College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Research topics: Progress monitoring and assessment

Determining the most powerful approach to meet individual learner needs

Our researchers develop tools for monitoring and analyzing academic and behavioral progress in order to determine effectiveness of interventions to meet the needs of learners.


William Bart

Bart (psychological foundations of education) investigates the utility of the Elo rating for progress monitoring and assessment. The Elo rating is the gold standard measure of chess competency used worldwide. Elo ratings range from 0 indicating an absence of chess competency to approximately 2900 indicating a world champion level of chess competency. Elo ratings are likely indicators of cognitive ability necessary for various levels of academic achievement. For example, an Elo rating in the 1000-1200 range may likely indicate a level of cognitive ability sufficient to master high school subjects. The Elo rating is an international measure used to assess competency and to monitor progress and has the potential to inform other efforts in education at progress monitoring and assessment.

Panayiota Kendeou

Kendeou (psychological foundations of education) investigates the development of higher-order language and cognitive skills that support reading comprehension. She also conducts lab-based studies investigating how people learn new knowledge and revise pre-existing knowledge during their reading experiences.

Jennifer McComas

McComas (special education) applies functional analysis for problem behavior in educational and residential settings. She focuses on basic behavioral processes maintaining desirable and undesirable behavior, such as schedules of reinforcement, stimulus control, and establishing operations. She also studies behavioral treatment of problem behavior based on concurrent schedules of reinforcement as we as antecedent stimuli. Finally, she analyzes the academic behavior performance of students with behavior problems.

Kristen McMaster

McMaster (special education) collaborates with colleagues in cognitive psychology and school psychology to develop theory-based assessments and interventions to improve the reading comprehension and early writing skills of children identified as at risk or with disabilities. She also develops systems and supports to promote teachers’ use of data-based decision making and evidence-based instruction.