Advancing How The World Learns

We are UCLA CRESST, a national research center at the forefront of educational innovation. The groundbreaking work we do in assessment and evaluation has shaped the very fabric of our field. Our intellectual curiosity and passion for learning continue to drive it forward. This is where you will find methodologies and technologies that are solving today’s most pressing challenges and improving the quality of education across the globe.

Vision & Legacy

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CRESST, the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing, was founded in 1966 within the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. From the very beginning, we’ve known that the most effective solutions aren’t achieved at a distance. That’s why we conduct research where the work is—with real data from real problems. And the faith we place in our findings is hard earned. We create and study assessments, as well as conduct evaluations of formal and informal programs and technologies to confirm their efficacy. It’s a comprehensive approach that consistently yields valuable results.

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An opportunity to collaborate on how to address education’s biggest challenges

Engage with an unparalleled group of tech, research, and academic leaders in discussions on the latest global trends and opportunities in education. Join us to explore developments and innovations in technology, data use, and assessment design. Hear from our renowned speakers and learn about how we’re working to bring research findings to practice. CRESST will facilitate dynamic sessions to examine the insights, strategies, and connections that will foster ideas to bring to the real world.

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Capabilities

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

We deliver actionable, meaningful research and development that advances the field of educational assessment and evaluation, promotes effective and equitable education policy, and improves evidence-based inferences.

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CONSULTING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

CRESST is home to some of the most preeminent scholars and researchers in their respective fields. These skilled individuals collaborate with our clients, peeling back the layers to reveal effective global solutions to education and learning challenges.

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Researchers at CRESST

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Li Cai

Director

Li Cai is a Professor of Education and Psychology in the Advanced Quantitative Methodology program within the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He also serves as Director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST). His research agenda involves the development, integration, and evaluation of innovative latent variable models that have wide-ranging applications in assessment research in educational, psychological, and health-related domains of study.

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Jeffrey Egger

Research Associate

Jeffrey Egger is a Research Associate providing project coordination and participating in the design and implementation of educational research, evaluation, and assessment studies. Egger has experience in conducting literature reviews, developing research instruments, and coordinating project data collection activities with research sites and research partners.

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Markus Iseli

Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Markus Iseli is a Senior Research Scientist for CRESST with a focus on integration of engineering and technology for educational purposes. His specialization is in digital signal processing, speech and image analysis, pattern recognition, acoustics, and natural language processing.

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Industries

With a rich history steeped in education and an unwavering dedication to this day, we are uniquely positioned to guide policies and create the kinds of tools that improve the quality of learning. Our leading-edge work solves some of the most challenging issues facing Pre-K-16 students, educators, stakeholders, and policymakers.

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Education

We partner with the U.S. military to model and implement assessment and training systems that produce hard-to-measure information—such as cognitively complex performance data, decision-making abilities, and situation awareness. Our efforts help bolster military preparedness, safeguard national security, and protect critical assets around the world.

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Defense

Through interdisciplinary research, we evaluate medical simulations and assess both individual and team skills, shining a light on opportunities to elevate the level of performance and care.

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Health

featured project

BIG DATA FOR LITTLE KIDS

For the past four years, CRESST has collaborated with PBS KIDS on their Ready To Learn (RTL) program. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, this program leverages content on television, the Internet and other media to help millions of young children—particularly those living in poverty—learn the basic reading, math, and science skills needed for success.

A major part of RTL is their Learning Analytics Platform (LAP), which captures student interactions across all PBS KIDS learning technologies, such as games, classroom-based smart whiteboards, and mobile/desktop platforms. Leveraging our unique expertise in educational assessment, learning, and psychometrics—as well as a background in game design and game data analysis—we designed and implemented a telemetry format to measure and analyze the learning processes of these children.

Our team—led by Eva Baker, along with Greg Chung, Kilchan Choi and Charlie Parks—have analyzed this data to determine the instructional, assessment, and interactive properties for each game. And the telemetry data these games generate can be massive—one game can have hundreds of telemetry points and produce thousands of events in a single session. In fact, the LAP processes approximately 200GB of data from tens of thousands of players every month.

As we continue our work with PBS KIDS through 2021, we are committed to advancing state-of-the-art assessment and measurement solutions in support of children’s learning.

featured project

NAVY SKILL DECAY ANALYSIS

The U.S. Navy has identified that certain essential skills—pertaining to electronics and troubleshooting— deteriorate among some sailors between the time they complete “A” School (which teaches basic naval skills), and the time they enter “C” School (which teaches more advanced skills).

To address this situation, CRESST has been working with the Navy to uncover new ways to detect, analyze, and remedy this decay in skills. Specifically, our work examines the retention of applied problem-solving and analytical skills over the course of a sailor’s training regime, which helps make their training more effective.

Our team—led by Eva Baker, along with Alan Koenig, John Lee, Markus Iseli and Barbara Jones—have created a series of simulation-based assessments to measure and track the applied skills and knowledge that should be developed within specific training contexts. Our findings are not only helping to guide enhancements within the Navy’s training curriculum, but they are also essential in developing optimal remediation pathways for students showing signs of skill degradation.

This latest effort is just one of more than a dozen Navy-funded projects on which we’ve taken the lead, including the areas of detection, measurement, and the automated assessment of cognitively complex, high-stakes performance. Prior domains within the Marine Corps have included Shipboard Damage Control, Tactical Planning and Implementation, Ship Navigation and Conning, and Rifle Marksmanship.

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Assessment of Ultrasound for Integration with Clinical Medicine

Working with Pelagique, LLC, a Department of Defense medical contractor, CRESST has been instrumental in developing and validating ultrasound proficiency metrics—a critical step toward responsibly integrating ultrasound technology into clinical medicine.

As part of our pioneering work, we created an ontology of the fundamentals of ultrasound, which defines the knowledge, skills, and user attributes required to: (1) measure user performance; (2) make inferences about their knowledge and skills, based on performance over time; and (3) recommend targeted training based on these inferences.

We are currently creating an ontology-based assessment and training framework built on study results and expert feedback that includes management and analysis tools. These employ ontologies and related graphical probabilistic computational models.

This groundbreaking effort will be highly useful to future national and international professional organizations that monitor and guide ultrasound practice, licensure, accreditation, and policy, offering the potential to reduce costs and increase ultrasound accessibility for the entire medical industry.Working with Pelagique, LLC, a Department of Defense medical contractor, CRESST has been instrumental in developing and validating ultrasound proficiency metrics—a critical step toward responsibly integrating ultrasound technology into clinical medicine.

As part of our pioneering work, we created an ontology of the fundamentals of ultrasound, which defines the knowledge, skills, and user attributes required to: (1) measure user performance; (2) make inferences about their knowledge and skills, based on performance over time; and (3) recommend targeted training based on these inferences.

We are currently creating an ontology-based assessment and training framework built on study results and expert feedback that includes management and analysis tools. These employ ontologies and related graphical probabilistic computational models.

This groundbreaking effort will be highly useful to future national and international professional organizations that monitor and guide ultrasound practice, licensure, accreditation, and policy, offering the potential to reduce costs and increase ultrasound accessibility for the entire medical industry.

Key Partners

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MORE THAN JUST A TEST

We are a consortium of 15 states, one territory, and the Bureau of Indian Education.

  • Supporting high-quality teaching
  • Improving learning for all students
  • Preparing students for life after high school

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UCLA CRESST
300 Charles E. Young Drive North
GSE&IS Bldg. 3rd Flr./Mailbox 951522
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1522

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