### Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards

```Developing Assessments for the Next
Generation Science Standards
Nancy Butler Songer
School of Education
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Overview
1. Summary of NRC Findings
2. One Example: A Set of Assessment Tasks
Discussion and questions
3. Systems of Assessment, Options for Monitoring
Functions
Discussion and questions
2
Closer Look at a Performance Expectation
MS-PS1 Matter and Its Interactions
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
MS-PS1-d. Develop molecular models of reactants and products to support the explanation that atoms,
and therefore mass, are conserved in a chemical reaction. [Clarification Statement: Models can include physical
models and drawings that represent atoms rather than symbols. The focus is on law of conservation of matter.] [Assessment Boundary: The
use of atomic masses is not required. Balancing symbolic equations (e.g. N2 + H2 -> NH3) is not required.]
The performance expectations above were developed using the following elements from the NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education:
Science and Engineering Practices
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Crosscutting Concepts
Developing and Using Models
Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to
developing, using and revising models to support
explanations, describe, test, and predict more abstract
phenomena and design systems.
 Use and/or develop models to predict, describe,
support explanation, and/or collect data to test ideas
about phenomena in natural or designed systems,
including those representing inputs and outputs, and
those at unobservable scales. (MS-PS1-a),
(MS-PS1-c), (MS-PS1-d)
PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
 Substances react chemically in
characteristic ways. In a chemical
process, the atoms that make up the
original substances are regrouped into
different molecules, and these new
substances have different properties
from those of the reactants.
(MS-PS1-d), ( MS-PS1-e), (MS-PS1-f)
 The total number of each type of atom
is conserved, and thus the mass does
not change. (MS-PS1-d)
Energy and Matter
 Matter is conserved because
atoms are conserved in physical
and chemical processes.
(MS-PS1-d)
--------------------------------------------Connections to Nature of Science
Science Models, Laws, Mechanisms, and Theories
Explain Natural Phenomena

Laws are regularities or mathematical descriptions
of natural phenomena. (MS-PS1-d)
Note: Performance expectations
combine practices, core ideas, and
crosscutting concepts into a single
statement of what is to be assessed.
They are not instructional strategies or
objectives for a lesson.
3
Closer Look at a Performance Expectation
MS-PS1 Matter and Its Interactions
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
MS-PS1-d. Develop molecular models of reactants and products to support the explanation that atoms,
and therefore mass, are conserved in a chemical reaction. [Clarification Statement: Models can include physical
models and drawings that represent atoms rather than symbols. The focus is on law of conservation of matter.] [Assessment Boundary: The
use of atomic masses is not required. Balancing symbolic equations (e.g. N2 + H2 -> NH3) is not required.]
The performance expectations above were developed using the following elements from the NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education:
Science and Engineering Practices
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Crosscutting Concepts
Developing and Using Models
Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to
developing, using and revising models to support
explanations, describe, test, and predict more abstract
phenomena and design systems.
 Use and/or develop models to predict, describe,
support explanation, and/or collect data to test ideas
about phenomena in natural or designed systems,
including those representing inputs and outputs, and
those at unobservable scales. (MS-PS1-a),
(MS-PS1-c), (MS-PS1-d)
PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
 Substances react chemically in
characteristic ways. In a chemical
process, the atoms that make up the
original substances are regrouped into
different molecules, and these new
substances have different properties
from those of the reactants.
(MS-PS1-d), ( MS-PS1-e), (MS-PS1-f)
 The total number of each type of atom
is conserved, and thus the mass does
not change. (MS-PS1-d)
Energy and Matter
 Matter is conserved because
atoms are conserved in physical
and chemical processes.
(MS-PS1-d)
--------------------------------------------Connections to Nature of Science
Science Models, Laws, Mechanisms, and Theories
Explain Natural Phenomena

Laws are regularities or mathematical descriptions
of natural phenomena. (MS-PS1-d)
Note: Performance expectations
combine practices, core ideas, and
crosscutting concepts into a single
statement of what is to be assessed.
They are not instructional strategies or
objectives for a lesson.
