James Van Haneghan


Additional Phone Numbers: 
Professional Title: 
Professor and Director of Assessment and Evaluation
About Me (Bio): 
I was originally trained as an applied developmental psychology with an interest in cognitive development and schooling. I have over the years moved a variety of directions. Over the years I have done research focusing on problem solving in mathematics, cognitive monitoring, and motivation. During the later part of the 1990s I began to shift my focus to become a program evaluator and spent some time doing that work mostly in the context of STEM related initiatives. I also have become very interested in assessment. Over the years, I have reviewed a number of tests and measures for the Mental Measurements Yearbook. Because of my interest in problem solving, engineering design, and other complex cognitive processes, I am especially interested in the complexity of developing and validating new assessments (both formative and summative) that address the more learning outcomes people believe are important for the 21st century. As a professor, I teach courses in the psychology of learning, statistics, research methods, program evaluation, and assessment. I also serve as Director of Assessment and Evaluation for the College of Education at the University of South Alabama. So, I also have an interest in the how teachers are trained and assessment of teacher education.
Mobile Area Education Foundation (MAEF), Blue Heron STEM Education, Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS), University of South Alabama (USA)

This project is revising and field testing six existing modules and developing, pilot testing, and field testing two engineering modules for required middle school science and mathematics classes: Catch Me if You Can! with a focus on seventh grade life science; and Creating Bioplastics targeting eighth grade physical science. Each module addresses an engineering design challenge of relevance to industries in the region and fosters the development of engineering habits of mind.