What is an Educational Assessment Designer?

If you’re looking for an advanced education career outside the PreK-12 classroom, you should consider becoming an educational assessment designer. As their title implies, educational assessment designers are given the responsibility of writing new testing materials and analyzing existing tests for effectiveness. Educational assessment designers are specialized, master’s-level instructional coordinators who possess the technical expertise to create statistically sound student exams. Since the switch to Common Core, there’s been an increased emphasis placed on improving student achievement on test scores. There will be demand for education leaders to evaluate and improve assessments utilized. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the employment of educational assessment designers will grow by seven percent through 2024. The following is a brief job profile to help determine whether educational testing is your ideal career niche.

What Educational Assessment Designers Do

Educational assessment designers are primarily responsible for developing and coordinating effective tests based on educational measurement principles. Not only do designers modify and enhance current assessments, but they also oversee the conversion of new tests. Therefore, educational assessment designers often conduct technical training for teachers and study guides for students to prepare for testing implementation. They’ll review the previous year’s student scores to assess whether program goals were achieved and where improvements could be made. Educational assessment designers usually select a specialty area, such as English, history, or math. It’s their duty to produce apt assessments where students from elementary to high school are fairly tested on content knowledge.

Where Educational Assessment Designers Work

In the United States, there are approximately 133,780 instructional coordinators employed in various settings. The highest percentage of educational assessment designers work for state and federal governments for writing standardized exams, according to Pearson. Some educational assessment designers are hired as consultants for public and private school districts. Designers could also find employment at colleges, private education centers, educational support services, and consulting firms. Educational assessment designers work in comfortable office settings, but travel may be required to visit school districts. The majority are employed full-time, year-round without summer breaks like teachers. Educational assessment designers typically work closely with curriculum developers, educational policy analysts, and government officials.

How to Become an Educational Assessment Designer

Successfully becoming an educational assessment designer will require obtaining at least a master’s degree from an accredited graduate school. Most employers prefer a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in educational assessment, educational research, curriculum design, or educational policy. Holding a bachelor’s degree in education is generally necessary for gaining admissions into these programs. Taking the Praxis exams and acquiring state teacher licensure is recommended. Employers look favorably upon educational assessment designers with at least three years of classroom experience. Going for a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) could also aid in promotion. Make certain that you’ve taken courses in learning theory, curriculum design, student assessment, data analysis, and statistics for career preparation.

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Overall, educational assessment designers are upper-level professionals who identify the skills and knowledge the targeted audience should have mastered before taking a test. Designers then customize questions to best determine whether assessed students have met the desired learning goals. Educational assessment designers and other instructional coordinators earn an average yearly salary of $64,040. Becoming an educational assessment designer could be rewarding for teachers interested in developing better PreK-12 testing that effectively pinpoints each student’s achievement.