Practice Brief 30 -- Topics: Assessment Equity Practices

Integrating Science Practices Into Assessment Tasks

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The new vision for science education articulated in the Next Generation Science Standards guides students toward a “three dimensional” understanding of science—one that integrates disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and real-world practices from science and engineering.

With this new three-dimensional model for learning, students will need new assessments to demonstrate their knowledge and competencies, ones that integrate multiple strands of student abilities. Developing assessments that combine these multiple strands presents new challenges for educators, from developing informal classroom formative assessments to those creating high-stakes state-level testing.

This detailed and flexible tool suggests activity formats to help teachers create three-dimensional assessments based on real-world science and engineering practices.

In response to this felt need being expressed among educators, researchers at the Research + Practice Collaboratory has developed a series of “task format” tables, which suggest different possible templates for student activities that integrate real-world science and engineering practices with disciplinary core ideas. This tool also combines two of the Research + Practice Collaboratory’s major focuses: formative assessment and engaging learners in STEM practices.

This tool offers between four and eight possible task formats for each of the science and engineering practices listed in the Next Generation Science Standards. It can be a great way for educators to brainstorm new activities or to adapt their existing lesson plans to this new three-dimensional vision.

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Authors:

KATIE VAN HORNE, WILLIAM R. PENUEL, AND PHILIP BELL - JUNE 2017




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