Randall Penfield
POR0148_Randy_Penfield_1- (1)

Dean, School of Education
Email: rdpenfie@uncg.edu

Office: 324-A SOE

Research Interest

educational measurement, item response theory, test fairness, measurement invariance, differential item functioning, equity of test-based educational accountability policies, computer adaptive testing, applied statistics


  • Ph.D. in Measurement and Applied Statistics, University of Toronto
  • M.A. in Physiological Psychology, York University
  • B.Sc. in Psychology, University of Toronto


Dr. Penfield is Dean of the School of Education and a Professor of educational measurement and assessment. His research focuses on issues of fairness in testing, validity of test scores, and the advancement of methods and statistical models used in the field of assessment. In recognition of his scholarly productivity he was awarded the 2005 early career award by the National Council on Measurement in Education, and was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association in 2011. In addition, he has served as co-principal investigator or consultant on a numerous federal grants funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Education.

Link to Dr. Penfield’s CV


Penfield, R. D. (2016). Fairness in test scoring. In N. J. Dorans & L. Cook (Eds.), Fairness in Educational Assessment and Measurement (pp. 55-75). Taylor & Francis.

Penfield, R. D. (2014). An NCME instructional module on polytomous item response theory models. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 33(1), 36-48.

Penfield, R. D. (2010). Modeling DIF effects using distractor-level invariance effects: Implications for understanding the causes of DIF. Applied Psychological Measurement, 34, 151-165.

Penfield R. D. (2010). Test-based grade retention: Does it stand up to professional standards of appropriate test use? Educational Researcher, 39, 110-119.

Penfield, R. D. (2007). Assessing differential step functioning in polytomous items using a common odds ratio estimator. Journal of Educational Measurement, 44, 187-210.

Penfield, R. D. (2006). Applying Bayesian item selection approaches to adaptive tests using polytomous items. Applied Measurement in Education, 19, 1-20.

Penfield, R. D., & Bergeron, J. M. (2005). Applying a weighted maximum likelihood latent trait estimator to the generalized partial credit model. Applied Psychological Measurement, 29, 218-233.