A peer-reviewed electronic journal. ISSN 1531-7714 

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Content

Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation publishes the following types of papers

  • Overviews serve as an introduction to a topic. Its audience is individuals, whether professional or general, who wish to acquire introductory information on the topic treated in the paper.
  • Methods plainly speaking demonstrate how to apply a technique. These would be useful as class hand-outs.
  • Fact Sheets which provide current information of a factual nature related to a topic. As appropriate, it also interprets and discusses the facts presented. Its primary audience is policymakers, administrators, and other decisionmakers; its secondary audience is other professionals and members of the general public who are interested in factual information on the topic.
  • Issue Papers which  define and describe a controversial topic. It does not resolve controversies in the literature or practices, but it delineates the various perspectives related to the topic. Its audience is individuals, both professional and general, who wish to become informed about alternative perspectives on educational issues.
  • Practice Applications which provide specific, concrete examples of how practitioners can apply research results in practical settings. Its primary audience is educational practitioners, while its secondary audience is other educators interested in the topic.
  • Research Findings which present the current status of research in an area. It summarizes and synthesizes recent findings from relevant research. Its primary audience is those individuals who wish to become informed about research findings, including researchers, graduate students, policymakers, administrators, and teachers.
  • Synopsi of Synthesis Papers which summarize an existing review and synthesis publication. This type of paper is based on one primary publication, which is itself a review and synthesis of many publications. Its audience is individuals, both professional and general, who wish to become informed about the topic.

Two key questions in the review will be whether the results generalize and whether the results are likely to alter someone's practice. Thus, PARE does not accept evaluations of local programs. We also do not accept validity studies of test instruments. We are not interested in derivations, but rather practical applications.

Professional Standards

Manuscripts submitted to Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation should adhere to 

  • The authorship standards outlined in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.

The Uniform Requirements addresses criteria for authorship, acknowledgments, redundant publication, competing manuscripts, and conflict of interest. A concise summary of the Uniform Requirements can be found in Syrett and Rudner (1996).

A key concept in the Uniform Requirements is that individuals identified as authors should have made significant contributions to the conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data, or both; to drafting of the manuscript or revising it critically for intellectual content; and on final approval of the version of the manuscript to be considered for publication. Being an advisor or head of a research group, does not, in itself, warrant authorship credit.

  •  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed.)

The Publication Manual provides detailed information about the entire process of publication -- from organizing, writing, keying, and submitting your manuscript, to seeing the accepted manuscript through production and publication. Of special interest in the fourth edition are updated sections on reporting statistics; writing without bias; preparing manuscripts with a word processor for electronic production; and publishing research in accordance with ethical principles of scientific publishing.

Topics

We are particularly interested in papers that address the following hot topics. This list is intended to be suggestive, the topics are not in any kind of rank order. Authors should feel free to submit papers on any topic within the scope of the journal. 

  • Issues related to No Child Left Behind, e.g. Determining reliability, critical N versus confidence intervals, adequate yearly progress.
  • State and Local Assessment Practices - Extant Practices and Emerging Trends
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods - an overview; types and their proper roles and appropriate audiences, i.e., their proper application and interpretation
  • Pedagogy of Educational Research & Educational Measurement
  • Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities - current state of the research and practice (including commentary on apparent abuses); trends to anticipate
  • Computer Adaptive Testing - state of the research and practice; trends to anticipate
  • Report Cards/Reporting to Parents - types [format & content], policies, appropriate intervals of reporting
  • Ability Grouping/Tracking (in Education) - pros & cons; demonstrated outcomes
  • Test Selection - process and important sources, for administrators and committees
  • Current Educational Indicators - definition(s); their role in School Accountability; factors for parents to consider in school selection; the School Report Card trend
  • Benchmarking Effective School Practices - sources of benchmarks; benchmarking process
  • Benchmarking Curriculum to National/Subject Standards - sources of the standards; benchmarking process; a.k.a. "curriculum alignment"
  • Grade Retention - pros and cons; demonstrated outcomes
  • Program Evaluation Primers
  • Difference between Assessment & Evaluation
  • Legal Research in Education - standard sources and processes; explanation of authoritative entities for education law and education policy at various levels
  • Meta Analysis - definition, methodology, recent critiques and, perhaps, response/rebuttal to critiques
  • Meta Evaluation - definition, methodology
  • Performance Based Assessment - definition, types, rationale, current Practices, trends to anticipate; comparative analyses to traditional assessment; esp. definitions/apps of:
  • Scoring Rubrics; Portfolios, including Electronic Portfolios; Observation & Anecdotal Records; Student Led Conferences; Multiple Assessments [w/performance based assessment as a component]; also, validity, reliability, and cost concerns in their development & application
  • Demonstrating Statistical and Practical Equivalence
  • Demonstrating Growth
  • History of Educational and Psychological Testing
  • National Tests in America - Precedents, The Executive Proposal and its Rebuttals
  • Resources for Education Statistics - including International, National, and Local Levels

 

Technical specifications

All Practical Assessment Research & Evaluation articles adhere to the following technical specifications:

Length -- 2,000 to 8,000 words.

Style -- Articles should have information subheadings and should be written clearly and concisely. For the most part, keep your sentences short and to the pointy. Short lists help to break up the text and to focus attention on series of items. Online constraints currently restrict our use of a wide range of type sizes, fonts, and other printing devices.

Introduction -- We like to see a short, two or three paragraph introduction that clearly indicates what is covered in the article and the intended audience. We like to see the second paragraph start with "This article ..."

Content -- Articles should be substantive, informative, and based on well-documented sources. Bibliographies, directories, and extensive lists of organizations are inappropriate.

References -- List four to six references to journal articles, commercial publications, and other resources that you used as supporting material for your digest and/or will point to key literature in the field.

Reference and additional reading

American Psychological Association (1992). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. American Psychologist, 47, 1597-1611. [Available online http://www.apa.org/ethics/code.html].

American Psychological Association (1994). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. [Available online at http://jama.ama-assn.org/info/auinst_req.html]

Syrett, Kristen L. & Rudner, Lawrence M. (1996). Authorship Ethics. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 5(1). [Available online: http://ericae.net/pare/getvn.asp?v=5&n=1].

Thompson, B. (1995). Publishing your research results: Some suggestions and counsel. Journal of Counseling and Development, 73, 342-345.

Wilkinson, L. and Task Force on Statistical Inference (1999). Statistical Methods in Psychology Journals: Guidelines and Explanations. American Psychologist, 54 (8), 594B604. [Available online: http://www.apa.org/journals/amp/amp548594.html].

 

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