Our Team

Dr Maggie Yue Zhao


MB 117
(852) 3917 4757


Maggie directs and oversees all operation, project and research activities conducted in the Unit and leads the administration, analysis and reporting of the institutional surveys on student learning experiences. She earned her doctorate in Psychometrics and M.S. in Statistics both from University of Massachusetts, and has obtained extensive experience in leading large-scale educational assessment programs.

Prior to joining HKU, Maggie worked as a psychometrician for Educational Testing Service (ETS) and contributed to several other assessment organizations in the United States. With over ten years of academic and professional experiences, she heavily engaged in various research projects in the advancement and application of quantitative methods in the education, social, behavioral and health sciences, and gained a substantive perspective in developing innovative solutions for assessment and evaluation. Her research interests lie broadly in educational and psychological measurement and assessment, quantitative methods, science of learning and positive education.


HKU 2017 Professional Services Individual Award Finalist

Publications and Presentations

Selected Publications

Zhao, Y., Kuan, H. K., Chung, J. O. K., Chan, C. K. Y., & Li, W. H. C. (2018). Students’ approaches to learning in a clinical practicum: A psychometric evaluation based on item response theory. Nurse Education Today. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2018.04.015.

Chan, C. K. Y., Zhao, Y., & Luk, L. Y. Y. (2017). A validated and reliable instrument investigating engineering students’ perceptions of competency in generic skills. Journal of Engineering Education, 106(2), 299–325. doi: 10.1002/jee.20165.

Lo, B. C. Y., Zhao, Y., Ho, Y.-C., & Au, T. K. (2017). Psychometric properties of the Children’s Response Styles Questionnaire in a Hong Kong Chinese community sample. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes,15:198. doi: 10.1186/s12955-017-0774-x.

Zhao, Y. (2017). Impact of IRT item misfit on score estimates and severity classifications: an examination of PROMIS depression and pain interference item banks. Quality of Life Research, 26(3), 555-564. doi: 10.1007/s11136-016-1467-3.

Zhao, Y., Chan, W., & Lo, B. C. Y. (2017). Comparing five depression measures in depressed Chinese patients using item response theory: an examination of item properties, measurement precision and score comparability. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes,15:60. doi: 10.1186/s12955-017-0631-y.

Zhao, Y., & Hambleton, R.K. (2017). Practical consequences of item response theory model misfit in the context of test equating with mixed-format test data. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:484. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00484.

Zhao, Y., Huen, J. M. Y., & Chan, Y. W. (2017). Measuring longitudinal gains in student learning: A comparison of Rasch scoring and summative scoring approaches. Research in Higher Education, 58(6), 605-616. doi: 10.1007/s11162-016-9441-z.

Zhao, Y., Huen, J.M.Y., & Prosser, M. (2017). Comparing perceived learning experiences of two concurrent cohorts under curriculum reforms in Hong Kong: A multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis approach. Quality Assurance in Education25(3), 270-286. doi: 10.1108/QAE-11-2016-0070.

Lo, B. C. Y., Zhao, Y., Kwok, A. W. Y., Chan, W., & Chan, C. K.Y. (2015). Evaluation of the psychometric properties of the Asian Adolescent Depression Scale and construction of a short form: An item response theory (IRT) analysis. Assessment. doi: 10.1177/1073191115614393.

Hsu, C.-L., Zhao, Y. & Wang, W.-C. (2013). Exploiting computerized adaptive testing for self-directed learning (pp. 257–280). In M. M. C. Mok (Ed.). Self-directed Learning Oriented Assessments in the Asia-Pacific. Netherlands: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4507-0.

Hambleton, R.K., & Zhao, Y. (2005). Item Response Theory models for dichotomous data (Vol. 2, pp. 982–990). In Encyclopedia of Statistics in Behavioral Science. Chicester, England: Wiley. doi: 10.1002/0470013192.bsa039.

Selected Presentations

Zhao, Y. (2018, September). Evidence-based learning assessment: Using “big data” for informing education practice and enhancing student learning. Paper presented at the 44th International Association for Educational Assessment Annual Conference, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Zhao, Y. (2018, July). Measuring intercultural competence: Methodological issues and challenges. Paper presented at the European Congress of Methodology 2018, Jena, Germany.

