NSTA 2016 Workshop "How to Assess Three-Dimensional Learning in Your Classroom: Building Tasks that Work"

Below are materials from the workshop, "How to Assess Three-Dimensional Learning in Your Classroom: Building Tasks that Work" held at the National Science Teachers Association meeting in Nashville on April 2, 2016.

Workshop Description

How is assessing three-dimensional science learning different than we how we have thought of science learning in the past? How can we design assessment tasks that elicit the core ideas, practices, and crosscutting concepts in the NGSS performance expectations (PEs)? There are very few examples of elementary and middle school assessments completely aligned to NGSS, so people will need to adapt the ones that exist. Performance expectations also under specify the nature of evidence needed to draw inferences about student learning. This workshop aims to help participants identify assessment components that focus on individual practices, core ideas, or crosscutting concepts, and understand how, taken together, the components can support inferences about students’ three-dimensional science learning as described in a given performance expectation. We guide participants through an analysis of common assessment tasks to identify components and qualities of these tasks that support assessment of practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Tasks examples will will be drawn from all four domains of disciplinary ideas linked across elementary and middle school. Through this activity, participants will review tasks that aim for assessing PEs, discuss strengths of these tasks and gain practice with adapting them to better elicit three dimensional science learning.


William R. Penuel, University of Colorado Boulder
Katie Van Horne, University of Colorado Boulder
Philip Bell, University of Washington
Shelley Stromholt, University of Washington