Friday, 29 Jul 2011

For immediate release Friday 29 July 2011

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Michael J Timms to the role of Director, Assessment and Psychometric Research. Dr Timms will head one of two ACER research divisions created following the retirement of Dr John Ainley in 2010. Dr Sue Thomson has already been appointed to head the Educational Monitoring and Research Division.

Dr Timms was previously Associate Director of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program at the non-profit research and development agency WestEd in San Francisco. At the same time he also served as Managing Director of the Center for Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning (CAESL) funded by the US National Science Foundation. Dr Timms’ research interests are in the application of educational measurement in intelligent learning systems and he previously led the New Measurement Paradigms group which brings together researchers in educational measurement, computer science and intelligent tutoring from across the United States to promote the use of new assessment methodologies.

Holding a PhD in Quantitative Methods from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr Timms has managed the development of the assessment authoring, delivery, scoring and reporting systems for the SimScientists group of projects; developed interactive computer tasks for the 2009 Science Assessment component of the US National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP); led the development of the assessment and item specifications for the 2014 NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy assessment; was a lead evaluator on the Bioinformatics: Learning by Doing project at Rutgers University and the Leonardo Project which is developing an intelligent learning environment to assist elementary students in their use of graphical representations in science; and has been Principal Investigator for the ChemCollective project that is developing integrated assessments for a virtual chemistry lab created by Carnegie Mellon University.

Prior to joining WestEd, Mike Timms was employed as a project manager in the Licensure Assessment section of CTB McGraw‐Hill, a leading educational test publisher in the US, where he led the development of tests for the certification of civil engineers, land surveyors and psychiatric technicians and was responsible for item development, editing, test construction and standard setting processes.

Announcing Dr Timms’ appointment, ACER Chief Executive Professor Geoff Masters said, “Dr Timms joins us at a time when ACER is stepping up its research into a new generation of educational assessments that will be integrated into technology-assisted teaching and learning and that will have enhanced diagnostic potential. Dr Timms’ appointment will be important to ensuring that Australia stays at the leading edge of this rapidly developing field.”

Dr Timms will take up his position at ACER on Monday 1 August 2011. 


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