Meagan Karvonen


Meagan Karvonen, ATLAS Director
  • Director

Biography

Meagan Karvonen, Ph.D., has worked in the field of assessments for students with disabilities since 2001. Her research focuses on universal design for assessment, validity evaluation, continuous improvement for assessments and general curriculum access, and professional development for teachers who provide academic instruction for students with disabilities.

Karvonen is the Director of Accessible Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Systems (ATLAS), a research center at the University of Kansas with more than 150 staff and more than $20M in annual revenues. Karvonen directs the Dynamic Learning Maps® Alternate Assessment System, which administers statewide alternate assessments to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in 21 states. She has served as PI or co-PI on projects totaling more than $60 million and is currently PI or co-PI on three IES- and OSEP-funded grants on improving academic outcomes for students with significant cognitive disabilities (R324A180202, H326M180010, H327S200015).

Prior to joining the University of Kansas, she was a faculty member in educational research and measurement. She conducted operational research and provided technical assistance on alternate assessments to more than 30 state education agencies. She has also served as a technical advisor on multiple alternate English language proficiency assessment systems. Karvonen has co-authored more than 200 articles, book chapters, technical reports, and presentations.

Education

Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Research (Research Track), University of South Carolina

Selected Publications

Books and Book Chapters

Wakeman, S. Y., Karvonen, M., Flowers, C., & Ruhter, L. (2021). Alternate assessments and monitoring student progress in inclusive classrooms. In J. McLeskey, F. Spooner, B. Algozzine, & N.L. Waldron, (Eds.), Handbook of research and practice for inclusive schools (2nd ed.) (pp. 302-321). Routledge.

Wakeman, S. L., Karvonen, M., Kearns, J., & Stoehr, M. (2022). Using multiple sources of information to develop a comprehensive understanding of a student’s strengths and needs. In R. Pennington, M. Ault, G. Courtade, M. Jameson, & A. Ruppar(Eds.) High Leverage Practices: Ensuring Access for Students with Extensive Support Needs. Routledge.

Karvonen, M., Kingston, N. M., Wehmeyer, M. L., & Thompson, W. J. (2020). New approaches to designing and administering inclusive assessmentsOxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford University Press.

Karvonen, M., Wakeman, S., & Kingston, N. (2017). Alternate assessment. In M. L. Wehmeyer & K. A. Shogren (Eds.). Handbook of research-based practices for educating students with intellectual disability (pp. 102–118). Routledge.

Journal Articles

Ruhter, L., & Karvonen, M. (in press). The impact of professional development on teachers’ use of data-based decision making for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Remedial and Special Education.

Kobrin, J. L., Karvonen, M., Clark, A., & Thompson, W. J. (2022). Developing and refining a model for measuring implementation fidelity for an instructionally embedded assessment systemPractical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation, 27(24).

Clark, A. K., Nash, B. N., & Karvonen, M. (2022). Teacher assessment literacy: Implications for diagnostic assessment systems [online version]Applied Measurement in Education

Clark, A. K., & Karvonen, M. 2021). Instructionally embedded assessment: A theory of action for an innovative systemFrontiers in Education.

Bechard, S., Karvonen, M., & Erickson, K. (2021). Opportunities and challenges of applying cognitive process dimensions to map-based learning and alternate assessmentFrontiers in Education, 6(653693).

Clark, A. K., & Karvonen, M. (2020). Constructing and evaluating a validation argument for a next-generation alternate assessmentEducational Assessment, 25(1), 47–64.

Bechard, S., Clark, A., Swinburne Romine, R., Karvonen, M., Kingston, N., & Erickson, K. (2019). Use of evidence-centered design to develop learning maps-based assessmentsInternational Journal of Testing, 19(2), 188–205.

Karvonen, M., & Clark, A. K. (2019). Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are also English learnersResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 44(2), 71–86.

Clark, A. K., Nash, B., Karvonen, M., & Kingston, N. (2017). Condensed mastery profile method for setting standards for diagnostic assessment systemsEducational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 36(4), 5–15. 

