Investigating How Assessment Design Guides High School Chemistry Teachers’ Interpretation of Student Responses to a Planned, Formative Assessment

High school chemistry teachers will often establish goals that guide assessment design and interpretation of assessment results. However, little is known about how these goals and the assessment design collectively guide the interpretation of results. This study seeks to better understand what teachers notice when interpreting assessment results and how the design of the assessment may influence teachers’ patterns of noticing. The study described herein investigates high school chemistry teachers’ interpretations of student responses to formative assessment items by identifying patterns in what teachers notice. These patterns in noticing are compared to previous work that characterizes the teachers’ assessments according to their self-generated best practices for formative assessment. Results suggest that a comparison of assessment design elements and teachers’ noticing patterns can reveal underlying goals guiding the interpretation of student responses to a planned, formative assessment. The results of this investigation hold implications for chemistry teacher assessment design practices as well as the development of chemistry-specific methods for designing and interpreting formative assessments.

Schafer, A. G. L. & Yezierski, E. J. (2021). Investigating how assessment design guides high school chemistry teachers’ interpretation of student responses to a planned, formative assessment. Journal of Chemical Education. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c01264