Huang to Receive 2012 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award


Award recipient Jia Huang

Marjorie Montague of the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) announced that Jia Huang will receive DLD’s 2012 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award. The award, which recognizes Dr. Huang’s dissertation research on learning disabilities, will be presented at the DLD reception at the CEC convention in Denver in April 2012.

A Post-Doctoral Associate at the University of Miami, Dr. Huang received her Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Miami. Her study, titled “Population Invariance of Linking Functions Across Alternate Forms of Curriculum-Based Measures of Math Problem Solving” investigated population invariance of the true-score linking functions with respect to the ability subgroups (i.e., average-achieving students, low-achieving students, and students with learning disabilities). The mean/mean linking functions for five alternate forms of a curriculum-based math problem-solving measure were based on the Rasch model. Most studies of curriculum-based measurement have reported only the reliability and validity of alternate forms of measures. This is necessary but insufficient for establishing alternate forms of curriculum-based measures as it is also necessary to establish equivalency of the forms. The present study was based on data from a previous study that developed equivalent forms of curriculum-based measures using Item Response Theory. The participants in the present study were 1,861 seventh- and eighth-grade students across ability groups. Equatability indices were used to evaluate population invariance of the Rasch mean/mean linking functions over the ability subgroups. Results indicated that the linking functions were population invariant for the ability subgroups across the five alternate forms. The differences between the linking functions computed on the ability subgroups and the linking function on the whole group were negligible for the five forms, which indicates that the alternate forms of the curriculum-based measures function in the same way for the three ability groups and can be used with confidence to measure progress over time for individual students within these groups.

DLD’s Outstanding Doctoral Research Award is given annually.  It consists of a $500 cash award, up to an additional $500 for travel to receive the award, a free one-year membership in CEC and DLD, an opportunity to present the research at the CEC Annual Convention, and an invitation to submit the research for publication in the Division journal, Learning Disabilities and Practice. Learn more about the award and about the Division for Learning Disabilities by visiting TeachingLD.org.

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