Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New system of assessments needed when next generation science standards are implemented, report says

Date:
December 17, 2013
Source:
National Academy of Sciences
Summary:
New types of assessments will be needed to measure student learning once the Next Generation Science Standards are implemented, says a new report from the National Research Council.

New types of assessments will be needed to measure student learning once the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are implemented, says a new report from the National Research Council. The tests that states currently use emphasize factual knowledge and were not designed to assess the type of understanding envisioned by the standards, which emphasize depth of knowledge based on the ability to integrate core content with science and engineering practices.

The report describes a new system of assessments that should be developed, and it offers examples of the types of tasks and questions that could assess student knowledge as detailed in the standards. To monitor progress in meeting the standards, states should use information both from state-administered tests and from classroom-based assessments, as well as information about students' opportunity to learn in the ways laid out in the science standards, said the committee that wrote the report.

"The Next Generation Science Standards present challenges for assessment, but they are also an opportunity to address longstanding limitations with current approaches," said committee co-chair James Pellegrino, Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "Current assessments tend to ask students to define the scientific method absent specific content; assessments under NGSS should ask students to demonstrate that they understand aspects of scientific reasoning by applying particular science practices, such as designing a study or interpreting the meaning of a data set, to questions about genetic inheritance, for example."

The Next Generation Science Standards, which have been adopted by eight states so far, describe "performance expectations" that articulate what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. The standards support science learning structured around three dimensions: scientific and engineering practices; core ideas of the science and engineering disciplines; and crosscutting concepts, such as "cause and effect" and "energy and matter." In classroom teaching and learning, these three dimensions should be integrated: for example, the students should always learn by engaging in one or more scientific practices in the context of core ideas, and their advancement should be mapped out in terms of a learning progression.

To assess students' mastery and integration of these three dimensions, a variety of question formats will be needed, the report says. Questions may require students to supply an answer, produce a product, or perform an activity. "Formative" assessments would help teachers see how students are progressing and make instructional decisions; and "monitoring assessments" would measure science learning on a broader scale.

For the monitoring tests, the full breadth and depth of NGSS expectations for a given grade level cannot be covered with a single large-scale test, the report says. The committee recommended that the information from external "on-demand" assessments (that is, assessments that are administered at a time mandated by the state) should be supplemented with information gathered from classroom-embedded assessments (that is, assessments that are administered at a time determined by the district or school that fits the instructional sequence in the classroom) to fully assess whether performance expectations have been met.

These classroom-embedded assessments could take various forms. For example, they might be self-contained curricular units that include both instructional materials and assessments, provided by the state or district to be administered in classrooms. Or the state or district could develop banks of tasks that schools and teachers would use at the appropriate time in classrooms.

Assessments should be developed using a "bottom up" rather than a "top down" approach, the report says. The learning progression should begin with designing instruction and assessments for the classroom, perhaps integrated into instructional units, and then move toward assessment that meets the needs for monitoring purposes, including accountability.

In addition to using assessments to monitor students' progress, states should monitor indicators of "opportunity to learn" -- the extent to which students have the opportunity to learn science in the way called for in the standards and the extent to which schools have the resources they need to support learning (e.g., teacher subject-area knowledge, adequate time, and appropriate materials to devote to science instruction).

"It will take time to implement the new system of assessments, just as it will take time to implement the teaching approaches needed for students to learn science in the way NGSS envisions," said committee co-chair Mark Wilson, professor of policy, organization, measurement, and evaluation and of cognition and development in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. "States should develop and implement the new assessments gradually, starting with what is necessary and possible in the short term while establishing long-term goals for reaching a fully integrated system of curriculum, instruction, and assessment."

In 2011 the National Research Council released A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas, which served as the foundation for the Next Generation Science Standards.

Report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18409


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Academy of Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Academy of Sciences. "New system of assessments needed when next generation science standards are implemented, report says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217124013.htm>.
National Academy of Sciences. (2013, December 17). New system of assessments needed when next generation science standards are implemented, report says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217124013.htm
National Academy of Sciences. "New system of assessments needed when next generation science standards are implemented, report says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217124013.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins