Creating Science Assessments That Support Inquiryby: Martha Day, Rebecca Stobaugh, Janet Tassell, and Nicholas Neiman

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This article discusses the resources available for teachers to apply higher-level thinking and cognitive complexity to their instruction and assessments.

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  • on Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:30 PM

Outstanding framework for designing assessments with an inquiry focus that require students use higher level thinking skills. The description of how to construct inquiry based test items that tap all levels of Bloom's taxonomy is easy to follow and supported with well constructed examples. Excellent!

Pamela A
Pamela A

  • on Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:23 AM

This article entailed the importance of higher-level thinking, which can be developed by scientific practices and assessments with analysis, interpretation of data, and construction of explanations for drawing conclusions based on data. The authors presented numerous research studies document that students’ learning progress and experiences will be influenced by assessments. Teacher in the classroom can provide practicing process- and skill-based questions that will stimulate higher-level thinking, and prioritize the content to be studied in order to achieve the deep understanding. I also learned how to design and deliver instructional experiences and assessments that incorporate higher-level thinking skills. There are three tools that can be employed in the designing high-cognitive-level assessments. Graphics can be integrated, including illustrations, paintings, charts, graphs, and maps. The authors also stated “Charts and data are effective to assess students’ ability to scrutinize text and data and draw conclusions”(Martha et al., 2012) Developing scenarios is another approach to create higher-level questions. Scenarios are hypothetical situations that require students to use their problem-solving skills by analyzing situations presented in scenarios. Employing quotes is the third way to incorporate scientific practice skills in assessments. Quotes can be found in the textbooks or internet, can be chosen from student comments or answers on their assignments which will be highlighted as common misconceptions by the teacher, and also can be from local scientists, school administrators and faculty. When choosing quotes, teacher in the science class need to consider students’ reading level in order to make sure students can understand the quotes and make correct choice (Martha et al., 2012).


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