CETE’s Post Doctoral Scholar Dr. Young Min Kim Ensures Reliability Meets Validity

Written by Marcie Kamb, September 26, 2022

Dr. Young Min Kim joins the Center on Education and Training for Employment (CETE) community as a post-doctoral scholar, focusing on developing reliable and valid written tests with high stakes for skilled workers and students.

Young Min is looking forward to helping clients, partners, and CETE colleagues plan their research designs and formulate issues that may come up regarding missing data. “Creating a plan for missing data during the design stage is crucial because when missing data is handled improperly, the results might be severely biased. There are steps you can take in the planning phase to ensure participants are not skipping questions, or if they are, consider a planned missing design approach.” Young Min explains.

He is also particularly excited to work with diversity-related data in the United States and build upon his interest in minimizing discrimination and bias in psychological instruments.

Young Min shares “One of the reasons I decided to come to the U.S. to study quantitative psychology was the diversity I can encounter in U.S. data. With U.S. psychological datasets, I can expect to see a cultural difference in a wider range than one that I can see with Korean datasets. When I applied to my position, I found CETE has a research interest in diversity like the Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Movement. Finding variation by racial or gender group in human behavior, ensuring minimized discrimination by those groups in psychological instruments, and providing statistical support for meaningful intervention is one of the best practices in psychometrics.”

Dr. Young Min Kim serves as a post-doctoral scholar for CETE’s Assessment program.

Testing the surveys and assessments in pilot studies may also be a worthwhile endeavor for CETE to consider avoiding unintended bias.

“Pilot studies with restricted groups of participants constrain the process to develop assessments. Assessments or surveys written in English may include vocabulary words in the items/questions that are unfamiliar to the multi-lingual learners depending on where they studied the English language. Test takers can also take different amounts of time to read, understand, and respond to each item. Thus, we should take into account the range of participants’ response process for English items with a diverse group of people.” Young Min states. 

Another aspect of diversity Young Min has appreciated is the way CETE takes the time and attention that is deserving to correctly pronounce the names of all faculty, associates, and students who comprise the CETE community.

“Although first names are invaluable in my culture because they are given by parents just like any other culture, Korean students in the U.S. sometimes have pressure to create another name for use in English conversation. It is also worth noting that some Korean people decide to have English-style nicknames for their own reasons on the other side. Considering that context, trying to pronounce others’ names cautiously seemed to be very respectful and I have appreciated CETE colleagues’ efforts in this space.” Young Min states.

Young Min will also analyze and review tests and serve as a consultant for credentialing organizations. In his previous work when consulting with clients, he was able to provide them with a project interest form at the onset of the project which helped him to understand their needs before developing the project plan.

“Clients are often seeking statistical analysis but may not be aware of the research design or survey operations that could help enhance the work. Knowing the scope of the project before initiating the work allows our team to understand the depth of their project/research experiences and develop specific objectives and methodologies that will meet their needs. This is something we can develop for our potential partners at CETE.” states Young Min.

In 2020-2021, CETE’s Assessment program held over 120 virtual assessment/test item writing workshops with Subject Matter Experts on topics ranging from Baking and Pastry Arts to   Engineering and Manufacturing, to Construction, and everything in between. With Dr. Young Min Kim putting his psychometrics skills into action, end users can rest assured that the assessment items have been thoroughly pilot tested, reviewed, revised, and reviewed again. That’s one equation we can all sign off on.