In July 2018, the team at CARPE participated in an intensive, week-long professional development course delivered by Prof. Larry Ludlow and Prof. Laura O’Dwyer from the Department of Measurement, Evaluation Statistics and Assessment (MESA) at Boston College. CARPE’s Director, Prof. Michael O’Leary first became acquainted with Larry and Laura whilst completing his PhD in Educational Measurement at Boston College. In the intervening years, they have collaborated on several projects including, most recently, the development of the Assessment for Learning Audit Instrument (AfLAi) with Dr. Zita Lysaght. Both Larry and Laura also act as international research advisors for CARPE.
The bespoke course covered a range of topics in instrument development and psychometrics, with a particular focus on classical factor analysis techniques and on the Rasch measurement model. Over the coming months, the group plan to meet regularly to consolidate their knowledge of the material, and subsequent online sessions with Larry and Laura are likely to take place in the coming year. This initiative has provided a fantastic opportunity for the CARPE team to build research capacity. It is hoped that this in turn will enhance the future work of the centre, with plans already underway for some new projects that include sharing knowledge and skills with colleagues in the IoE. Watch this space!