College of Education

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Jinming Zhang

Key Professional Appointments

  • Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Professor, Statistics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Professor, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Research & Service

Dr. Jinming Zhang's research focuses on theoretical and applied statistical issues involved in educational and psychological measurement, and his research interest includes multidimensional item response theory, dimensionality assessment techniques, large-scale assessments, generalizability theory, and test security. From 1996 to 2009 he was employed at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) where he was a senior research scientist in the Division of Research and Development. He had worked on various research and operational projects related to large-scale educational assessments, specifically, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), at ETS. He successfully directed and co-directed statistical and psychometric analyses of many large-scale assessment projects such as the 1996 and 2005 national science, 2000 state science, 1998, 2002 and 2003 national and state reading, 2006 national civics, and 2008 national arts assessments.


Demirkaya, O., Bezirhan, U., & Zhang, J. (2023). Detecting Item Preknowledge Using Revisits With Speed and Accuracy. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 48(4), 521-542.  link >

Li, X., Xu, H., Zhang, J., & Chang, H. H. (2023). Deep Reinforcement Learning for Adaptive Learning Systems. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 48(2), 220-243.  link >

Li, X., Xu, H., Zhang, J., & Chang, H. H. (2021). Optimal Hierarchical Learning Path Design With Reinforcement Learning. Applied Psychological Measurement, 45(1), 54-70.  link >

Li, X., Zhang, J., & Chang, H. H. (2020). Look-ahead content balancing method in variable-length computerized classification testing. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 73(1), 88-108.  link >

Choe, E. M., Zhang, J., & Chang, H. H. (2018). Sequential Detection of Compromised Items Using Response Times in Computerized Adaptive Testing. Psychometrika, 83(3), 650-673.  link >

Lin, C. K., & Zhang, J. (2018). Detecting Nonadditivity in Single-Facet Generalizability Theory Applications: Tukey's Test. Journal of Educational Measurement, 55(1), 78-89.  link >

Lee, Y. H., & Zhang, J. (2017). Effects of Differential Item Functioning on Examinees' Test Performance and Reliability of Test. International Journal of Testing, 17(1), 23-54.  link >

Zhang, J., & Lin, C. K. (2016). Generalizability Theory With One-Facet Nonadditive Models. Applied Psychological Measurement, 40(6), 367-386.  link >

Zhang, J., & Li, J. (2016). Monitoring Items in Real Time to Enhance CAT Security. Journal of Educational Measurement, 53(2), 131-151.  link >

Tay-lim, B. S. H., & Zhang, J. (2015). An Investigation of Different Treatment Strategies for Item Category Collapsing in Calibration: An Empirical Study. Applied Measurement in Education, 28(2), 143-155.  link >

Lin, C. K., & Zhang, J. (2014). Investigating correspondence between language proficiency standards and academic content standards: A generalizability theory study. Language Testing, 31(4), 413-431.  link >

Zhang, J. (2014). A Sequential Procedure for Detecting Compromised Items in the Item Pool of a CAT System. Applied Psychological Measurement, 38(2), 87-104.  link >

Lin, C. K. C., & Zhang, J. (2013). Enhancing standard-based validity for ELL population: A perspective from correspondence between standards. TESOL Quarterly, 47(2), 399-410.  link >

Zhang, J. (2013). A Procedure for Dimensionality Analyses of Response Data from Various Test Designs. Psychometrika, 78(1), 37-58.  link >

Zhang, J. (2012). Calibration of Response Data Using MIRT Models With Simple and Mixed Structures. Applied Psychological Measurement, 36(5), 375-398.  link >

Zhang, J., Chang, H. H., & Yi, Q. (2012). Comparing single-pool and multiple-pool designs regarding test security in computerized testing. Behavior Research Methods, 44(3), 742-752.  link >

Zhang, J. (2012). The Impact of Variability of Item Parameter Estimators on Test Information Function. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 37(6), 737-757.  link >

Zhang, J., Xie, M., Song, X., & Lu, T. (2011). Investigating the Impact of Uncertainty About Item Parameters on Ability Estimation. Psychometrika, 76(1), 97-118.  link >