4
Closer Look at a Performance Expectation
MS-PS1 Matter and Its Interactions
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
MS-PS1-d. Develop molecular models of reactants and products to support the explanation that atoms,
and therefore mass, are conserved in a chemical reaction. [Clarification Statement: Models can include physical
models and drawings that represent atoms rather than symbols. The focus is on law of conservation of matter.] [Assessment Boundary: The
use of atomic masses is not required. Balancing symbolic equations (e.g. N2 + H2 -> NH3) is not required.]
The performance expectations above were developed using the following elements from the NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education:
Science and Engineering Practices
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Crosscutting Concepts
Developing and Using Models
Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to
developing, using and revising models to support
explanations, describe, test, and predict more abstract
phenomena and design systems.
 Use and/or develop models to predict, describe,
support explanation, and/or collect data to test ideas
about phenomena in natural or designed systems,
including those representing inputs and outputs, and
those at unobservable scales. (MS-PS1-a),
(MS-PS1-c), (MS-PS1-d)
PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
 Substances react chemically in
characteristic ways. In a chemical
process, the atoms that make up the
original substances are regrouped into
different molecules, and these new
substances have different properties
from those of the reactants.
(MS-PS1-d), ( MS-PS1-e), (MS-PS1-f)
 The total number of each type of atom
is conserved, and thus the mass does
not change. (MS-PS1-d)
Energy and Matter
 Matter is conserved because
atoms are conserved in physical
and chemical processes.
(MS-PS1-d)
--------------------------------------------Connections to Nature of Science
Science Models, Laws, Mechanisms, and Theories
Explain Natural Phenomena

Laws are regularities or mathematical descriptions
of natural phenomena. (MS-PS1-d)
Note: Performance expectations
combine practices, core ideas, and
crosscutting concepts into a single
statement of what is to be assessed.
They are not instructional strategies or
objectives for a lesson.
5
Closer Look at a Performance Expectation
MS-PS1 Matter and Its Interactions
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
MS-PS1-d. Develop molecular models of reactants and products to support the explanation that atoms,
and therefore mass, are conserved in a chemical reaction. [Clarification Statement: Models can include physical
models and drawings that represent atoms rather than symbols. The focus is on law of conservation of matter.] [Assessment Boundary: The
use of atomic masses is not required. Balancing symbolic equations (e.g. N2 + H2 -> NH3) is not required.]
The performance expectations above were developed using the following elements from the NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education:
Science and Engineering Practices
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Crosscutting Concepts
Developing and Using Models
Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to
developing, using and revising models to support
explanations, describe, test, and predict more abstract
phenomena and design systems.
 Use and/or develop models to predict, describe,
support explanation, and/or collect data to test ideas
about phenomena in natural or designed systems,
including those representing inputs and outputs, and
those at unobservable scales. (MS-PS1-a),
(MS-PS1-c), (MS-PS1-d)
PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
 Substances react chemically in
characteristic ways. In a chemical
process, the atoms that make up the
original substances are regrouped into
different molecules, and these new
substances have different properties
from those of the reactants.
(MS-PS1-d), ( MS-PS1-e), (MS-PS1-f)
 The total number of each type of atom
is conserved, and thus the mass does
not change. (MS-PS1-d)
Energy and Matter
 Matter is conserved because
atoms are conserved in physical
and chemical processes.
(MS-PS1-d)
--------------------------------------------Connections to Nature of Science
Science Models, Laws, Mechanisms, and Theories
Explain Natural Phenomena

Laws are regularities or mathematical descriptions
of natural phenomena. (MS-PS1-d)
Note: Performance expectations
combine practices, core ideas, and
crosscutting concepts into a single
statement of what is to be assessed.
They are not instructional strategies or
objectives for a lesson.
6
NRC Committee’s Charge: Recommendations
on Developing Assessments for NGSS
• Identify strategies for developing assessments that validly
measure student proficiency in science.
• Review recent and ongoing assessment work to identify
both available assessment techniques and systems and
needed research and development for assessing NGSS.
