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Centre for Assessment Research, Policy and Practice in Education (CARPE)

Research Associates

Dr. Zita LysaghtDr. Zita Lysaght
works on the Assessment for Teaching and Learning (AfL) Project at CARPE.  A member of the School of Policy and Practice at DCU, Zita lectures in assessment and research methodology on undergraduate, masters and doctoral programmes and coordinates the final year BEd4 and PME2 research projects. She is Chair of Post-Graduate Studies by Research and Co-chair of the EdD programme.  As part of her current role, Zita provides professional development nationally and internationally in assessment, mixed methods research design and theoretical and conceptual frameworks.  Her work has been published in Ireland, Europe and the US, and she has twice received the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.  

Prof Larry LudlowProf. Larry Ludlow works on the AfL Project at CARPE.  Larry chairs the Department of Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics and Assessment (MESA) at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College. His expertise and research interests include psychometrics, applied statistics, student ratings of instruction, and teacher attrition models.  


Dr James O'Higgins Norman Dr. James O'Higgins Norman works on the Assessment of Bullying in the Workplace Project at CARPE.  James is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Director of the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre (ABC) at DCU.  He is best known for his research on homophobic bullying in second-level schools in Ireland, which has drawn international media attention and was referenced in parliamentary proceedings in Ireland at the EU Commission during debates on the implementation of policy and laws on bullying in schools.  James' additional research interests include gender and cyberbullying, diversity and bullying in schools. and the compatibilities and tensions between education and religion in secular societies.    

Dr. Catherine MaunsellDr. Catherine Maunsell works on the Assessment of Well-Being Project at CARPE.  Catherine is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the School of Human Development in DCU.  She lectures primarily in the area of developmental and educational psychology, and is the Subject Co-ordinator of Developmental and Educational Psychology on the BSc programme offered through the School of Nursing and Human Sciences at DCU.  Catherine maintains an active research profile in the broad fields of developmental psychology, education, social justice and human rights. She has been engaged as Irish Co-ordinator on a range of large-scale EU research projects in the broad areas of education, lifelong learning and social justice. 

Sebastian MoncaleanoSebastian Moncaleano works on the Assesment of Bullying in the Workplace Project at CARPE.  Sebastian is a doctoral student at the Department of Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics and Assessment (MESA) at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College.  Sebastian majored in mathematics with a minor in education at Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Columbia.  Following this, he worked for two years as a maths teacher at an international high school in Bogota.  In the past, Sebastian devised maths item sets to observe differential brain functioning in relation to item complexity using FMRI screening. His current research interests include the use of technology-enhanced items in large-scale assessments, the development of measurement scales, and the impact of career related events on the teaching quality of higher education faculty.     

Gulsah GurkanGulsah Gurkan works on the Assessment of Well-Being Project at CARPE.  Gulsah is a doctoral student at the Department of Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics and Assessment (MESA) at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College.  She holds a B.S. and an M.S. degree in Teaching Physics from Bogazici University, Istanbul.  Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she worked as a measurement and evaluation specialist at the Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV) in Istanbul for three years, where she led many research and evaluation studies to foster the development of evidence-based programs implemented across the country.  Her current research interests mainly focus on psychometrics, item response theory, large-scale data analysis, quasi-experimental research, and education policy.

Prof. Mark BrownProf. Mark Brown has collaborated with CARPE on an integrative review of the literature on the use of learning portfolios in higher education.  Mark is Ireland's first Chair in Digital Learning and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL).  He coordinates the Digital Learning Research Network which includes over 50 DCU staff with a research interest in the area and who produce a broad range of scholarly outputs related to blended, Online and Digital (BOLD) education. 

Dr. Francesca LorenziDr. Francesca Lorenzi works on the AfL project at CARPE.  Francesca is a lecturer at DCU. Her teaching is primarily in the areas of Intercultural Education, Ethics and Values Education, Philosophy of Education and Curriculum Implementation; Assessment and Feedback. She obtained a PhD in Education from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth with a thesis focusing on the role of dialogue in assessment and the democratisation of practices in education. Her specific research interests include but are not limited to dialogue in education, democratic and inclusive approaches to educational assessment, creativity in education, ethics in the classroom, values and identity in relation to education for sustainable development. 

Dr. Sarahjane BeltonDr. Sarahjane Belton works on the Assessment of Critical Thinking project at CARPE.  Sarahjane graduated with a degree in Physical Education and Maths from the University of Limerick in 2001. She taught physical education for a year in second level education (2001 - 2002) before completing a PhD in Physical Activity Measurement at the University of Limerick in 2006. Sarahjane lectured in Physical Education in St Patricks college Drumcondra from 2006 - 2007, and has lectured in Physical Education (physical education and sport pedagogy, curriculum development and evaluation) in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dublin City University from 2007 to present.

Naoimh O'ReillyNaoimh O'Reilly works on the Assessment of Critical Thinking project at CARPE.  Naoimh lectures in marketing at DCU Business school and holds a BA (hons) in International Marketing & Languages and an MBS in Strategic International Marketing, both from Dublin City University. Her teaching interests lie in digital marketing and she is currently pursuing her PhD in Technology Enhanced Learning at Lancaster University.

