College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Michael Rodriguez

  • CEHD Dean; Campbell Leadership Chair in Education and Human Development; and professor

Michael C. Rodriguez headshot

Areas of interest

  • Psychometric properties of tests to support interpretation and use
  • Accessibility of assessments for students with disabilities and English language learners
  • Measurement of social-emotional learning
  • Psychometric meta-analysis and item response models

PhD, Measurement & Quantitative Methods, Michigan State University
MA, Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
BA, Psychology, University of Minnesota - Morris


I focus much of my research on understanding the psychometric properties of tests. This work has included research on the effects of item formats and the use of constructed-response versus multiple-choice items. I have a strong interest in applied measurement, spending a good deal of time working with schools and school districts to develop methods for improving their use of large-scale test information for planning and evaluation. I also continue to work on issues related to improving accessibility of assessment of students with disabilities and English language learners. I also lead the Minnesota Youth Development Research Group, examining multiple aspects of youth development, social and emotional learning, important educational outcomes, and the psychometrics of SEL assessment. I currently provide advisory support to the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (ETS), the US Defense Department on military personnel testing, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Minnesota Assessment Group.

I am a founding co-director of the Educational Equity Resource Center through my role in the Campbell Leadership Chair.

Awards include: 2019 C. Eugene Allen Award for Innovative International Initiatives, University of Minnesota; 2009 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education, University of Minnesota; 2008 Robert H. Beck Faculty Teaching Award, College of Education and Human Development Alumni Society; 2005 Albert J. Harris Research Award of the International Reading Association; and 2004 Community Service Award, College of Education and Human Development.

Courses I teach

  • EPSY 5221—Principles of Educational and Psychological Measurement
  • EPSY 5244—Survey Design, Sampling, and Implementation
  • EPSY 5245—Advanced Survey Data Analysis
  • EPSY 8224—Performance Assessment
  • EPSY 8225—Operational Measurement (Standard Setting, Equating)

Tatto, M.T., Rodriguez, M.C., Smith, W., & Reckase, M.D. (2020). The first five years of teaching mathematics (FIRSTMATH): Concepts, methods, & strategies for comparative international research. Switzerland: Springer International.

Haladyna, T.M., Rodriguez, M.C., & Stevens, C. (2019). Are multiple-choice items too fat? Applied Measurement in Education, 32(4), 350-364.

Vue, K., & Rodriguez, M.C. (2018). The role of social-emotional skills and supports for Hmong student achievement. Hmong Studies Journal, 19(1), 1-37.

Rodriguez, M.C., & Albano, A.D. (2017). The college instructor’s guide to writing test items: Measuring student learning. New York, NY: Routledge.

Bulut, O., Palma, J., Rodriguez, M.C., Stanke, L. (2015). Evaluating measurement invariance in the measurement of Developmental assets in Latino subgroups across developmental stages. Sage Open, 5(2).

McConnell, S.R., Wackerle-Hollman, A.K., Roloff, T.A.B., & Rodriguez, M.C. (2015). Designing a measurement framework for Response to Intervention in early childhood programs. Journal of Early Intervention, 36(4), 263-280.

Scales, P.C., Roehlkepartain, E.C., Wallace, T., Inselman, A., Stephenson, P., & Rodriguez, M.C. (2015). Assessing youth well-being in global emergency settings: Early results from the Emergency Developmental Assets Profile. Journal of Adolescence, 45, 98-102.

Rodriguez, M.C., Kettler, R.J., & Elliott, S.N. (2014). Distractor functioning in modified items for test accessibility. Sage Open, 4(4), 1-10. 

Haladyna, T.M., & Rodriguez, M.C. (2013). Developing and validating test items. New York, NY: Routledge.

Rodriguez, M.C. (2005). Three options are optimal for multiple-choice items: A meta-analysis of 80 years of research. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 24(2), 3-13.


Rodriguez, M. C., & Dosedel, M. (2020, April). Empirical standard setting for SEL measures via the proposed interpretive argument [Paper presentation]. National Council on Measurement in Education Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Rodriguez, M.C. (2019, April). Validation of social and emotional learning measures in inequitable settings [Paper presentation]. National Council on Measurement in Education Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Rodriguez, M.C., & Nickodem, K. (2018, April). Comprehensive partitioning of student achievement variance to inform equitable policy design [Paper presentation]. National Council on Measurement in Education Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

Rodriguez, M.C. (2017, June). Exploring developmental skills, supports, & challenges of Minnesota Youth. Paper presented at the Educational Equity in Action Convening, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Rodriguez, M.C. (2017, April). Item & test design considering instructional sensitivity. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council of Measurement in Education, San Antonio, TX.

Rodriguez, M.C., & Vue, K. (2016, June). Rigorous measurement from a statewide youth survey. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Minneapolis, MN.

Rodriguez, M.C., & Tatto, M.T. (2015, April). Conceptualizing and measuring opportunities to learn and the contexts of teaching. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.