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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Tony Lam


Tony Lam
Associate Professor


email: tcm.lam@utoronto.ca  

Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning



Research Overview

Tony Chiu Ming Lam is a measurement and evaluation methodologist. His research focuses on self-report, rating scale construction, evaluation of treatment impact with weak experimental designs and integration of measurement and evaluation methods. The specific research projects he has conducted involve rating scale construction, performance and alternative learner assessment methods, measurement-driven education reform, student-centered instruction, validity of self-report data, retrospective self-report of change, cognitive interview, modification of single-group design to augment capacity to evaluate treatment impact,Standards-based evaluation, theory-driven measurement and evaluation, and integration of measurement and research validities.

Academic History

Dr. Lam received his Master's degree in Cognitive Psychology from Hollins college and his doctoral degree in Measurement, Statistics, Research and Evaluation Methodologies from the University of Washington. While in the States, he guided the development of multiple achievement tests written in various languages for the Seattle Public School district, and under the auspices of the US Department of Education, provided consultation on evaluation to bilingual education programs in the western portion of the US, and co-developed the Bilingual Education Evaluation System (BEES), a framework for evaluating federally funded bilingual education programs. During one of the five years as a professor at the University of New Mexico, he directed the federally funded National Evaluation Assistance Center (EAC)-West. As tenured professor at the Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto (OISE/UT), he was also the head of the Center for the Advancement of Measurement, Evaluation and Assessment (CAMERA) in the now discontinued Measurement & Evaluation Program.

Teaching Overview

Graduate Courses:
Advanced Program Evaluation,Attitude Scaling, Bias in Assessment,
Data Collection and Analysis, Educational Research Methods
Fundamentals of Program Evaluation, Intermediate Statistics
Introduction to Educational and Psychological Measurement, Instrument Development in Education, Performance Assessments, Research & Issues in Alternative Assessments, Test Theory, Cognitive Processes in Survey Response, Authentic Assessment, Survey Research, Self-Assessment
Theory-based Evaluation, Training Evaluation

Undergraduate Courses:
Classroom-based Assessment, Reflective Teaching and Self-Evaluation


Representative Publications

Dr. Lam has published in the following journals:

American Journal of Orthodontics (AJO), American Journal of Evaluation (AJE), Applied Measurement in Education (AME), Applied Psychological Measurement (APM), Crucible, Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice (EMIP), Evaluation Practice (EP), Evaluation Review (ER). ERIC/CASS Digest Series on Assessment in Counseling and Therapy,  ERIC Clearinghouse on Tests, Measurement, and Evaluation, Field Methods, Fire Chief, Human Resource Development Review  (HRDR), Interchange, Journal of Applied Measurement (JAM),  Journal of Educational Computing and Research (JECR), Journal of Educational Measurement (JEM), Journal of International Testing (JIT), Journal of Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development (MECD), Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation (JMDE), Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTTE), Leisure Sciences, Psychology in the School, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Resources in Education, Review of Educational Research (RER),Telemedicine and e-Health.

He has also written 10 chapters for eight books and for one conference proceeding. Two of the books were published in Germany. Currently, he is under contract with Taylor & Francis to co-write a book with a colleague and as lead author on survey research that is based on both theory-driven and mixed methods.

Here are some samples of his publications:

Lam, T.C.M. & Valve, L. (2021). Cognitive Interview in Survey Development: Item Construction and Response Validation. In Luhanga & Harbaugh (Ed.) Basic Elements of Survey Research in Education. Information Age Publishing.

Lam, T.C.M. & Valencia, E. (2019). Retrospective pretest and counterfactual self-report, different or same? Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 15(33), 37-53.

Lam, T.C.M., Kolomitro, K. & Alamparambil, F.C. (2011) Empathy training: Methods, evaluation practices, and validity. Journal of MultiDiciplinary Evaluation, 7(16), 162-200.

Lam, T.C.M. (2009). Do Self-Assessments Work to Detect Workshop Success? An Analysis of D’Eon et al.’s Argument and Recommendation. American Journal of Evaluation, 30 (1)93-105.

Lam, T.C.M. & Kolic, M. (2008). Effects of semantic incompatibility on rating response. Applied Psychological Measurement, 32 (1), 248-260.

