Continuous Learning and Automated Scoring in Science (CLASS)

This five-year project investigates how to provide continuous assessment and feedback to guide students' understanding during science inquiry-learning experiences, as well as detailed guidance to teachers and administrators through a technology-enhanced system. The assessment system integrates validated automated scorings for students' written responses to open-ended assessment items into the "Web-based Inquiry Science Environment" (WISE) program.

Award Number: 
1119670
Funding Period: 
Thursday, September 1, 2011 to Monday, August 31, 2015
Full Description: 

This five-year project investigates how to provide continuous assessment and feedback to guide students' understanding during science inquiry-learning experiences, as well as detailed guidance to teachers and administrators through a technology-enhanced system. The assessment system integrates validated automated scorings for students' written responses to open-ended assessment items (i.e., short essays, science narratives, concept mapping, graphing problems, and virtual experiments) into the "Web-based Inquiry Science Environment" (WISE) program. WISE is an online science-inquiry curricula that supports deep understanding through visualization of processes not directly observable, virtual experiments, graphing results, collaboration, and response to prompts for explanations. In partnership with Educational Testing Services (ETS), project goals are: (1) to develop five automated inquiry assessment activities that capture students' abilities to integrate their ideas and form coherent scientific arguments; (2) to customize WISE by incorporating automated scores; (3) to investigate how students' systematic feedback based on these scores improve their learning outcomes; and (4) to design professional development resources to help teachers use scores to improve classroom instruction, and administrators to make better informed decisions about teacher professional development and inquiry instruction. The project targets general science (life, physical, and earth) in three northern California school districts, five middle schools serving over 4,000 6th-8th grade students with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and 29 science teachers. It contributes to increase opportunities for students to improve their science achievement, and for teachers and administrators to make efficient, evidence-based decisions about high-quality teaching and learning.

A key research question guides this effort: How automated scoring of inquiry assessments can increase success for diverse students, improve teachers' instructional practices, and inform administrators' decisions about professional development, inquiry instruction, and assessment? To develop science inquiry assessment activities, scoring written responses include semantic, syntax, and structure of meaning analyses, as well as calibration of human-scored items with a computer-scoring system through the c-rater--an ETS-developed cyber learning technology. Validity studies are conducted to compare automated scores with human-scored items, teacher, district, and state scores, including sensitivity to the diverse student population. To customize the WISE curriculum, the project modifies 12 existing units and develops nine new modules. To design adaptive feedback to students, comparative studies explore options for adaptive guidance and test alternatives based on automated scores employing linear models to compare student performance across randomly assigned guidance conditions; controlling for covariates, such as prior science scores, gender, and language; and grouping comparison studies. To design teacher professional development, synthesis reports on auto-scored data are created to enable them to use evidence to guide curricular decisions, and comments' analysis to improve feedback quality. Workshops, classroom observations, and interviews are conducted to measure longitudinal teachers' change over time. To empower administrators' decision making, special data reports, using-evidence activities, individual interviews, and observation of administrators' meetings are conducted. An advisory board charged with project evaluation addresses both formative and summative aspects.

A research-informed model to improve science teaching and learning at the middle school level through cyber-enabled assessment is the main outcome of this effort. A total of 21 new, one- to three-week duration standards-based science units, each with four or more automatically scored items, serve as prototypes to improve students' performance, teachers' instructional approaches, and administrators' school policies and practices.

Posts

Title Type Post date
Continuous Learning and Automated Scoring in Science (CLASS) Poster 06/06/2016 - 1:30pm
CLASS: Continuous Learning and Automated Scoring in Science Poster 06/21/2012 - 4:16pm
Agreeing to Disagree: Challenges with Ambiguity in Visual Evidence Resource 02/14/2012 - 6:44pm
Can Generating Representations Enhance Learning With Dynamic Visualizations? Resource 02/14/2012 - 6:39pm
Using Interactive Technology to Support Students’ Understanding of the Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming Resource 02/14/2012 - 6:35pm
Enhancing the Authenticity of a Web-Based Module for Teaching Simple Inheritance Resource 02/14/2012 - 6:29pm
A Design-based Approach to Fostering Understanding of Global Climate Change Resource 02/14/2012 - 6:24pm
A Technology-Enhanced Unit of Modeling Static Electricity: Integrating scientific explanations and everyday observations Resource 02/14/2012 - 6:19pm
Collaboration as Scaffolding to Learn from Dynamic, Interactive Scientific Visualizations Resource 02/14/2012 - 6:13pm
School Principals’ Influence on Science Teachers’ Technology Implementation: A Retrospective Analysis Resource 02/14/2012 - 6:04pm
Investigations of a Complex, Realistic Task: Intentional, Unsystematic, and Exhaustive Experimenters Resource 02/14/2012 - 5:58pm
Measuring Knowledge Integration: Validation of Four-Year Assessments Resource 02/14/2012 - 5:51pm
An Investigation of Explanation Multiple-Choice Items in Science Assessment Resource 02/14/2012 - 5:47pm
Combining Learning and Assessment to Improve Science Education Resource 02/14/2012 - 5:42pm
College Students’ Temporal-Magnitude Recognition Ability Associated With Durations of Scientific Changes Resource 02/14/2012 - 5:38pm
Teaching to design educational technologies Resource 02/14/2012 - 5:33pm
Bridging Multiple Expertise in Collaborative Design for Technology-Enhanced Learning Resource 02/14/2012 - 5:22pm
Researching design practices and design cognition: contexts, experiences and pedagogical knowledge-in-pieces. Resource 02/14/2012 - 5:14pm
Professional Development for Technology- Enhanced Inquiry Science Resource 02/14/2012 - 5:06pm
Teaching with Visualizations: A Comparison Study Resource 02/14/2012 - 4:59pm

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