What to Know About Online Master’s in Educational Assessment Coursework
Students pursuing master's degrees in educational assessment can pursue careers in educational administration and leadership after graduation. During their curriculum, learners focus on building their teaching and learning skills, along with their ability to incorporate technology in education. They also explore curriculum design and development, since many roles in the field focus on curriculum.
Depending on the type of enrollment students pursue, the length of their program can vary. Part-time students often take around three years to earn their master's degree, while those who pursue full-time opportunities take around two years in a standard format master's program. Many colleges and universities highlight accelerated opportunities for online master's students, allowing them to earn their degree in about one year.
Master's students can expect a great deal of similarities between online and on-campus program options. Both programs typically feature the same experienced instructors and focus on the same courses. However, online opportunities provide learners with more convenience and flexibility.
What Common Courses are Offered in a Master’s in Educational Assessment Program?
Master's programs in educational assessment offer varying course topics depending on the college or university. Still, learners can expect to focus on similar subjects, which should equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the education field after graduation. Some course examples include educational measurement, research design in education, item response theory, applied qualitative research methods, and structural equation modeling.
During the educational measurement course, learners focus on factor analysis and item response theory. Through their assignments, students review classical and modern measurement theory, along with psychological and educational instrument validation and development. Students work to interpret scale scores and assess instrument adequacy.
Research Design in Education
In the research design in education course, students explore the process of designing, planning, and carrying out educational research. They review common qualitative and quantitative research methods and write research proposals focused on particular subjects.
Item Response Theory
Students in the item response theory course work with measurement models to analyze test data. They review test-taker information to improve test development and ensure that tests are efficient and effective. Students explore topics including computerized adaptive testing, test equating, and test development during their coursework.
Applied Qualitative Research Methods
Introducing core methods and concepts of qualitative research, the applied qualitative research methods course provides learners with an overview of the uses, characteristics, and ethical considerations of qualitative methods. Learners develop hands-on experience in the course, working to complete qualitative research and analyze data.
Structural Equation Modeling
Learners enrolled in the structural equation modeling course work to connect statistics and methodology in education, focusing on data analysis techniques and experimental data. The course explores structural equation models, and assignments focus on topics such as SEM assumptions, structural equation models, path diagrams and models, and multi group models.
What Exams or Projects Should I Expect?
Each master's program features its own unique curriculum structure, but students can expect to complete a final project or exam during their final semester. For educational assessment programs, learners must often fulfill a capstone requirement. Capstones require students to compile everything they learned throughout their program and carry out research efforts to create one comprehensive final project.
Many master's programs highlight a final exam requirement. These comprehensive exams allow learners to demonstrate their competencies and detail the skills and knowledge they developed throughout their curriculum.
How Can I Choose a Quality Online Master’s in Educational Assessment Program?
Students interested in earning their master's in educational assessment through a flexible online format should pay close attention to each prospective school's accreditation status. Once degree-seekers understand the differences between regional and national accreditation, they can determine which type best aligns with their professional goals.
Regional accreditation is often considered more prestigious than national accreditation. Credits transfer more easily between regionally accredited institutions than between schools with national accreditation. Nationally accredited institutions often charge lower tuition rates, but they rarely qualify for tuition reimbursement plans, which usually serve graduates from regionally accredited schools.
Most graduates who plan to pursue certification or advance into a doctoral program should enroll in a regionally accredited college or university to avoid issues with credit acceptance and transfer.
Career Opportunities With a Master’s in Educational Assessment Degree
Master's in educational assessment graduates qualify for a variety of managerial and leadership education roles. Those interested in administration, including admissions and financial aid, can consider working as postsecondary education administrators. Those who prefer hands-on student experiences should consider roles as postsecondary teachers or elementary, middle, or high school principals.
Professionals interested in leadership roles can pursue careers as training and development managers or instructional coordinators.
- Postsecondary Education Administrators
In charge of deciding which applicants at colleges and universities should gain admission to the school, postsecondary education administrators also decide how many students to admit. These administrators meet with potential learners and encourage them to apply to their institution.
Postsecondary education administrators prepare promotional materials about colleges and universities, and they work with financial aid departments to highlight packages that help students pay for their tuition.