Lam, T.C.M. & Bengo, P. (2003). A comparison of three retrospective self-reporting methods of measuring change in instructional practices. American Journal of Evaluation, 24(1), 65-80.

Lam, T.C.M., Green, K.E. & Bordignon, C (2002). Effects of item grouping and position of the “don’t know” option on questionnaire response. Field Methods. 14(4), 418-432.

Lam, T.C.M. (1995). Individualization of objectives: A model of educational program evaluation. Evaluation Practice, 16(1), 13-28.  

Lam, T.C.M. & Stevens, J. J. (1994). Effects of content polarization, item wording, and rating scale width on rating response. Applied Measurement in Education, 7(2), 141-158.

Lam, T.C.M. (1993). Testability: A critical issue in testing language minority students with standardized achievement tests, Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 26(3), 179-191.

Lam, T.C.M. (1992, Fall). Analysis of performance gaps in program evaluation: A review of the Gap-Reduction Design. Evaluation Review, 16(6), 618-633.

Lam, T.C.M. (1992, Summer). Review of practices and problems in the evaluation of bilingual education. Review of Educational Research, 62(2), 181-203.

Lam, T.C.M., & Klockars, A.J. (1982, Winter). Effect of choice of anchor points on the equivalence of questionnaire items. Journal of Educational Measurement, 19(4), 317-322.Lam, T.C.M., & Klockars, A.J. (1982, Winter). Effect of choice of anchor points on the equivalence of questionnaire items. Journal of Educational Measurement, 19(4), 317-322.

Research Grants and Contracts

The Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO). Competency Mapping and Qualifications Assessment Development to support the Experience Requirement for Interior Designers in Ontario. 2019-2020.

The Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO). Development of the Interior Designer Qualification Assessment System. 2015-2016.

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). Evaluation of the IFAW education program packages project, 2012-2014.

Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA Canada). Evaluation of the Youth Facilitative Leaders (YFL) project, 2009 -2011.

ADVOCI, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada. Development of a continuing education program accreditation system, 2009-2011.

The Macaulay Child Development Centre. Literature review and evaluation planning for the “program without walls,” 2007.

OISE/UT-CTL Department. “SSHRC Institutional Grant,” Cognitive processes in survey response, 2007.

OISE/UT-CTL Department. “SSHRC Institutional Grant,” Quantitative cognitive testing: An exploratory study, 2006.

Horn & Associate, Development of the humanistic influencing model and scale, 2006,

Canadian Security Institute (CSI). A review of the WME exam blueprint design and development, November, 2005.

Canadian Security Institute (CSI). A review of the CSI Testing Program, October-December, 2005.

Audit and Evaluation Directorate of the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). A review of the proposed methodology report for the summative evaluation of the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI), July, 2005.

Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE). Provided consultation on needs assessment and evaluation designing for their Prevention and Support Services Capacity Building Project, which provides training and assistance to AIDS service centers across Canada in capacity building in the integration of prevention, support and treatment–related services, 2004.

College of Dietitian of Ontario (CDO), Validation of the Revised CDO Self-Directed Learning Tool, 2003-2004.

Canada Earth Day, A Review of the Earth Day Canada’s EcoAction Team Program. 2004.

German Institute for International Educational Research, An International Comparison of Student Performance on PISA, 2002.

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Indicator Study, 2001–2004.

OISE/UT Research & Development Assistantships. A Meta -Analysis of large -scale assessment impact on teaching and learning, 2001.

SSHRC Institutional Grant. An exploratory study of the implementation and impact of the Ontario Province-Wide Testing System’s educational enhancement strategies, 2001–2002.

Center for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB). External evaluation of CCLB, 2000–2001.

Departmental Small Scale Grant, Review and analysis of the utilization of the fourfold research typology and large -scale testing validation studies, 2002.

Health Professionals Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC), Data analysis for the HPRAC’s five year Review Project, 2000–2001.

OISE/UT Graduate Assistant Award. Issues of bias in performance assessment, 1999-2000.

Radiation Oncology Research Unit of Kingston General Hospital, Evaluation of the question & answer booklet on early stage prostate cancer, 2000.

OISE/UT Graduate Assistant Award. The Use of portfolios for instruction, assessment, professional development, and program evaluation, 1999.

SSHRC Small Scale Grant. Methods of measuring change: A comparative analysis, 1999-2000.

Horns & Associates. Evaluation of the humanistic approach to training influencing skills, 1999 –2000.

