Assessing Science Inquiry: A Case Study of the Virtual Performance Assessment Project

Jody Clarke-Midura (Harvard University, USA), Jillianne Code (University of Victoria, Canada), Nick Zap (Simon Fraser University, Canada) and Chris Dede (Harvard University, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 164
EISBN13: 9781466617216|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0068-3.ch006
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Abstract

Science inquiry is a cognitive process that depends upon the active engagement of students and is something that students do and is minds-on. However, given its active nature, assessing science inquiry process skills remains a challenge for educators. In this chapter, the authors describe research being carried out to develop Virtual Performance Assessments (VPAs) that measure science inquiry practices. They provide a case study of how VPAs are being used to design summative assessments that measure middle school students’ scientific inquiry aligned with national standards. The goal is to provide educators with a model of how they can assess science inquiry skills in their classrooms.
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