Karvonen, M., Flowers, C., & Wakeman, S. (2013). Factors associated with access to the general curriculum for students with intellectual disabilityCurrent Issues in Education, 16(3), 10.

Karvonen, M., Wakeman, S., Flowers, C., & Moody, S. (2013). The relationship of teachers’ instructional decisions and beliefs about alternate assessments to student achievementExceptionality, 21(4), 238–252.

Flowers, C., Wakeman, S., Browder, D. M., & Karvonen, M. (2009). Links for academic learning (LAL): A conceptual model for investigating alignment of alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standardsEducational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 28(1), 25–37.

Browder, D. M., Wakeman, S. Y., Flowers, C., Rickelman, R. J., Pugalee, D., & Karvonen, M. (2007). Creating access to the general curriculum with links to grade-level content for students with significant cognitive disabilitiesThe Journal of Special Education, 41(1), 2–16.

Karvonen, M., Wakeman, S. Y., Flowers, C., & Browder, D. M. (2007). Measuring the enacted curriculum for students with significant cognitive disabilitiesAssessment for Effective Intervention, 33(1), 29–38.

Karvonen, M., & Huynh, H. (2007). Relationship between IEP characteristics and test scores on an alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilitiesApplied Measurement in Education, 20(3), 273–300.

Karvonen, M., Flowers, C. P., Browder, D. M., Wakeman, S., & Algozzine, B. (2006). Case study of the influences on alternate assessment outcomes for students with disabilitiesEducation and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 41(2), 95–110.

Technical Reports, White Papers, and Other Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Winter, P., Karvonen, M., d’Brot, J., Hoover, J., & Warren, S. (2022). State accountability systems: Measuring and reporting academic growth for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Council of Chief State School Officers.

Karvonen, M., Beitling, B., Erickson, K., Morgan, S., & Bull, R. (2021). Students with significant cognitive disabilities and dual sensory loss. Accessible Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Systems and the National Center on Deaf-Blindness. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Accessible Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Systems (ATLAS). Sands Point, NY: National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB).

Selected Presentations

Ruhter, L., Williams, T. R., Karvonen, M., Koebley, S., & Wakeman, S. (2023, March 3). Universally designed, inquiry-based science instruction for students with extensive support needs [Conference session]. Council for Exceptional Children Convention & Expo, Louisville, KY, United States.

Laitusis, C., Dolan, B., Lazarus, S., & Karvonen, M. (2022, June 29). Unpacking and updating universal design guidelines on assessment. Presentation at the 2022 CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment.

Warren, S., d’Brot, J., Gooley, T., Karvonen, M., Neale, A.-M., & Winter, P. (2022, June 29). Alternate assessment growth models: State approaches to describing academic growth for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Presentation at the 2022 CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment.

Karvonen, M., Dolan, R., Bates, S., & Laitusis, C. (2022, June 28). Universally designed and multi-dimensional science assessments. Symposium at the 2022 CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment.

Karvonen, M., & Clark, A. K. (2022, April 23). Lessons learned in the Dynamic Learning Maps alternate assessment system. In A. K. Clark (chair), Innovative Assessment Systems: Informing the Future of Educational Measurement. Presentation at the 2023 annual meeting of the National Conference on Measurement in Education.

Lombardi, A., Karvonen, M., Pellechia, M., Shogren, K., & Schertz, H. (2022, January 25-27). Covid-19 research: Pivots: Lessons learned [Panel Presentation], IES Directors Meeting [virtual]).

Karvonen, M. (2021, June 22). Validity studies: Postsecondary readiness and opportunity to learn. In M. Gholson [Moderator], Advances in validity evidence for alternate assessments. Presentation at the 2021 CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment [virtual].

Karvonen, M. (2019, June). Using alternate assessment results to measure student progress. Presentation to the Assessing Special Education Students State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards, Orlando, FL.