• Make recommendations for state and national
policymakers, research organizations, assessment
develop valid, reliable and fair assessments for the
Framework’s vision of science education.
7
Committee Members
James W. Pellegrino, University of Illinois
at Chicago (co-chair)
Mark R. Wilson, University of California,
Berkeley (co-chair)
Peter McLaren, Rhode Island Department
of Elementary and Secondary
Education
Knut Neumann, Leibniz Institute for
Science and Mathematics Education
Kathleen Scalise, University of Oregon
Richard Lehrer, Peabody College of
Vanderbilt University
William Penuel, University of Colorado at
Boulder
Brian Reiser, Northwestern University
Nancy Butler Songer, University of
Michigan
Richard M. Amasino, University of
Helen R. Quinn, Stanford University
(physics)
Roberta Tanner, Loveland High School, CO
(engineering)
Edward Haertel, Stanford University
Joan Herman, CRESST, UCLA
Scott F. Marion, National Center for the
Improvement of Education Assessment
Jerome M. Shaw, University of California,
Santa Cruz
Catherine J. Welch, University of Iowa
8
9
Some Main Messages
1. New types of assessment are needed
that are well designed to address NGSS
learning goals
2. State monitoring assessments must
move beyond traditional forms; they will
NOT suffice.
10
New Types = Assessment Grounded in NGSS
Expectations
context of disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting
concepts
• Need well-designed, multi-component tasks that use a
variety of response formats:
– Selected-response questions
– short and extended constructed response questions
– classroom discourse
11
• To adequately cover the three dimensions,
assessment tasks will need to contain multiple
components (e.g., a cluster or set of interrelated
questions).
• Specific questions may focus on individual
practices, core ideas, or crosscutting concepts,
but, together, the components need to support
science learning as described in a given
performance expectation.
Biodiversity in the Schoolyard Zone
zone of their schoolyard contains the greatest biodiversity
• Tasks require students to demonstrate knowledge of:
– Disciplinary Core Idea -- biodiversity
– Crosscutting Concept -- patterns
– Practices – planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing
and interpreting data, and constructing explanations.
13
Collect data on the number of animals (abundance) and the
number of different species (richness) in schoolyard zones.
The students are broken into three teams, and each team is
assigned a zone in the schoolyard. The students are
instructed to go outside and spend 40 minutes observing and
recording all of the animals and signs of animals seen in their
assigned zone. The students record their information, which
combined data.
Purpose: Teachers can look at the data provided by
individual groups or from the whole class to gauge how well
students can perform the scientific practices of planning and
carrying out investigations, and collecting and recording data.
14
Task 1: Collect data on biodiversity of the
schoolyard
15
Create bar graphs that illustrate patterns in data on
abundance and richness from each of the schoolyard
zones. Students are instructed to make two bar charts –
one illustrating the abundance of species in the three
zones, and another illustrating the richness of species in the
zones – and to label the charts’ axes.
Purpose: This task allows the teacher to gauge students’
ability to construct and interpret graphs from data -- an
important element of the scientific practice “analyzing and
interpreting data.”
16
schoolyard biodiversity data
17
question, “Which zone of the schoolyard has the greatest
biodiversity?” Previously, students learned that an area is
considered biodiverse if it has both a high animal
abundance and high species richness. In the instruction for
this task, each student is prompted to make a claim, give
his or her reasoning, and identify two pieces of evidence
that support the claim.
Purpose: This task allows the teacher to see how well
students understand the core idea of biodiversity and
whether they can recognize data that reflects its hallmarks
(high animal abundance and high species richness). It also
reveals how well they can carry out the scientific practice of
constructing explanations. This task could also be used as
part of a “summative” end-of-unit assessment.
18
Task 3: Use their data as evidence for explanations
of which schoolyard area has the greatest biodiversity
19
Discussion and Questions
Some Main Messages
1. New types of assessment are needed, well
designed to address NGSS learning goals
2. State monitoring assessments must move
beyond traditional forms; they will NOT
suffice.
needs of classroom teaching and learning
4. States must create coherent systems of
assessment to support both classroom
learning and policy/monitoring functions.