Dr. John McKennaDr. John McKenna works on the Assessment of Critical Thinking project at CARPE.  He has been a Lecturer in the School of Computing at Dublin City University since September 2000. He graduated with the degree of B.Eng. in Electronic Engineering in 1988 from NIHE, Limerick (now University of Limerick). He obtained the degrees of MSc in Speech and Language Processing and PhD (titled "Kalman Filtering Towards Automatic Speaker Characterisation") from the University of Edinburgh in 1996 and 2004 respectively. More recently (2012) he received a Postgraduate Diploma in Technology and Learning from Trinity College, Dublin. From 1988-1995, he worked as a design engineer in electronics and telecommunications in the London area and as a communications consultant in Seoul, Korea. He spent a year (1992/3) in voluntary teaching at QingHai University in the People's Republic of China.

Prof. Mark MorganProf. Mark Morgan works for CARPE on a project focused on the assessment of non-cognitive constructs.  Mark was the first Cregan Professor appointed in St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra (now DCU's Institute of Education).  His scholarship can be categoirized under four broad headings: motivation and job satisfaction, substance misuse and prevention, literacy and educational disadvantage.  These are derived from his training and experience as both a primary teacher and social psychologist.  

Katherine ReynoldsKatherine Reynolds works for CARPE on a project focused on micro-credentialling and maintenance of certification (MoC).  Katherine is a doctoral student at the Department of Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College. She holds a B.A. in History and an M.S. Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, both from the University of Kentucky. While at Boston College, she has worked as a graduate assistant at the TIMSS and PIRLS International Study Center. Prior to graduate studies, she taught 7th and 8th grade science in Charlotte, North Carolina. Katherine's research interests  include scale development and university student-faculty interaction.

Prof. Damian MurchanProf. Damian Murchan collaborated with CARPE staff on their recent discussion paper for the NCCA on assessment in the re-developed primary school curriculum. He also acted as a reviewer for the CARPE/INTO Standardised Testing Project. Damian is Head of the School of Education in Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin where he leads a School with extensive national and international engagement with teaching, research and policy.  A former teacher and school principal, Damian’s research interests include educational reform, assessment methods, e-learning and assessment, incorporation of key skills into the curriculum, and teacher professional development.  He co-chairs a consortium established by Trinity and the Educational Research Centre Drumcondra that will host the Annual Meeting of the Association for Educational Assessment - Europe in Dublin in November 2020.

Dr. Matthias von Davier

Dr. Matthias von Davier holds the Distinguished Research Scientist position at the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), in Philadelphia since January 2017. Previous to this appointment, he was a Senior Research Director in the Research & Development Division at Educational Testing Service (ETS), and co-director of the center for Global Assessment at ETS, leading psychometric research and operational analysis of the center for assessments such as PISA, PIAAC, TIMSS and PIRLS. He earned his Ph.D. in psychology from University of Kiel, Germany, in 1996, specializing in psychometrics. His areas of expertise includes topics such as item response theory, latent class analysis, diagnostic classification models, and more broadly classification and mixture distribution models as well as computational statistics, person-fit, item-fit, and model checking, as well as hierarchical extension of models for categorical data analysis, and the analytical methodologies used in large scale educational surveys. His current work is concerned with extending, implementing and applying multidimensional IRT, IRTree, and latent response models, as well as speed/accuracy models to process data research using log-file and timing data from NBME such as USLME, as well as data from OECD’s PISA and PIAAC.

Prof. Deirdre ButlerProf. Deirdre Butler of DCU’s Institute of Education is internationally known as a leading scholar and creative practitioner of methods supporting teachers’ professional development and students’ learning. She has a particular expertise in developing sustainable, scalable models of teacher professional learning, and has managed projects and school based initiatives which focus on creative uses of digital technologies.  As a recognised thought leader in the area of new pedagogies, she advises ministries of education around the globe on redesigning education systems for the challenges that face the world now and in the future. She has consistently worked across a broad range of stakeholders in education, technology, government, corporate and non-profit sectors. She played a key role in developing the recently launched Digital Strategy for Schools and the 21CLD MOOC, the first Irish-designed MOOC for teacher professional learning. She also established flagship Lego Education Innovation Studio in Dublin City University’s Institute of Education (DCU IoE) along with and the newer Minecraft Studio.

Olivia SzendeyOlivia Szendey works on the Assessment of Transversal Skills in STEM project for CARPE. Olivia is a doctoral student studying Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. She holds a B.S. in psychology from James Madison University. At Boston College Olivia works as a graduate assistant at the office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment. She is also a research assistant for Dr. Larry Ludlow and is working with him and others to develop a scale measuring "leading a life of meaning and purpose"

Dr. Linda WatersDr. Linda Waters began her career in testing at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, working as part of the team to transition the first large-scale United States-based licensure examination program from paper-and-pencil testing to computer-based testing.  Dr. Waters joined Prometric in 2004 and is a member of the Global Business Development team.  Dr. Waters has previously held faculty positions at the University of South Carolina and the University of Delaware. Dr. Waters is a registered nurse and a graduate of the University of Delaware with a Ph.D. in Educational Measurement and Statistics. She is also Prometric's respresentative on CARPE's advisory panel.