SMARTER Consulting Information

The Statistics, Measurement, And Research design Techniques in Educational Research (SMARTER) consulting office provides support for College of Education faculty and graduate students’ research design and quantitative analysis needs. We can help by discussing any aspect of a quantitative study, from the specific, such as choosing a statistical model to address a research question, interpreting the results of an analysis, conducting a power analysis, or suggesting or critiquing a research design, to the general, such as assisting with formulation of research questions and statistical hypotheses or serving as a sounding board for research ideas.

Basic Statistics Series on Canvas

This basic stats course delivered via Canvas has four modules that should be taken in the following order:

  1. Foundational concepts of statistics, including sampling distributions and p-values,
  2. Mean differences, including t-tests and confidence intervals,
  3. Correlation and regression, including multiple regression and chi-square, and
  4. ANOVA, including one- and two-way ANOVA and RM-ANOVA.

The course also contains the handouts and recordings from all SMARTER Workshops for those individuals that are unable to attend at the scheduled time. Anybody interested can self-enroll and access the videos, handouts, and datasets. We encourage you to join our Canvas class.

Consulting Meetings

For college faculty, we offer one-hour meetings to consult about SMARTER issues and questions. Contact Dr. Mark Van Ryzin for scheduling.

For college graduate students, we offer half-hour meetings with Quantitative Methods Ph.D. student Suyoung Kim. Note that we do not provide SMARTER consulting to support graduate students’ class assignments. 

Email Consulting

We will endeavor to answer short questions about quantitative methods, statistics, and research design by email within two working days. Note that questions deemed too methodologically complex may be referred to an in-person consultation. Please email your question to

Data Analysis Tutorial Meetings

We offer one-hour meetings that are free to all College of Education graduate students to help apply advanced statistical methods to your data.

  • Start with one or more 30-minute consulting appointments to discuss the research question and data analysis plan, and decide on an appropriate statistical method.
  • Schedule a 1-hour data analysis tutorial appointment with the GRA to conduct some of the data analysis. You will provide the dataset to the GRA at the time of the meeting. The goal will be for you to understand the method and be able to expand or modify the analysis with minimal additional help. The GRA will provide you with any code from the meeting.
  • After the tutorial meeting, you may request additional help via email or a follow-up 30-minute consulting meeting.

We are experts in most common techniques in quantitative education research and in the R and Mplus statistical software packages. Advanced analyses will be conducted under Mark Van Ryzin’s supervision. GRAs will not write up the analysis, though they will review and comment on a write-up. They will not help with qualifying exams or papers. GRAs need at least a week between an initial consulting appointment and a data analysis tutorial to allow for preparation. In times of high demand, students may be limited to one analysis appointment or follow-up appointment. Please acknowledge GRAs with co-authorship, when appropriate, in resulting publications.

Grant Proposal Preparation

We will conduct and write up power analyses and will help with designing and writing up of the research plan (data analysis, sampling, psychometric plan, etc.). 

While this service is free for grant proposals, we request that the SMARTER group (or affiliated consultants) be included as consultants or Co-investigators on the grant should the proposal be funded. This is necessary to ensure that the SMARTER group becomes financially self-sustaining. Please book a meeting using the relevant faculty and student appointment links.

Data Analysis and Collaboration

For more involved participation in a research project, such as for performing actual data analyses, a SMARTER consultant can be included as a co-investigator or co-principal investigator on a grant proposal or can work on contract with a per-hour fee. Please book a meeting or email us at if you would like to discuss this further.


Photo of Mark Van RyzinMark J. Van Ryzin, Director
Mark received his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2008. His research interests center on social and developmental issues in education, including the etiology and prevention of problem behavior (bullying, substance use) and the promotion of positive peer relations, social-emotional skills, and academic outcomes, particularly among adolescents. In his research, he has applied a variety of statistical techniques, including Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM), group-based trajectory modeling (also known as Latent Class Growth Analysis or LCGA), Latent Class Analysis, and Latent Transition Analysis (LCA/LTA), Time-Varying Effects Modeling (TVEM), cross-lag latent difference score modeling, non-parametric methods, and social network analysis.

Photo of Soyoung KimSuyoung Kim
Suyoung Kim works as an assistant statistician in the SMARTER office, holding consulting meetings with graduate students. She is a doctoral student in Quantitative Methods in the Department of Education Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin. Her current research interests center on Bayesian statistics, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, and Latent Growth Model.