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Assessments ThinkerTools Assessments

To evaluate the impact of your use of the software and curriculum modules, we have developed a wide range of assessment instruments.

Currently, we are using and developing The Web of Inquiry, a web-based system that is a combination of project-based science, reflective assessment, and advice in the form of task, social, and cognitive intelligent software advisors. The primary goal of this project is to develop models and methods for classroom formative assessment that will support students’ learning of inquiry, while also providing evidence of students’ learning, which schools can use for accountability reporting.

With the Web of Inquiry, we are developing a formative assessment environment and tools that will enhance students’ learning about the nature, processes, and purposes of scientific inquiry. Students’ use of these tools for self and peer assessment should also foster their metacognitive abilities for planning, monitoring, and reflection. Teachers’ use of these tools should lead to coherent judgments relating evidence from students’ work to judgments of students’ level of accomplishing state standards of inquiry. To validate teachers’ judgments so that they can be used by schools, we are creating statistical models to assess the soundness of assessment arguments that they create. The Web of Inquiry should enhance the functioning of their class as a community of inquirers.

We also have other assessment instruments available, such as, evaluations of students’ understanding of physics can be done with the paper-and-pencil physics tests. The quality of students scientific inquiry projects can be evaluated using our Inquiry Scorer software. Our inquiry tests provide further assessments of students’ inquiry expertise as well as of their ability to apply this expertise to new contexts (transfer). To determine the impact on students’ epistemological beliefs about the nature of science and about learning science, you might find our Epistemology Questionnaire helpful.

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