Ontario Ministry of Education and Training EQAO Grant. General issues in early assessment: implications for Ontario's kindergarten children, 1999.

Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services. Conceptualization of the development of the Ontario Police Qualifying Examination, 1999.

Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services. Development of an item banking software, 1999–2000.

Steel Worker Union of Ontario. Test preparation and review, 1998.

Ontario Ministry of Education and Training Transfer Grant. Alternative assessment in the elementary mathematics classroom: Its Use and Effect, 1998–2000.

Branksome Hall School. A survey of the first year implementation of a school-wide teacher professional development, 1998.

Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services. Analysis of the relationship between measurements of risks and recidivism, 1998.

College of Dietitians of Ontario (CDO). Development of the Ontario Dietitians Self-Assessment Tool, 1997–2002.

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education / U. of Toronto (OSIE/UT). Small Scale Research Grant, 1997–1998.

Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal. Fire safety effectiveness model study, 1997-1998.

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education / U. of Toronto (OSIE/UT). Mini Research Grant, 1996-1997.

University of Toronto, General Research Grant, 1996-1997.

University of Toronto, two UNITE Grants, 1994-1995.

University of Toronto, General Research Grant, 1993-1994.

Los Alamos National Laboratory. Evaluation of the SWOOPE Program, 1991-1992.

U.S. Department of Education. Evaluation Assistance Center-West Contract,
1988–1991.

Office of Planning and Evaluation of the New Mexico State Department, A state-wide survey of teachers, 1990-1991.

New Mexico State Department of Education Relearning Center. Survey of School Health Education in the State of New Mexico. 1990-1991.

University of New Mexico, College of Education, OFAC Research Grant, 1989-1990.

University of New Mexico, RAC Research Grant, 1987–1988.

Department of Education, Washington D.C., ART CONNECTS Enrichment Project, 1991-1992;

School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, A Delphi Study of Essential Competencies of Medical Students, 1991-1992.

School of Pharmacy, University of New Mexico, Effects of Peer Evaluation on Job Performance. 1991-1992.


Honours and Awards

University of New Mexico, one of three faculty in the Educational Foundations Department to receive Merit Award, 1991-92.

University of New Mexico, College of Education, Junior Faculty Annual Research Award, 1987-1988.

Bilingual Education Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education, 1978-1981.

Hollins College Scholarship, 1975-1976.

Muskingum College Scholarship, 1970-74.


Professional Activities

During his tenure as a professor of applied measurement and evaluation, Dr. Lam has served on committees and collaborated on research and development projects with practitioners in various health disciplines (dietitian, nurse, occupational therapist, pharmacist, physician, radiation oncologist), government education departments, a private company, and national and state organizations for police, security guard, financial advisors and interior designers. His consultations involve measurement and evaluation methodology, interpersonal influencing competence model and assessment, program evaluation, needs assessment and capacity building, school reform, large-scale testing, continuing education, self-directed learning assessment, and competence mapping and instrument development for professional certification or qualification systems.

Other Information

The following is a list of organizations he worked with in the US, Germany and Canada:

US: Klamath Falls City Schools, Model Classroom Program (Bellevue, Washington), National Commission on Testing and Public Policy (School of Education, University of California at Berkeley), New Mexico Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico State Department of Education Relearning Center, Office of Planning and Evaluation of the New Mexico State Department, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment of the New York City Public Schools, Programs for the improvement of science, engineering and mathematics education (sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA and the U.S. Department of Education), Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Educational Service District No. 121, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Pharmacy.

Germany: German Institute for International Educational Research

Canada: The Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO), Audit and Evaluation Directorate of the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), Advoci (The Financial Advisors Association of Canada), Branksome Hall School, Canada Earth Day, Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE), Canadian Association of Occupational Therapist (CAOT), Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA Canada), Canadian Security Institute (CSI), Center for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB), College of Dietitians of Ontario (CDO), Health Professionals Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC), Horn & Associates, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), The Macaulay Child Development Centre, Ontario Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS), Ontario Ministry of Education and Training (MET), Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services, Ontario North York School Board, Ontario Office of the Fire Marshall, Ontario Peel School Board, Ontario Pharmacists' Association (OPA), Radiation Oncology Research Unit of Kingston General Hospital, Steel Workers Union of Ontario, and TVOntario.