Eastern Oregon University > Academics > EOU professor unlocks further special education research

EOU professor unlocks further special education research

EOU professor unlocks further special education researchComic strip shows Jerred Jolin introducing his colloquium topic

Feb. 21, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. –  Assistant professor of Special Education Jerred Jolin will discuss a way to test theories about sources of cognitive complexity in test questions. 

On Feb. 27, Jolin presents his research in an Eastern Oregon University Colloquium titled, “Investigation of Item Property Effects on Polytomous Items Using the Many-Facet Rasch Model.”

While working as a job coach for people with a variety of disabilities, Jolin noticed the important role that understanding social cues play in the workplace. As part of his dissertation, Jolin investigated what types of social cues and aspects of workplace social interactions can be challenging for this population.

Using software called Storyboard That, Jolin made comic strips to depict workplace scenarios that varied in social complexity on the basis of the type, frequency, and co-occurence of social cues they contained. 

Eighty young adults with disabilities each read eight comic strips and then answered two open-ended questions. First, they listed all the social cues in the scenario. Next, they decided whether the employee did the right thing in this scenario and why. Student responses were scored using a polytomous scale that rewarded partial credit. 

The Many-Facet Rasch Model helped estimate how much the different types of social cues contributed to the overall difficulty of evaluating the outcomes depicted in the scenarios. 

“By using this approach, we can be more certain that we are analyzing a full range of social cue detection ability,” Jolin said. “It can result in better educational test development as we can be more sure that the tests we develop are actually measuring or assessing what we want them to.”

The Colloquium presentation begins at 4 p.m., Thursday in Ackerman Hall, Room 210.

All EOU Colloquium presentations are live-streamed. The event is free and open to the public.

Written by PR Intern Briana Rosenkranz.