Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice
Objectives of EM:IP
The primary purpose of Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice (EM:IP) is to promote a better understanding of and reasoned debate on assessment, evaluation, testing, and related issues of practical importance to educators and the public. To this end, EM:IP publishes articles that are both timely and have the potential to advance the policies and practices of educational measurement.
Note: The term "educational measurement" is used herein in a very broad sense, and can refer to both inferences made and actions taken on the basis of test scores or other modes of assessment.
Target Audience of EM:IP
Sponsored by the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), EM:IP has a broad target audience that includes
- psychometricians and test developers working in the testing industry,
- psychometricians working in academic settings,
- staff in schools, districts and state departments of education,
- researchers and analysts at universities and think-tanks,
- legislators and their staff, and
- interested citizens.
Because of this broad target audience, manuscripts published in EM:IP are generally less technical then the companion journal also published by NCME, the Journal of Educational Measurement, and should be written with the goal of invoking minimal jargon.
Examples of Appropriate EM:IP Manuscript Topics
Manuscripts published in EM:IP should be motivated by a problem in educational measurement that the author(s) are attempting to address.A study most appropriate for EM:IP is one that has been motivated by a big picture problem that would be regarded as interesting or relevant to a significant proportion of EM:IP’s readership.
Examples of big picture problems that have motivated past EMIP publications:
- To what extent do formative assessment practices have an impact on student achievement?
- What principles should be invoked to develop test score reports that are readily understood by students and their parents? What evidence is there that different sorts of score reports are more or less understandable to parents and students?
- How do different sources of error compare in large-scale assessment contexts? How do these sources of error relate to the unit of analysis? How can these errors be reduced? What exactly do we mean by “error”?
Manuscripts well-suited to EM:IP are those that bring together the “lessons learned” from a large multi-year project, several shorter projects, or a comprehensive literature review or proposed framework related to an important issue in educational measurement. Carefully designed small scale studies or program evaluations are also appropriate so long as a strong case can be made that the results are of theoretical or practical importance to the field more generally. Manuscripts that promote conversation and debate about preferred methods and practices in educational measurement are strongly encouraged.On occasion, a manuscript that repesents primarily a commentary could be publishable so long as the author is successful in identifying a problem with psychometric theory or assessment practice and can suggest a constructive course of action that could plausibly remedy the problem. However, submitted manuscripts along these lines that do not present the results from any novel empirical research should be considerably shorter than the 30 page limit for original manuscript submissions. In other words, if you’re writing what amounts to an editorial, keep it short and sweet.
Examples of Inappropriate EM:IP Manuscript Topics
There are, of course, potentially exceptions to the examples below, but in general, the following represent the sorts of manuscripts that are unlikely to be appropriate for EM:IP.
- A single validation study associated with a local survey instrument, classroom assessment or large-scale assessment unless (1) a case can be made that the interpretation and use of this specific assessment has clear importance to EM:IP’s readership or (2) the methodology being used for the validation study represents a novel or innovative design or analysis.
- Any empirical study that is not motivated by a clearly explicated research question and some sense for what the author is expecting to discover based upon previous findings in the research literature. The latter is especially important for any submission that involves a simulation.
- A manuscript that comes across as an advocacy piece for a commercial product or service.