21
A System of Assessment
• A range of assessments are needed that answer
different questions (tied to needs of different
stakeholders) and that provide complementary
results:
– Assessments designed to support classroom
instruction;
– Assessments designed to monitor science
learning; and
– A series of indicators to monitor that the
opportunity to learn science in the ways laid
out in the framework and NGSS.
Giving Precedence to Classroom
Assessment
Assessments for Monitoring
• It is not feasible to cover the full breadth and depth
of the NGSS performance expectations for a given
grade level with a single external (large-scale)
assessment.
• The types of assessment tasks that are needed take
time to administer, and several will be required in
order to adequately sample the set of performance
expectations for a given grade level.
• Some practices, such as demonstrating proficiency in
carrying out an investigation, will be difficult to
assess using conventional formats of on-demand
external assessments.
Assessments for Monitoring
• On demand assessments
– Developed by the state
– Administered at a time mandated by the state
• Classroom embedded assessments
– Developed by the state or district,
– Administered at a time determined by the
district/school that fits the instructional
sequence in the classroom
On-Demand Assessment Options
• Mixed item formats with written responses
– Such as AP Biology
• Mixed item formats with performance tasks
– might involve both group and independent
activities (NECAP example)
– might involve some hands-on tasks, such as having
students perform tasks at stations (NY example)
• Use matrix sampling, depending on the
intended use and the need to report scores for
individuals versus for groups.
Options for Classroom-Embedded
Assessments: Rich and Deep
– Replacement units (curriculum materials +
assessments) developed outside of the
classroom (by state or district)
– Item banks of NGSS-aligned tasks,
developed outside of the classroom, from
which schools and/or teachers select
– Portfolio collections of classroom work
samples, with tasks specified by state or
district
27
Options for Classroom-Embedded
Assessments (cont.)
them
• Scoring can be done by teachers (trained to
score them) or sent to the district/state for
central scoring
• Moderation and quality control procedures can
enhance the comparability of these
assessments so they could support the desired
inferences/comparisons needed for a
monitoring purpose.
28
Opportunity to Learn Indicators
• Essential for documenting practices
• Potential data sources
– Inspections of school science programs
– Surveys of students and teachers
– Monitoring of teacher professional
development programs
– Documentation of curriculum assignments
and student work.
• Key means for monitoring equity
Implementation
• Begin with classroom assessment design
• Include professional development as
integral part of implementation
• States should develop and implement
establish carefully considered priorities
Systems for Monitoring Student
Learning: RECAP
• Not an assessment: Systems of Assessment
• Can’t cover the full breadth and depth of the NGSS
performance expectations with a single, external
(large-scale) assessment.
several will be required to adequately sample NGSS
performance expectations.
• Some practices, e.g., carrying out an investigation, are
difficult to assess using conventional formats of
external, on-demand assessments.
Some Main Messages
1. New types of assessment are needed, well
designed to address NGSS learning goals
2. State monitoring assessments must move
beyond traditional forms; they will NOT
suffice.
needs of classroom teaching and learning
4. States must create coherent systems of
assessment to support both classroom
learning and policy/monitoring functions.
32
Some Main Messages (cont.)
systematic, and carefully prioritized and
must attend to equity
support for teachers will be critical
7. Research is needed
33
For Further Information
For pre-publication version of NRC Assessment for
Next Generation Science Standards, see:
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18409
nextgenscience.org
nsta.org/ngss
Nancy Songer [email protected]
Ideally, all tasks can be coded for evidence of DCIs,
practices and blended knowledge
4 Possible Points : (1) Claim, (1) Reasoning (2) Evidence
• Correct Responses
• Claim: Zone C has the greatest biodiversity in the schoolyard.
• Reasoning and Evidence Full credit for definition plus 2 evidence:
• R: High biodiversity includes both high species abundance (number
of animals) and high species richness (number of different kinds of
animals).
• E: The richness graph and table show that Zone C has the highest
richness (13).
• E: The abundance graph shows Zone C has high abundance.
35
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