U.Va. Education Professor Receives Award for Software

March 18, 2009 — Patrick Meyer, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education, has received this year's Bradley Hanson Award. 

The award is given annually by the National Council on Measurement in Education in honor of Hanson's contributions to the field of educational measurement and to honor those who further advance the goals embodied in his work.

Meyer was selected for his creation and development of a software system, jMetrik, that combines multiple techniques for analyzing test data. He will receive $1,250 and a plaque at the council's annual meeting in Denver from April 29 through May 3.

Meyer said he was "elated" to receive the award.

"It really validates the vision and effort I have put into this software for the past five years," he said.

Prior to Meyer's jMetrik software, those using multiple techniques for analyzing test data data were obligated to utilize five or six separate software packages. jMetrik allows users to access multiple systems for analyzing test data in one software package, reducing the chance for error and the time needed to sift the data.

"The simplicity of the user interface also makes the software accessible to K-12 teachers who want to analyze data from their classroom assessments," Meyer said. "I have also found that teaching courses in educational measurement is much easier with jMetrik. I no longer need to teach multiple software programs and archaic syntax. I can focus on measurement concepts during class time."

"Patrick is well-deserving of this award," Robert Pianta, dean of the Curry School of Education, said. "He is working in an area of great importance to educational policy and to teacher and school administrators as they work with information on student performance to improve their practices.

"That he is at once an accomplished scientist working with complex measurement and analytic approaches and interested in the application of those approaches in schools and classrooms is a real credit to him and a model for education research."

The jMetrik software is available for download here. More than 500 users from 20 different countries have already taken advantage of it.