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AAAS Project 2061 Site Debuts Online Science Tests

Middle and high school teachers can now test their students’ knowledge of key science concepts at an innovative Web site developed by Project 2061, AAAS’s science literacy initiative.

The “Create & Take Tests” module was added in March to the AAAS Science Assessment site, which contains more than 700 test questions on topics from evolution and natural selection to atoms, molecules, and states of matter. Teachers can use the new module to build multiple-choice tests from items that they select from the site’s full database of questions.

The tests can be administered and scored online, providing quick feedback for instructors, said George DeBoer, the deputy director of Project 2061 who led the assessment project. “Getting reliable and timely information about what students know or don’t know means that teachers can adjust their instruction to respond quickly to their students’ needs.”

Josh Flory, an 8th-grade science teacher at New Albany Middle School in Ohio, has used the feature to design pre- and post-tests for his students in biology, geology, and the physical sciences. The immediate feedback from the online test, he said, “has been a very powerful tool for students, and gives them a chance to see where they’re starting from and where they can grow.”

Project 2061 developed the assessment items and collected data on them in a 7-year effort funded by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. The site has logged 12,000 registered users and nearly 70,000 visitors since its launch in April 2011.