Designing Assessmentsby: Juanita Jo Matkins and Donna R. Sterling

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The authors share their experiences with free test items from National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests. These questions provide an excellent format for teachers to create new questions or modify existing questions to meet specific classroom needs.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (3)
  • on Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:57 AM

I have used NAEP assessments to create formative, summative and diagnostic tests, chiefly because the they are valid and reliable. I highly recommend the use of them and this article for new science teachers. When creating assessments, it is best to use test material provided by reputable sources in order to get the most accurate picture of student understanding. There is a large body of assessment material available. I would not rely on a single source such as a text book to create tests.It is best to seek out the most recent test material that targets the current student population.

Therese H  (Salisbury, MD)
Therese H (Salisbury, MD)

  • on Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:47 AM

This is an update to a previous review. The 2009 results and sample test items have been released. NSTA hosted a web seminar for those interested in learning more about the test and the 2009 science score report. The web seminar is archived and available at:

Lara Smetana  (New Haven, CT)
Lara Smetana (New Haven, CT)

  • on Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:00 AM

The authors acknowledge the challenge of creating effective questions that probe for deep conceptual understanding of science topics. The NAEP questions need not function solely as test prep for standardized tests; they can be embedded into instruction throughout the year as diagnostic, formative and summative assessments. The article outlines specific strategies for doing so, including how to carefully analyze student responses. Note: Samples from the 2005 NAEP tests are now available at

Lara  (New Haven, CT)
Lara (New Haven, CT)

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