Braun, H., Zhang, J., & Vezzu, S. (2010). An investigation of bias in reports of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 32(1), 24-43.  link >

Lee, Y., & Zhang, J. (2010). DIFFERENTIAL ITEM FUNCTIONING: ITS CONSEQUENCES. ETS Research Report Series, 2010(1), i-25.  link >

Braun, H., Zhang, J., & Vezzu, S. (2008). EVALUATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A FULL-POPULATION ESTIMATION METHOD. ETS Research Report Series, 2008(1), i-58.  link >


Yi, Q., Zhang, J., & Chang, H. H. (2008). Severity of organized item theft in computerized adaptive testing: A simulation study. Applied Psychological Measurement, 32(7), 543-558.  link >

Zhang, J. (2007). Conditional covariance theory and DETECT for polytomous items. Psychometrika, 72(1), 69-91.  link >


Yi, Q., Zhang, J., & Chang, H. H. (2006). Assessing CAT test security severity. Applied Psychological Measurement, 30(1), 62-63.  link >

Yi, Q., Zhang, J., & Chang, H. (2006). Severity of organized item theft in computerized adaptive testing: an empirical study. ETS Research Report Series, 2006(2), i-25.  link >

Zhang, J. (2005). BIAS CORRECTION FOR THE MAXIMUM LIKELIHOOD ESTIMATE OF ABILITY. ETS Research Report Series, 2005(2), i-39.  link >


Zhang, J., & Chang, H. (2005). The effectiveness of enhancing test security by using multiple item pools. ETS Research Report Series, 2005(2), i-16.  link >


Zhang, J. (2004). CONDITIONAL COVARIANCE THEORY AND DETECT FOR POLYTOMOUS ITEMS. ETS Research Report Series, 2004(2), i-43.  link >

Chang, H. H., & Zhang, J. (2002). Hypergeometric family and item overlap rates in computerized adaptive testing. Psychometrika, 67(3), 387-398.  link >

Zhang, J., & Stout, W. (1999). Conditional covariance structure of generalized compensatory multidimensional items. Psychometrika, 64(2), 129-152.  link >

Zhang, J., & Stout, W. (1999). The theoretical DETECT index of dimensionality and its application to approximate simple structure. Psychometrika, 64(2), 213-249.  link >

Zhang, J., & Stout, W. (1997). On Holland's Dutch identity conjecture. Psychometrika, 62(3), 375-392.  link >

Stout, W., Habing, B., Douglas, J., Kim, H. R., Roussos, L., & Zhang, J. (1996). Conditional covariance-based nonparametric multidimensionality assessment. Applied Psychological Measurement, 20(4), 331-354.  link >


CI 446: Culture in the Classroom (CI 446) Explores cultural, political, and social factors that affect learning and teaching. Introduces students to the fields of educational anthropology and multicultural education and to the application of cultural information to curriculum development and classroom practice. The 3-hour undergraduate version and 4-hour graduate version meet the Cross-Cultural Studies for Teaching Limited-English-Proficient Students requirement for Bilingual and/or ESL Teaching Approval or Endorsement from the Illinois State Board of Education.

CI 467: Principles in Teaching Literature to Children and Youth (CI 467) Examines literature written for children and youth and the uses of literature in the school curriculum.

CI 475: Teaching Elementary Reading and Language Arts I (CI 475) First of a two-course sequence that examines the basic theories, issues, methods, and materials for a developmental 1-6 language arts program. Emphasizes the need to integrate the four language arts (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) as tools for learning across the curriculum. Addresses cultural diversity in language arts instruction, with emphasis on linguistic diversity.

CI 476: Teaching Elementary and Middle Grade Language Arts (CI 476) Second of a two-course sequence that examines the basic theories, issues, methods, and materials for a developmental K-8 language arts program. It continues to emphasize the need to integrate the four language arts (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) as tools for learning across the curriculum. This second course, however, places a relatively greater emphasis on writing than on reading, speaking, and listening. Continues to address cultural diversity in language arts instruction, with emphasis on linguistic diversity.

