Assessing Science Knowledge (ASK)

Collaborating Institutions: 
Lawrence Hall of Science, SRI, BEAR Center

Funded By: 
National Science Foundation

Lawrence Hall of Science Participants: 
Brian Campbell, Linda DeLucchi (co-PI), Kathy Long (Project Coordinator), Larry Malone (co-PI), Don McKenney, Arzu Orgad

SRI Participants: 
Geneva Haertel, Edys Quellmalz

National Centers Participants Participants: 
Facilitators and teachers from eight national centers

The Assessing Science Knowledge (ASK) project is designed to define, field test, and validate effective embedded and benchmark assessment tools and techniques to be used by grade 3ˆ6 classroom teachers to assess, guide, and confirm student learning in science. The assessments are being conceptualized, developed, and refined using one exemplary science-education curriculum, the Full Option Science System (FOSS). During the first three years of the project, the BEAR Center helped with the development and refinement of the frameworks, progress maps, items, scoring guides, and other elements of the system.


We provided guidance and support in the item and coding guide development, coding, and psychometric data and interpretation of the results. Currently the BEAR Center is performing calibration analyses of the assessment data gathered for the items and tasks developed during the project. We are assisting in selecting appropriate measurement models, using available software to produce parameter estimates for these models, and providing assistance in making these parameter estimates useful to the various stakeholders (for example, by setting up ClassMap to produce student progress maps for teachers using the FOSS system). In addition, the BEAR Center is working with LHS staff conducting standard setting studies to select cut scores for criterion zones (qualitatively different levels of student performance) for use on these progress maps.