Sam Rikoon

Senior Researcher

Sam Rikoon is a senior researcher in the Youth, Family, and Community Development program at AIR. He has extensive experience applying quantitative methods to the development and validation of measures of social and emotional learning (SEL) and other hard-to-measure constructs for use with populations ranging from early childhood through those in higher education and the workforce.

His work at AIR focuses on efforts to advance measurement and assessment, including projects such as evaluating inclusive SEL intervention and microcredential programs, designing and validating educator survey instruments, developing culturally responsive innovations for the design of situational judgment tests (SJTs), building novel assessments of students’ functional abilities with respect to special education, and developing indicators of equity in learning opportunities related to SEL and civic learning.

His research interests include educational measurement and measurement, SEL, civic learning, SJTs, school climate, and program evaluation. His methodological expertise includes classical test and item response theory, factor analysis, multilevel and mixture modeling, longitudinal analysis, and structural equation modeling.

Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Rikoon was a senior research scientist at Educational Testing Service (ETS) where he led and co-led projects in the above areas in addition to serving as co-lead for the Monitoring, Evaluation, & Research team at ETS’s Institute for Student Achievement. While at ETS he also led a longitudinal study of student learning outcomes in higher education and served as PI on a study funded by the Wallace Foundation to develop a brief SJT of interpersonal skills for middle and high school students. 


Photo of Sam Rikoon
Ph.D., Policy Research, Evaluation and Measurement, and B.A., Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.