CI 567: Children's Literature in the School Curriculum (CI 567) Investigates trends and issues related to teaching literature in the school; focuses attention upon the organization and planning of a balanced literature curriculum (fictional and informational).

CI 590: Seminar for Advanced Study of Education (CI 590) Seminar for graduate students on specific topics.

EPOL 500: Proseminar in EPOL (EPOL 500) Introduces new doctoral students in EPOL to the variety of educational research traditions in order to foster reflective inquiry and critical research literacy.

EPOL 520: Education and Globalization (EPOL 520) Analyses of the role and functions of education in social, political, and economic development, with particular reference to the new and the developing countries.

EPOL 590: Advanced Graduate Seminar (EPOL 590) Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education.

EPS 530: Education and Globalization (EPS 530) Analyses of the role and functions of education in social, political, and economic development, with particular reference to the new and the developing countries. Same as EPOL 520. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

EPSY 480: Educational Statistics (EPSY 480) Designed for terminal value for professional training of students not intending to pursue advanced graduate work, and for introductory value for students continuing graduate study in education; descriptive statistics, introduction to correlation and regression, the normal curve, statistical inference, and the presentation and interpretation of statistical data in educational literature.

EPSY 585: Theories of Measurement I (EPSY 585) Provides a conceptual framework of classical test theory (e.g., true scores, error of measurement, composite measures) and alternatives to the classical model (e.g., generalizability theory, latent trait theory). Students will learn the techniques and theory of classical test theory and apply the methods to educational and psychological assessments. Topics covered include reliability, validity, generalizability, dichotomous Item Response Theory (IRT), test construction and design, item bias and fairness, Differential Item Functioning (DIF), scaling, linking, and equating.

EPSY 590: Advanced Seminar in Educational Psychology (EPSY 590) Seminar in educational psychology; topics relate to the areas of specialization represented by the various divisions within the department.

ERAM 582: Evaluation with Applied Survey Design II (ERAM 582) Further explores the theories, methods, and applications of surveys for educational and social programs through student projects. The survey is an essential tool for researchers in the social sciences and in many applied professional fields, such as education, public health, and marketing. This course focuses on data collection, interviews, training manuals and planning for field work, instrument pilots, and coding and data management.

SPED 117: The Culture of Disability (SPED 117) The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the culture of disability across the lifespan. The impact of disabilities on an individual across the lifespan will be explored, and the unique culture that is created by having a disability will be addressed. The historical basis for the disability movement and special education will be addressed, including legislation and litigation that has had a significant impact on the field. Students also will learn about the characteristics of individuals with diverse abilities as well as current trends in educational services.

SPED 199: Undergraduate Open Seminar (SPED 199) Topics will vary. See course schedule.

SPED 391: Thesis (SPED 391) Prerequisite: Senior standing.

SPED 395: Independent Study (SPED 395) Study of problems not considered in other courses; designed for students who excel in self-direction and intellectual curiosity.

SPED 405: General Educator's Role in Special Education (SPED 405) Examination of issues in educating students with special needs: service delivery models, roles of teachers and related service providers, student assessment, curriculum individualization, instructional strategies, management of problem behaviors, and program evaluation.

SPED 514: Equity Issues in Special Education (SPED 514) A graduate-level overview of issues in equity and access for students with disabilities. Historical and legal foundations are reviewed, but the course focus is issues related to characteristics of individuals with disabilities, challenges in instructional service delivery, including of students with special needs in the general curriculum, and transition of students with disabilities to independent living. Participants reflect on issues in light of their own experiences.

SPED 517: Disability Issues in Special Education (SPED 517) Overview of special education at the graduate level. Focus is placed on issues related to: assessment, identification, and characteristics across all disability areas. The greatest emphasis is placed on strategies for including students with disabilities in the general curriculum. Historical and legal perspectives that provide the foundation for special education are discussed.

SPED 599: Thesis Research (SPED 599) Individual direction of research and thesis writing.