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

Research Associates

Prof. Deirdre Butler

Prof. 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.


Dr. Michelle Chen holds a Ph.D. in measurement, evaluation and research methodology from the University of British Columbia. Her research centres primarily on validation studies, psychometrics, and applied statistical methods as applied in education, psychology and the social sciences. Dr. Chen is currently the Validation Studies and Test Research Lead in language testing at Paragon Testing Enterprises. Her work supports test development, evaluates score validity, and promotes a better understanding of measurements and assessments.


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Dr. Gemma Cherry is the former Prometric Post-Doctoral Researcher at CARPE (2020 - 2022). Gemma holds a B.A. in Sociology, an MRes in Social Research Methods and a Ph.D. in Education from Queen’s University, Belfast. She is also an Associate Fellow with the Higher Education Academy. Prior to joining CARPE, Gemma worked full-time as an affiliated lecturer at the University of Cambridge, specialising in quantitative research methods. At Cambridge, Gemma also coordinated the Masters in Educational Research programme and supervised the research projects of postgraduate students in the Faculty of Education. At the University of Cambridge, Gemma was involved in research that assessed the economic value of literacy and numeracy skills across OECD countries. Gemma is currently a Lecturer in Sociology and Quantitative Methods at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) at Queen's University. 

Dr Li-Anne Huan

Dr. Li-Ann Kuan is an educational psychologist with over 20 years of experience in the testing industry, engaging both in content development and psychometrics. Over the course of her career, Dr. Kuan has managed the development and delivery of large-scale educational and professional assessments both in the United States and in developing countries such as Pakistan, Namibia, and Zambia. Dr. Kuan received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Brown University, and a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychological Studies in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Professor Anne Looney is the Executive Dean of Dublin City University's Institute of Education, Ireland's largest faculty of education. From 2001 to 2016, she was the CEO of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the agency responsible for curriculum and assessment for early years, primary and post-primary education in Ireland. She also held the position of Interim CEO at the Higher Education Authority until March 2017. A former teacher, she completed her doctoral studies at the Institute of Education, University College London. In 2014/15 she was a professional research fellow at the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education, based at Australian Catholic University in Brisbane. Her current research interests include assessment policy and practice, curriculum, teacher identity and professional standards for teachers and teaching. She has also published on religious, moral and civic education, and education policy. She has conducted reviews for the OECD on school quality and assessment systems, and is the current President of IPDA - the International Professional Development Association. At CARPE, Professor Looney contributes to a project entitled "Cross-National Achievement Surveys and Educational Monitoring in Ireland". 

Prof. Larry Ludlow

Prof. 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 Zita Lysaght

Dr. Zita Lysaght is an Assistant Professor in the School of Policy and Practice at the Institute of Education (St. Patrick's Campus), DCU; she lectures in assessment and research methodology on undergraduate, masters and doctoral programmes and coordinates the final year BEd4 and PME2 research projects. She is Director of the Assessment for Teaching and Learning (ALT) Project, a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Assessment Research and Policy in Education (CARPE) and a former 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 (particularly formative assessment as it relates to teaching and learning), mixed methods research design and theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Her work has been published in Ireland, Europe and the US. Zita has twice received the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.


Dr. Kevin Marshall is a graduate of the Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation (ERME) programme at Microsoft Ireland. In this role, Dr. Marshall has led highly practical efforts to improve and share best practices and methodologies in how digital technology can be used to support teaching and learning. He is responsible for Microsoft Ireland's innovative Dream Space Project - a dedicated innovation and education hub at its Dublin campus headquarters, designed for visiting primary and Transition Year students. During the COVID-19 pandemic the Dream Space Home Space portal gave students the opportunity to engage in STEM experiences from their homes. In September 2020, under Kevin's leadership, Dream Space TV was born, and its success has led to the creation of a new series of digital technology focused educational programmes broadcast in collaboration with RTE jr's Home School Hub.

Dr. Angela Mazzone

Dr. Angela Mazzone is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre (ABC), Dublin City University. She is involved in a large-scale national study on workplace bullying which is funded by the Health Service Executive (HSE). Her main research interests are workplace-bullying, school bullying, bullying towards immigrant youth, peer relations and socio-moral development.

Dr. Darina Scully

Dr. Darina Scully was the Prometric Post-Doctoral Researcher (2016-2019). She is now an Assistant Professor in Child/Adolescent Learning & Development, Wellbeing and SPHE in the School of Human Development.  She holds a B.A. (Mod.) and a Ph.D in psychology from Trinity College, Dublin. Darina has extensive research experience in education and the social sciences, particularly in quantitative methods and statistical analysis.  From 2016 to 2019, she held the post of Prometric Postdoctoral Researcher in the  Centre for Assessment Research, Policy & Practice in Education (CARPE), where her work focused on various issues in assessment and test development in educational and workplace settings.   Prior to this, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Educational Research Centre, where she was involved in a number of high profile national and international research projects, including TIMSS (Trends in International Maths and Science Study), and the evaluation of the School Support Programme under DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools). 

