ETCPS 2019

The ACTNext Education Technology and Computational Psychometrics Symposium

October 9 & 10 | Coralville, Iowa

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About ETCPS '19

The annual ACT Education Technology and Computational Psychometrics Symposium, hosted by ACTNext, brings industry leaders across multiple disciplines together for two days of challenging assumptions, exploring research insights, and experiencing the bleeding-edge technologies shaping the future of learning, measurement and navigation.

In conjunction with ETCPS '19, ACT's Center for Equity in Learning and ACTNext have co-organized a pre-conference panel and round table discussion, free and open to the public. Geared toward educators, topics will focus on bridging the gap in the digital divide, both in the classroom and in education policy.

ETCPS 2019 will be held at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center at the Iowa River Landing. We've secured a block or rooms with a discounted rate, but space is limited, so please book your room soon. Full details are available via the registration portal.

Come explore how emerging research and technologies are breaking down barriers in education and assessment - network with experts and decision makers - and have impact on the issues and challenges you care about. Lend your voice to the conversation and join us for ETCPS 2019!









Blast from the Past

Have a look at ETCPS 2018 😎

Tentative Schedule

09 October, 2019

10 : 30 AM - 12 : 00 PM

Pre-Conference Workshop Hosted by ACTNext and ACT's Center for Equity in Learning (CEL)

This session is free and open to the public, but attendees will need to register via the registration portal. For more information, please visit the pre-conference innformation page.

09 October, 2019

1 : 00 PM - 5 : 00 PM

ETCPS '19 Day One

Followed by Research Reception 5 : 00 PM - 7 : 00 PM

1 : 00 PM - 1 : 15 PM

Welcome to ETCPS '19

Opening Remarks Delivered by ACT CEO Marten Roorda.

2 : 00 PM - 2 : 30 PM

Crisis in Space - CPSx

Saad Khan, Director of the ACTNext AI/ML group, discusses gamification and the development of the collaborative problem solving assessment, Crisis In Space.

ACTNext Leadership

2 : 30 PM - 2 : 50 PM

Networking Break

2 : 55 PM - 3 : 25 PM

Innovating at the Intersection of Research & Development and Business Needs, or What Batman’s Villains Can Teach Us About Collaboration

While innovation can be energizing for some, it can be a source of anxiety for others. Advances in artificial intelligence may open the door to more efficiencies and greater scalability, but they can also be perceived as threats to the status quo and to those accustomed to established practices. Expertise in natural language processing and machine learning, fluency with regular expressions, and skill with JavaScript and Python, for example, can break new ground and transform capabilities, but unless the innovative methods and applications attend to the needs and insights of subject matter experts, forward thinking and adoption of new processes and tools can stall. Using recent ACT projects sitting at the intersection of research & development and business needs, this presentation will emphasize the critical role of collaboration and how to encourage it. Short clips from thirty years of Batman films will illustrate cautionary tales of collaboration.

James Spregelmeyer

3 : 30 PM - 4 : 15 PM

Hybrid Models and Their Uses for Modelling Heterogeneous Populations, Detecting Aberrant Responses and Cheating Behaviour.

In this talk I will discuss how models with discrete and continuous latent variables provide a general and flexible framework for modelling populations that consists of multiple groups but also detecting outliers and cheating. Responses are usually test outcomes or answers to questionnaire items and can be of any type such as categorical, continuous or mixed. Similarly latent variables that explain the inter-relationships among the observed variables can be either continuous or discrete. In the hybrid case a combination of continuous and discrete latent variables can accommodate flexible distributions for the latent variables (e.g. mixtures of normals), model zero-inflated data through a degenerate class, detect alternative response strategies and detect cheating behaviour and compromised items. The methods will be illustrated using data from education and social surveys.

By Irini Moustaki

4 : 20 PM - 4 : 50 PM

Examining the EdTech Environment on the Silicon Prairie

Eric Engelmann

09 October, 2019

5 : 00 PM - 7 : 00 PM

Research and Tech Demo Reception

Sponsored By Cooridoor Business Journal.To Submit Your Proposal for a Poster Presentation or Tech Demo, Visit the Registration Portal.

10 October, 2019

8 : 45 AM - 4 : 15 PM

ETCPS '19 Day Two

8 : 45 AM - 8 : 55 AM


Day Two Opening Remarks Delivered by ACT Senior Vice President and Head of ACTNext, Alina von Davier.

9 : 00 AM - 9 : 45 AM

Design in digital learning systems and equity

By Ashish Ragnekar

9 : 50 AM - 10 : 20 AM

The RAD api: Personalized & Adaptive Learning at ACT

Steve Polyak, Senior Director of the ACTNext Innovation Development group discusses development of the RAD api.

By ACTNext Leadership

10 : 20 AM - 10 : 40 AM

Networking Break

10 : 45 AM - 11 : 30 AM

Conversational Assessments and Tutoring with AI

Conversation is at the core of education, training, and workplace. Conversational assessments involve open-response questions, constructed response answers, and instant formative feedback - all expressed in natural language. It supports Benjamin Bloom’s seminal work on mastery learning and allows the measurement of active knowledge recall, critical thinking, and problem solving - skills that are important for succeeding in the 21st century work environment. Virtual Learning Assistant(VLA) is a new genre of AI based EdTech that supports the scalable implementation of conversational assessments and tutoring. VLA can improve students’ learning outcomes, teachers’ productivity, and schools’ scalability of high quality education. This session will introduce the pedagogy of conversational assessments along with the challenges, solutions, and efficacy studies, and a discussion on the future of educational assessments.

By Dee Kanejiya

11 : 35 AM - 12 : 05 PM

A Presentation from ACT Research

John Whitmer

12 : 05 PM - 1 : 15 PM


1 : 20 PM - 2 : 05 PM


Topic: TBD

Speaker Pending

2 : 05 PM - 2 : 25 PM

Networking Break

2 : 30 PM - 3 : 15 PM

Games and Log File Analysis

Greg Chung

3 : 20 PM - 4 : 05 PM


Topic: TBD

Speaker Pending

4 : 05 PM - 4 : 15 PM

Closing Remarks

Wrap-up delivered by ACTNext Senior Director, Ada Woo

ACTNext Leadership

Confirmed Speakers


Betsy Corcoran

Co-Founder & CEO - EdSurge

Greg Chung

Assoc. Director, CRESST - UCLA

Eric Engelmann

Executive Director, NewBoCo

Irini Moustaki

Prof., London School of Economics
Ashish Rangnekar

Ashish Rangnekar

Co-Founder & CEO, BenchPrep
John Whitmer

John Whitmer

Sr. Director, ACT Inc.
ACTNext Leadership


James Sprengelmeyer

James Sprengelmeyer

Sr. Director, ACT Inc.
Dee Kanejiya

Dee Kanejiya

CEO, Cognii

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500 ACT Dr., Iowa City, Iowa