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Angie McAllister to Head Research at ACT

IOWA CITY, Iowa—Angie McAllister, a leader in the burgeoning fields of personalized learning and analytics, has been named senior vice president of research at ACT. McAllister’s hire is the latest in a series of moves by ACT to advance its capacity in next-generation assessment and learning technologies.

“Education is at an inflection point where teachers can now use technology to personalize and propel learning,” said Marten Roorda, ACT’s chief executive officer. “Dr. McAllister’s expertise will be invaluable to ACT as we work with our classroom-based colleagues to make education more efficient and effective for students around the world.”

McAllister comes to ACT from Pearson, where she was senior vice president for personalized learning and analytics. She has earned several patents, including for technology that adapts digital learning experiences to the real-time needs of students. She has a provisional patent for using artificial intelligence to deliver personalized learning and analytics to learners and their instructors.

“One-size-fits-all education is a thing of the past,” said McAllister. “New technologies can help instructors deliver personalized instruction, whether it be in a middle school geometry class of 25 students or a college sociology lecture of 250. When students spend more time in their optimal learning zones, achievement can really take off.”

McAllister has also spent more than a quarter century in the classroom—as an elementary and middle school teacher in Florida’s Miami-Dade school district, urban Maryland, Japan, and England. She also served as a principal in Georgia and as an adjunct instructor at a number of colleges and universities.

At Pearson, McAllister led a collaboration with IBM to make Watson supercomputer technology available to college students and professors. Watson enables the creation of immersive learning experiences, and provides a way for students to seek help using “natural” language, not the language of a computer or its programmers.

“Teaching is both a science and an art, and educational technology can never be a substitute for a skillful and caring teacher,” said McAllister. “What technology does is give us powerful tools to reach students where they are, and the analytics insights to determine which tools and techniques are making the most difference to student success.”

McAllister earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Capella University, and her B.S. in elementary and early childhood education from Florida International University.

She will join ACT on April 24.

About ACT

ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as a national leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality assessments grounded in nearly 60 years of research. ACT offers a uniquely integrated set of solutions designed to provide personalized insights that help individuals succeed from elementary school through career.