- Median Salary: $93,340 per year
- Currently Employed: 192,600
- Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: +7%
- Postsecondary Teachers
Postsecondary teachers specialize in a particular area of study and teach courses to college-level students in their area. Often called professors, these higher education professionals develop lesson plans and create assignments for their students. Professors track their students' progress and grade assignments and exams. They also develop a syllabus to outline course elements and serve as a reliable reference point for learners.
- Median Salary: $78,470 per year
- Currently Employed: 1,350,700
- Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: +11%
- Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals
In charge of managing school staff members and activities, elementary, middle, and high school principals manage class schedules and supervise security procedures for staff members, students, and visitors. Principals put curriculum standards in place and provide counsel to students, disciplining them whenever necessary. They also observe teachers and evaluate their performance, preparing reports based on test scores and other data to track student achievements.
- Median Salary: $95,310 per year
- Currently Employed: 275,400
- Expected Job Growth in Next 10 years: +4%
- Instructional Coordinator
Responsible for creating and implementing curricula, instructional coordinators organize, plan, and conduct teacher training, workshops, and conferences. These coordinators coach and mentor teachers to improve their skills and provide training to instructional staff and teachers in new programs and content. They review and discuss curriculum standards with school officials and staff members, and they recommend the use of different technologies and teaching methods.
- Median Salary: $64,450 per year
- Currently Employed: 181,600
- Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: +6%
- Training and Development Manager
Training and development managers supervise staff members and assess their needs for training. Managers evaluate training programs to ensure their effectiveness and efficiency, and they make changes and updates as they become relevant. Training and development managers ensure the training programs they create make use of the available resources provided by the company, and they teach training methods and skills to supervisors and instructors.
These professionals typically work full-time hours and spend most of their time working as part of a team, overseeing training efforts.
- Median Salary: $105,830 per year
- Currently Employed: 37,800
- Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: +8%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019
What’s the Expected Job Growth for Educational Assessment Careers?
Earning a master's in educational assessment allows graduates to pursue a variety of career opportunities. Training and development managers, instructional coordinators, and postsecondary education administrators can expect occupational growth rates of 6-8% in the coming years -- slightly higher than the national average growth rate for all occupations (5%). Elementary, middle, and high school principals fall slightly below average at 4%, while postsecondary teachers should experience an 11% job growth rate.
Professional Organizations for Careers in Educational Assessment
Degree-seekers pursuing their master's in educational assessment can explore membership opportunities across a variety of professional organizations in the field. Members of a professional organization can enjoy an array of benefits, including networking and professional development opportunities. They also attend organization-hosted events, which allow them to connect with other professionals in the field.
- This nonprofit association aims to improve educational processes by advancing knowledge of education and promoting research in practice.
- This nonprofit professional organization serves public officials leading elementary and secondary education departments across the United States. The counsel serves students throughout the country.
- A professional association dedicated to evaluators, the American Evaluation Association advocates for professionals across the industry, including students, faculty, managers, and government decision-makers.
- An American- and Canadian-based standards development organization, the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation aims to improve the quality of standardized evaluation.
- The membership-based, for-profit Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development boasts more than 125,000 members from nearly 130 countries. The association serves teachers, professors, principals, superintendents, and other educators.
How to Pay for a Master’s in Educational Assessment Degree
Degree-seekers should always complete a FAFSA to determine the financial aid for which they qualify. In addition to student loans and grants, learners should consider pursuing scholarship opportunities, which provide funding that does not require repayment. Students can also consider graduate assistantships if they want to combine work experience with financial assistance.
- Federal Financial Aid
Completing a FAFSA can help students determine the financial aid for which they qualify based on their financial situation and expected family contributions. Federal financial aid includes student loans and grants. After graduation, student loans require repayment, but graduates do not need to pay back the funding they receive through federal grants.
- Scholarships from Professional Organizations
Degree-seekers can explore scholarship opportunities from professional organizations. Scholarships depend on either merit or financial need, with many awards requiring applicants to demonstrate both.
- Federal Financial Aid
Many colleges and universities feature institution-specific scholarship opportunities, and some programs feature program-specific opportunities. These awards combine merit and financial-need based requirements, which degree-seekers can explore before applying to awards that intrigue them.
- Graduate Assistantships
Learners can participate in supporting roles at colleges or universities while they complete their post-graduate education. In addition to providing students with valuable in-the-field experience for their professional resumes, graduate assistantships provide degree-seekers with educational funding to help pay tuition costs.