Zhao, Y. (2017, March). Institutional quality assurance. Presented at Higher Education Planning in Asia Forum 2017, Tokyo, Japan.

Zhao, Y., Chung, J. O. K., Chan, C. K. Y., & Li, W. H. C. (2016, November). Assessment in workplace: Investigating a multi-source and multi-method approach to enhance student learning in clinical practicum. Paper presented at the 2016 Frontiers in Medical and Health Sciences Education Conference, Hong Kong SAR. (best oral presentation award)

Zhao, Y., Cham, T., Chan, Y.W., & Cheng, M.  (2016, August). Students’ voices on university residential experience at The University of Hong Kong. Paper presented at International Conference – Beyond the Formal Curriculum in Universities, Hong Kong SAR.

Zhao, Y. (2015, November). Advancing measurement in health sciences education and health outcomes research using item response theory. Paper presented at the 2015 Frontiers in Medical and Health Sciences Education Conference, Hong Kong SAR.

Zhao. Y., & Huen, J.M.Y. (2014, July).  A tale of two cohorts: Measuring and understanding the learning experience of the double cohort. Paper presented at the 2014 Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) Conference, Hong Kong SAR.

Selected Invited Presentations

Zhao, Y. (2018, June). Evidence-based learning assessment in the era of big data. Invited speaker presented at Higher Education Summer Institute, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR.

Zhao, Y.  (2017, June). Data speaks: Institutional assessment of student learning. Invited speaker presented at Higher Education Summer Institute, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR.

Zhao, Y. (2017, March). To like or not to like: Discovering a multi-source assessment approach in clinical experiential learning. Invited poster presentation at the conference of “Influencing Teaching and Learning Practice – Achieving the Ripple Effect”, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR.

Kwong, T. F.N., & Zhao, Y. (2016, January). What’s the ‘value addedness’ of a college degree in engineering? Emerging trends in assessing student learning outcomes. Keynote workshop presented at The 7th International Workshop on Innovative Engineering Education (IEE 2016), Jeju Island, South Korea.

Zhao, Y. (2014, May). Modern psychometrics and technology in educational assessment. Presented at the Sciences of Learning Strategic Research Theme seminar, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR.


Principal Investigator, “Intercultural Learning Experience Questionnaire: Developing an institution-wide assessment instrument of global and intercultural competence”, The University of Hong Kong, Teaching Development Grant, 2017-2018.

Co-Investigator, “Learning and Assessment for Digital Citizenship”, Hong Kong Research Grants Council, Theme-based Research Scheme (TRS), 2016-2021.

Principal Investigator, “Advancing the assessment of clinical experiential learning in medical and health sciences education”, The University of Hong Kong, Teaching Development Grant, 2016-2017.

Professional and Community Services

Member of Research and Development Committee, Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA), 2017-2020.

Judge: Reimagine Education 2017 & 2018.

Journal Reviewer: Applied Psychological Measurement, BMC Psychology, Computers & Education, Computer Applications in Engineering Education, Educational Psychology, Educational Research for Policy and Practice, Frontiers in Education, Frontline Learning Research, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Nurse Education Today, PLOS ONE, Research in Science Education, The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Journal, and The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher.

Conference Proposal Reviewer: American Educational Research Association (AERA), National Council of Measurement in Education (NCME), Association for Institutional Research (AIR), and International Conference – Assessment for Learning in Higher Education.

Local organizing committee, the 76th International Meeting of the Psychometric Society, Hong Kong.

Other Teaching and Professional Experiences

Maggie taught the postgraduate level courses of “Statistics and Research Design in Psychological Science”, “Quantitative Methods in Educational Research” and “Psychometric Theory”, and serve as a facilitator in the programme of “Professional Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education”.

In addition, she has a broad range of experience in various types of assessment, such as large-scale assessment, K-12 assessment, personality assessment, patient reported outcomes measurement, quality of life measurement, licensure and credentialing examination, classroom assessment, and language assessment.