The Challenges of Assessing the Dynamics of Change in Students’ Physical Science Knowledge and the Coherence of Their Ideas in the Context of Model-Based Inquiry

Presenters seek feedback on a graphic mapping approach to assess the dynamics of change in students’ science knowledge over the course of instruction.

Date/Time: 
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 1:45pm to 3:45pm
2014 Session Types: 
Feedback Session (Work in Development)

Current knowledge assessment techniques, such as paper-and-pencil or performance assessments, can provide robust data about gross changes in the distribution of student knowledge over the course of instruction. However, we lack effective ways of coordinating student data collected across varied instruments, time points, and activity contexts to examine patterns of change and dynamics of growth across large numbers of students. In this session, the presenters seek formative feedback on the development of a graphic mapping approach that visually represents the dynamics of knowledge change in students.

The presenting project collected data from multiple sources on second graders’ learning about the nature of matter in the context of model-based inquiry instruction (semi-structured clinical interviews, whole-class discourse, and student artifacts).The presenters introduce a draft blueprint of a graphic mapping approach to represent patterns in knowledge dynamics across the multiple data sources from the two classrooms, and solicit feedback for further development and adaptation across knowledge domains.

The session begins with a brief overview to introduce challenge questions; describe the data sources, assessments, and the coding of individual assessments; and review the new graphic mapping approach. Working in small groups or dyads, participants use the approach to map knowledge dynamics across a small set of cases. As follow-up, the presenters seek participant feedback on the limitations of the approach and possible adaptations and improvements, especially for use in dynamic assessment by teachers.