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Join WestEd at 2021 NCME Virtual Annual Meeting

During the 2021 National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) Virtual Annual Meeting, June 8–11, 2021, WestEd expert staff will join measurement scientists and practitioners dedicated to advancing theory and application of educational measurement in ways that benefit society. This year’s theme: “Bridging Research and Practice.”

View a list of WestEd’s sessions below. Mark your calendars to see their presentation.

We also hope you’ll follow the live conversation by following @WestEd on Twitter and tagging your insights from the conference with #NCME2021!

Pre-Conference Session 

Thursday, June 3

Coordinated Paper Session: Creating Coherence: Integrating Principled Assessment Design, PLDs, and Standard Setting
Time: 11:00 am –12:30 pm Pacific / 2:00–3:30 pm Eastern
Paper: How to Win at Standard Setting with Imperfect Data
Session Participants: Matthew Gaertner and Sonya Powers

Description: Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) are intended to provide detailed descriptions of what knowledge and skills students at each performance level (e.g., basic, proficient, advanced) possess. This pre-conference session will include presentations of three papers that discuss efforts to implement Principled Assessment Design (PAD) practices for Performance Level Descriptors (PLD) development, item development, and standard-setting for the i-Ready Diagnostic assessment program. Presenters in this session will describe the unique challenges with implementing PAD for an assessment program with an existing item bank and discuss proposed solutions that have been investigated to address them—both within the PLD development process and within the cut score determination process.

Conference Sessions

Thursday, June 10

Research Blitz Session: Topics in Test Development
Time: 10:00 am –11:00 am Pacific / 1:00–2:00 pm Eastern
Session Chair: Anna Topczewski

Description: This session will include seven papers on various topics, including confirmation bias in higher education, automatic item generation systems, and experiential approaches to test design and validation.

Friday, June 11

Coordinated Paper Session: Designing and Evaluating Innovative Assessment Systems: Combining Research and Practice
Time: 8:15 am –9:45 pm Pacific / 11:15 am –12:45 pm Eastern
Session Discussant: Matthew Gaertner

Description: State assessment programs are rarely evaluated using program evaluation approaches. An alternative is to more closely connect assessment design to evaluation mechanisms and, in doing so, draw on the traditions of educational measurement and program evaluation. In bridging these traditions, this coordinated session features research and evaluation related to the practical measurement challenges and technical issues in the context of implementing federally approved statewide innovative assessment systems. These systems provide one ideal context to illustrate tighter connections between measurement and evaluation because these innovative systems are often designed with action mechanisms directly aimed at the classroom.

Paper Session: Security Issues in Education
Time: 12:15–1:45 pm Pacific / 2:15–3:45 pm Eastern
Session Discussant: Matthew Gaertner

Description: This session will include seven papers on various topics, including test security, computer-based testing, and compromised item sets.

Paper Session: Topics in Linking and Equating
Time: 1:00–2:30 pm Pacific / 4:00–5:30 pm Eastern
Session Discussant: Anna Topczewski

Description: This session will include seven papers on various topics, including matrix completion methods and drift detection approaches.

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Event Type



June 8–11th, 2021


Virtual Conference


National Council on Measurement in Education