Jessica Alzen

Jessica Alzen
PhD Candidate
REM: Research & Evaluation Methodology

School of Education, Room 237
University of Colorado Boulder
249 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309

Jessica Alzen is a PhD Candidate and Ambassador for the Research and Evaluation Methodology program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is also a Miramontes Scholar. Her research interests include Teacher and Program Evaluation, Value-Added Models, and Large-Scale Assessment.

During her time at the School of Education, Jessica has had the opportunity to work on several research projects. Her first was a collaboration between researchers from University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, and University of Northern Colorado. Their purpose was to enhance the Colorado Department of Education’s ability to link Colorado teachers to their respective licensure programs in preparation for Colorado SB 10-036 and SB 11-245, which requires the Department of Higher Education to track the outcomes of graduates of teacher licensure programs. Following the completion of this project, Jessica worked with her advisor, Derek Briggs, to conduct an evaluation of on-line classes offered at University of Colorado at Boulder for the Office of Continuing Education. Currently, Jessica is working on a project for the Denver Public School System. The research team’s goal is to help the district implement Colorado SB 10-191, a new form of teacher evaluation that includes multiple measures of teacher effectiveness.

Prior to joining the School of Education, Jessica was a middle school mathematics and AVID teacher in a small, Title I district in Southern California. In addition, she worked as an adjunct professor of mathematics and English for a local university. She continues to serve as an adjunct, on-line professor at that university to keep her connected to the classroom. During her time in Boulder, Jessica has had the opportunity to teach both the Quantitative Methods I & II labs for PhD students in the School of Education as well.


MA English Pedagogy, California Baptist University, 2007
BS Mathematics, California Baptist University, 2005
BA English, California Baptist University, 2005

Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Dissertation Fellowship, American Educational Research Association (AERA) (2014-2015)

My research interests focus on teacher and program evaluation as well as large-scale assessments and value-added modeling. I'm particularly interested in methods of identifying differential teacher effectiveness with different types of students, methods of dealing with measurement error, and the ways in which we model socioeconomic status in value-added models.

Adjunct Professor (2008-present)

California Baptist University Online and Professional Studies

Courses taught:

Intermediate Composition
Introduction to Literature for Majors and Minors
Research and Writing in Literature and Language for Undergraduates
Elementary Algebra
Intermediate Algebra

Teaching Assistant (2012-2013)

University of Colorado Boulder School of Education 

Courses taught:

Quantitative Methods I & II

Public School Teacher (2005-2011)

Arizona Middle School

Courses taught:

Reading-Language Arts

Graduate Review Board Member, American Educational Research Journal

Program Ambassador, CU-Boulder Research and Evaluation Methodology

Professional Conference Papers

Alzen, J. & Domingue, B. (2013). A Characterization of Sorting and Implications for Value-Added Estimates. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council of Measurement in Education, San Francisco, CA, April 28, 2013.

Briggs, D. C. & Alzen, J. (2013). Does Taking an Online Version of a Course have a Negative Effect on Student Learning? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA, May 1, 2013.