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Science and Technology/Engineering
Curriculum Framework - Spring 2001

Guiding Principle VII

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Assessment in science and technology/engineering serves to inform student learning, guide instruction, and evaluate student progress.

Assessment assists teachers in improving classroom practice, planning curricula, developing self-directed learners, and reporting student progress. It provides students with information about how their knowledge and skills are developing and what can be done to improve them. It lets parents know how well their children are doing and what needs to be done to help them do better. In essence, assessment reflects classroom expectations and shows the outcomes of student learning.

Assessments come in many forms. These include paper-and-pencil testing, performance testing, interviews, and portfolios, as well as less formal inventories such as regular observation of student responses to instruction. Diagnostic information gained from multiple forms of assessment enables teachers to adjust their day-to-day and week-to-week practices to foster greater student achievement.

The framework's learning standards are a key resource for setting knowledge and performance standards. In helping students achieve standards, teachers should use a variety of question formats: short answer, multiple choice, and open ended. They should also develop performance-based assessments that allow students to demonstrate what they have learned in the context of solving a complex problem. This kind of assessment requires students to refine a problem, devise a strategy to solve it, conduct sustained work, and deal with both complex concepts and discrete facts.

Last Updated: May 1, 2001
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