Karvonen, M., & Swinburne Romine, R. (2019, April). Grounding the design of a large-scale alternate assessment in learning map models. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Karvonen, M., Andersen, L., Swinburne Romine, R., & Tiemann, G. (2019, April). Blending evidence-centered design and universal design for learning in next-generation science assessment. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Karvonen, M., Clark, A. K., Swinburne Romine, R., & Kingston, N. M. (2019, April). Development and evaluation of diagnostic score reports: Process and recommendations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Karvonen, M. (2019, February). Cognitive lab methods for alternate assessments. Presentation to the Council of Chief State School Officers Assessing Special Education Students SCASS meeting, Los Angeles, CA.

Karvonen, M. (2018, October). Promoting equity in classroom assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. In L. Ketterlin-Geller (Chair), Promoting equity in classroom assessments. Session at the NCME Classroom Assessment Conference, Lawrence, KS. Invited.

Karvonen, M. (2018, September). Large-scale alternate assessments based on fine-grained learning maps: Opportunities and challenges. Presentation at the Frontiers in Educational Measurement conference, Oslo, Norway.

Clark, A. K., & Karvonen, M. (2018, June). Identifying English learners who take DLM assessments. In A. K. Clark, M. Gholson, J. Christmus, & P. Winter (Chairs), What do we know about students with significant cognitive disabilities who are English learners? Session at the annual meeting of the National Conference on Student Assessment, San Diego, CA.

Karvonen, M., Swinburne Romine, R., Clark, A. K., Brussow, J., & Kingston, N. (2017, April). Promoting accurate score report interpretation. Presentation at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, San Antonio, TX.

Karvonen, M., Swinburne Romine, R., & Clark, A. K. (2016, April). Validity evidence to support alternate assessment score uses: Fidelity and response processes. Presentation at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, Washington, DC.

Karvonen, M., Flowers, C., & Wakeman, S. (2014, April). Alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS): Item features and student outcomes. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.

Karvonen, M., Wakeman, S., & Ahumada, A. (2014, April). Using growth models of AA-AAS student performance within a teacher effectiveness system. Presentation at the annual Council for Exceptional Children Convention and Expo, Philadelphia, PA.

Wakeman, S., Karvonen, M., & Ahumada, A. (2013, April). Academic content for subgroups of students with significant disabilities: Tackling content gaps. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Council for Exceptional Children, San Antonio, TX.

Barton, K., & Karvonen, M. (2012, June). Providing a technology-driven teacher support system for differentiated instruction and individualized student learning: Evaluation results and lessons learned. Paper presented at the Council of Chief State School Officers National Conference on Student Assessment, Minneapolis, MN.

Karvonen, M. (2011, April). Discussant, Exploring issues of scoring student performance on alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards. Symposium at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. 

Karvonen, M., Almond, P., Wakeman, S., & Bechard, S. (2010, April). A synthesis of ten alignment studies of alternate assessment systems based on alternate achievement standards (1%): Implications for assessment system design and policy. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, Denver, CO. 

Awards & Honors

American Educational Research Association Division H Outstanding Publication Award for Advances in Methodology (2017), with B. Nash, A. K. Clark, & J. Brussow

Grants & Other Funded Activity

Selected Grants

Koebley, S. C. (PI), & Karvonen, M. (co-PI). (2020-2025). Special educator technology-based training of trainers (SETTT) for success (H327S200015). U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

Swinburne Romine, R. (PI), & Karvonen, M. (co-PI). (2019-2023). Shared writing instructional model for students with intellectual disability (Award No. H326M180010). U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

Karvonen, M. (PI), Wakeman, S. (co-PI), Koebley, S. (co-PI), & Pugalee, D. (co-PI). (2018-2023). 5E model professional development in science education for special educators (Award No. R324A180202). U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Special Education Research.

Karvonen, M. (PI), Blackorby, J. (co-PI), Swinburne Romine, R. (co-PI), Tiemann, G. (co-PI), & Torchon, M. (PD). (2017-2020). Innovations in science maps, assessments, and reporting technologies (Award No. S368A170009). U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Other Funded Activity

Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment System (2015-present). PI on multiple state contracts to design and deliver operational alternate assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities

Memberships

  • American Educational Research Association
  • Council of Chief State School Officers Technical Issues in Large-Scale Assessment Collaborative
  • Council for Exceptional Children
  • National Council for Measurement in Education