PedagogyAssessment tool box | Assessment introductory information

Science Assessment and Evaluation Simulation - A simulation in creating rubrics to assess and evaluate a specific activity.

Background information -

You are a fifth grade teacher that has been working with the Wayne State Park Department. You have taken your students to a nearby park to study it and have had the Park Director visit your classroom to answer students' questions. Through these interactions the Park Director has offered to provide opportunities for student involvement and you wrote, submitted and received a service learning grant.

Before deciding to participate in these events you reflected on the opportunities that would be available for your students and what they could learn from their participation. Your initial reflection was a fairly quick decision to participate.

Later you reflected on what science concepts, generalizations, and skills students might learn and develop and identified several.

Science concepts and generalizations identified

After several activities, some of which included, using the fish of Nebraska materials available from the Nebraska Games and Park Commission in Gretna, NE to identify and classify pictures of fish, trips to the park to measure the depth of the pond and identify different plants and animals, and help the park transfer fish. See the Newspaper report of fishing trip for more information. Your plan was to use initial activities with the fish of Nebraska materials as exploration, a few more activities for invention and the fish moving activity as the last invention activity or first expansion. You now believe it's time for a short written assessment and created a task.

The first thing you did was pull together information for the concepts of life science, evidence, scientific communication, and classification. Lists of concepts, generalizations, skills, rows from previous scoring guides and use them to create a scoring guide. Next you create an assessment task.

When you had both completed you found two checklists - one to review your scoring guide and another to review your assessment task.

Feeling the task and scoring guide was appropriate to collect assessment information for the concepts/generalizations and skills that you identified to assess you gave the task to your students. The results:

Student's Work

Use the scoring guide to evaluate the results and how to report to students and parents. Some parents desire specific information about what and how their child is doing and there are those that believe they they can only tell how their child is doing with a grade. It has been common practice in your school to use scoring guides to provide specific information and aggregate scores to report a grade.

Suggestions - The following order may change depending on your understanding and free flow of ideas

  • Plan how to distribute points work sheet for suggestions
  • Assign points
  • Create a grading scale
  • Assign grades
  • Review and adjust if necessary Decide if you were consistent for all papers. One way is to go back and review the first couple of papers that you did and see if you changed the way they were rated. If you are not satisfied that equity was provided, make necessary adjustments to do so. Secondly if you are not satisfied with the grade distribution, then change that.
  • Create a "best answer key".
Reflect - on the process and write a short summary of what you discovered.

Things to consider:

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of creating a scoring guide before or after the task?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of creating performance criteria without student involvement?
  3. How did your ratings compare to others?
  4. What does this suggest?
  5. How did you benefit from doing this activity?

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©