Kristen Dicerbo

Education Researcher, Pearson
Spoke at

researchED Washington


Assessment without Tests

Rich digital environments, including games, simulations, and alternate reality learning experiences, provide new ways to think about assessment. They allow us to gather information about what students know and can do without administering anything that looks or feels like a test. These environments promote student engagement, let students learn while their progress is being measured, provide immediate feedback to both the student and the teacher, and reveal the processes students use to reach an answer, not just the answer itself. This session will describe ongoing research around the design and evaluation of digital environments for assessment, providing examples of games and simulations that allow us to provide new, rich information and feedback to students and teachers.


Kristen leads a team of education researchers focused on conducting and translating research about learners and learning in order to influence the development of curricula and digital tools. Her personal research centers on interactive technologies, particularly the use evidence from learner activity in games and simulations to understand what learners know and can do. She has also engaged with teachers to understand how to best communicate information about student performance to inform instructional decisions. Kristen has been at Pearson since 2012 and has previously served as Lead, Center for Learning Science & Technology; Principal Research Scientist and Senior Research Scientist, all in Pearson’s Research Innovation Network. Kristen received her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Arizona State University.