Assessing Students’ Progress on the Energy Concept Using Three-Dimensional Items (ASPECt-3D) - With Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) calling for instruction that fosters an integrated understanding of (1) science and engineering practices, (2) crosscutting concepts, and (3) disciplinary core ideas, there is a critical need for assessments that can measure students’ ability to use these three dimensions together to make sense of energy-related phenomena. This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and builds on a currently funded IES project in which Project 2061 is developing three vertically-equated instruments to assess students’ progress on the energy concept. Working with BSCS, this new project expands on the earlier work by developing assessment clusters made up of both multiple-choice and constructed/open-ended response items that can be used to measure growth in students’ understanding of science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas from grades 4 through 12. Contact: Cari Herrmann Abell, Principal Investigator.
Improving Science Assessment for English Learners (ELs) – In a study funded by the National Science Foundation, researchers at AAAS Project 2061 and WestEd examined a large set of science assessment items to identify linguistic factors that may account for EL students’ underperformance on tests when compared to non-EL students and to propose strategies for improving the items. Findings from the study are particularly timely, given the need for new assessments that are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and for more effective measures of what students know regardless of their English language status. Contact: George E. DeBoer, Principal Investigator
- DeBoer, G. E., Herrmann-Abell, C. F., & Glassman, S. (2016, April). Differential Performance of English Learners on Science Assessments: The Role of Cognitive Complexity. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Baltimore, MD.
Measuring Students’ Understanding of Energy - Energy issues are central to modern life, so all students need to develop a strong understanding of basic energy concepts. A first step is finding out what students already know, how their understanding builds over time, and what conceptual difficulties they are having and why. With a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Project 2061 designed assessment instruments to evaluate students’ energy knowledge across a range of topics at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Contact: Cari Herrmann Abell, Principal Investigator.
- Herrmann-Abell, C. F., & DeBoer, G. E. (2016, April). Using Rasch Modeling to Investigate a Learning Progression for Energy Ideas. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Baltimore, MD.
- Herermann-Abell, C. F., & DeBoer, G. E. (2016, April). Using Rasch Modeling and Option Probability Curves to Diagnose Students' Misconceptions. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.
- Herrmann-Abell, C. F., & DeBoer, G. E. (2015, April). Using Rasch Modeling to Explore Students’ Understanding of Elementary School Ideas About Energy. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Chicago, IL.
- Herrmann-Abell, C. F., & DeBoer, G. E. (2014). Developing and Using Distractor-Driven Multiple-Choice Assessments Aligned to Ideas About Energy Forms, Transformation, Transfer, and Conservation. In Teaching and Learning of Energy in K-12 Education. NY: Springer. Read an abstract of the chapter.
New Tools for Teaching Evolution – Working with the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah, Project 2061 is developing an innovative curriculum unit and assessments to help high schoolers understand core ideas about evolution through mathematical reasoning and data analysis. Funding for this work is provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Contact: Louisa Stark, Principal Investigator.
- DeBoer G. E., Hardcastle J., Roseman J. E. (2019, April). NGSS-aligned test items to measure high school students’ understanding of evolution. Paper presentation at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual International Conference, Baltimore, MD.
- Homburger, S. A., Drits‑Esser, D., Malone, M., Pompei, K., Breitenbach, K., Perkins, R. D., Anderson, P. C., Barber, N. C., Hawkins, A. J., Katz, S., Kelly, M., Starr, H., Bass, K. M., Roseman, J., Hardcastle, J., DeBoer, G. E., & Stark, L. A. (2019). Development and pilot testing of a three-dimensional, phenomenon-based unit that integrates evolution and heredity. Evolution: Education and Outreach. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12052-019-0106-1