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Noted Educator and Researcher Joins CyGaMEs

Wed Aug 19 2009

A photo of Larry Heges.Larry Hedges, a national leader in the fields of educational statistics and evaluation, has joined the CyGaMEs project at the Center for Educational Technologies® as a project partner.

Hedges is the board of trustees professor of statistics and social policy and faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. The CyGaMEs project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to carry out research into videogame learning, design, and assessment that first began with a NASA-funded project that created the Selene videogame.

Hedges said CyGaMEs research is potentially path breaking. CyGaMEs could serve as a prototype for the types of instructional interventions lots of people are talking about and think would be a good idea. Hedges is interested in the CyGaMEs assessment suite as a way to measure learning that does not violate the assumptions held by learning scientists. He says the collaboration will support pioneering work to solve problems about how to collect and analyze data.

Hedges' research straddles many fields—in particular those of sociology, psychology, and educational policy. He is best known for his work to develop statistical methods for meta-analysis (a statistical analysis of the results of multiple studies that combines their findings) in the social, medical, and biological sciences. It is a key component of evidence-based social research. Some of his recent studies include the costs of generating systematic reviews, differences between boys and girls in mental test scores, the black-white gap in achievement test scores, and frameworks for international comparative studies on education.

He has authored or coauthored numerous journal articles and five books, including the seminal Statistical Methods for Meta-analysis (with I. Olkin) and The Handbook of Research Synthesis (with H. Cooper and J. Valentine).

He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Statistical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Educational Research Association. He is vice chair of the board of trustees of the Russell Sage Foundation, co-chair pro temp of the board of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, and president of the Society for Research Synthesis Methods.

Hedges' work with CyGaMEs principal investigator Debbie Denise Reese is, in part, under the auspices of the Center for Advancing Research and Communication in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (ARC), which is also funded by the National Science Foundation. ARC supports investigators conducting NSF-supported research to build research capacity by strengthening the community of scholars and helping to share knowledge with practitioners, policymakers, and other educational researchers.

The Selene game at the heart of the CyGaMEs project is aimed at players ages 9-18, and players are always needed to help with the research. Before they can play, they must be registered by an adult recruiter, who confirms players' ages, gets parental consent, and gathers other players. To sign up as a recruiter or play Selene, visit the Selene website or contact Lisa McFarland at 304-243-2479 or selene@cet.edu.