Dr. Linda Waters

Dr. 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.  

Prof. Lisa Abrams

Prof. Lisa Abrams is an Associate Professor of Research and Evaluation in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where she teaches graduate courses in assessment, measurement, programme evaluation and educational research design. She is a graduate of Boston College, with a doctoral degree in Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation. She specialises in test-based accountability policy, assessment design and date-use practice. Lisa spent three months of her sabbatical as a Visiting Professor at CARPE from May to July 2018, during which time she worked on a number of projects in the areas of test development and assessment literacy & professional development. Lisa continues to collaborate with the Centre and returned in the autumn of 2018 to co-deliver the Annual CARPE Lecture.

Dr. Sarahjane Belton

Dr. 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.Dr. 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.

Prof. Mark Brown

Prof. 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. 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. 

Dr. Eamon Costello

Dr. Eamon Costello is currently chair of DCU's online BSc. in Information Technology and BSc. in Management of Information Technology and Information Systems. Eamon holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and History from Trinity College Dublin, a higher Diploma in Computer Science from University College Dublin, an MSc in Software and Information Systems from National University of Ireland Galway and a Doctorate in Education from Trinity College Dublin. His Doctoral study analysed the implications of massively distributed collaborative development processes for education and educational technology and focused on the community of the Open Source VLE Moodle.

Dr. Gulsah Gurkan

Dr. Gulsah Gurkan works on the Assessment of Well-Being Project at CARPE.  She has a PhD from 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.

Dr. Anastasios Karakolidis

Dr. Anastasios Karakolidis was the Prometric PhD candidate at CARPE for the period 2016-2019. He holds a B.A. in Primary Education Teaching from the University of Ioannina, Greece, and an M.Sc. in Quantitative Methods and Statistical Analysis in Education from Queen's University, Belfast.  Anastasios is involved in a series of research projects in CARPE. He is also a member of the research team responsible for the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) reports for Greece. Anastasios has given a series of lectures on research methodology and advanced statistical techniques (e.g. multilevel modelling) to Master's students and academic staff. His research interests include research methodology, statistical analysis, measurement, assessment, testing and large-scale international studies. Anastasios has published papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at various international conferences. He currently works at the Educational Research Centre in Ireland.

Dr. Francesca Lorenzi

Dr. 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, and creativity in education.

Dr. Kay Maunsell

Dr. 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. 

Dr. John McKenna

Dr. 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.

Dr. Sebasian Moncaleano

Dr. Sebastian 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 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. tensions between education and religion in secular societies.    

Prof. Mark Morgan

Prof. 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.

Prof. Damian Murchan

Prof. 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. Deirbhile Nic Craith

Dr. Deirbhile Nic Craith is Director of Education & Research and secretary to the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) Education Committee. Her remit includes education issues and policy, including curriculum and assessment, special education, social inclusion, early childhood education and Gaeilge. She represents the INTO on many external education bodies including the Council of the NCCA, An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta, and the Standing Committee of Heads of Education and Teacher Unions. Deirbhile holds Masters’ and Ph.D. degrees in education from University College Dublin.

Prof. 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, and diversity and bullying in schools. He has also taught professional ethics at University College Dublin and was previously a post-primary school teacher. 

Dr. Naoimh O' Reilly

Naoimh 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. Katherine Reynolds

Dr. Katherine Reynolds works for CARPE on a project focused on micro-credentialling and maintenance of certification (MoC).  Katherine was a previous 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 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. Dr. Reynolds collaborates with CARPE on the ACT21 and ATS-STEM projects.

Prof. Steven Stemler

Associate Prof. Steven Stemler is an Associate Professor of Psychology at in the Psychology Department, Wesleyean University, Connecticut. He has spent nearly two decades systematically studying the purposes of school (elementary through post-secondary) and how those purposes get measured via testing. He and his colleagues have developed a number of innovative new ways of measuring broad constructs such as creativity, cultural competence, practical intelligence, and ethical reasoning. Dr. Stemler has published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, books, and chapters. 

Olivia Szendey

Olivia 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. 

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Dr. Eilish McLoughlin is the Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Teaching and Learning (CASTeL) and an academic member of the School of Physical Sciences at Dublin City University. She obtained her PhD in Experimental Surface Physics and is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Chartered Physicist. Her research interests focus on Physics Education, including the development of curriculum, instruction and assessment models in STEM education, at all levels of education, from primary school to PhD level.