Educator Focused on Sharing Expertise
Assistant Professor Gail Hughes, who has been with the UALR College of Education for almost four years, began her career with a concentration on the methods of teaching mathematics. She has applied those skills to her research in statistics, measurement, and evaluation, as well as serving as a mentor for other teachers on utilizing the proper research and assessment methods.
Much education research focuses on two methods â€“ testing and surveys. Dr. Hughesâ€™ work on survey methodology and instrumentation issues has allowed her to work across the enterprise helping other University professors improve their research. In focusing on methodology, her research conclusions become more valid and valuable for future educators.
â€śYour conclusions are only as good as the data you collect,â€ť said Dr. Hughes. â€śAnd the data you collect is only as good as the instrument you use. Itâ€™s important that we make our surveys more user friendly and that theyâ€™re as short and simple as possible so that our respondents donâ€™t consider them a waste of time.â€ť
Through journal articles, Dr. Hughes has been a prolific contributor to the educational scientific community. She has published seven articles focused on the effects of item reverse coding on respondent perception and others centered on the effects of rehabilitation on student success, algebra teaching and learning, and the significance of homework.
As a part of UALRâ€™s established partnership with the Little Rock School District, Dr. Hughes has helped improve local literacy programs through thorough evaluations. Her work has also been nationally recognized in Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development and the Encyclopedia of Measurement and Statistics. She is focused on collaboration and mentoring less-experienced researchers on data collection, methods, and instrument construction.
Dr. Hughes earned her bachelorâ€™s and masterâ€™s degrees in secondary education from Henderson State University. She completed work on her doctoral degree in educational psychology and research from the University of Memphis and was an assistant professor with the University of Memphis before joining UALR.