLA/CRESST’s Center for Advanced Technology in Schools (CATS) project. 

Download the presentation here

Bonifay SME Poster

New research by Wes Bonifay and Dr. Li Cai

New research by Wes Bonifay and Dr. Li Cai demonstrates that certain item response theory models have a high propensity to fit any possible data, even when competing models have the same number of free parameters. This work was presented as a poster at the annual meeting of the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology in Nashville, TN.

Access the poster here

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. 

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.