Assessment Resources

Resources for Implementing Three-Dimensional Science Assessments

As educators, districts, and states implement new science standards, they are faced with creating and implementing new three-dimensional assessments to help monitor student progress and provide feedback to students, parents, and teachers. Achieve has worked with teachers, states, and researchers to develop a variety of tools and resources to help design and implement assessments that are worth students’ and teachers’ time.

Task Annotation Project in ScienceThe Task Annotation Project in Science (TAPS) was launched to provide an answer to the questions “what does it look like to ask students to demonstrate progress toward three-dimensional standards?” and “what are the most important features of high-quality science tasks?” This suite of resources includes annotated examples of assessment tasks for elementary, middle, and high school as well as a series of short resources that highlight the major takeaways across the whole project. 

Tennessee District Science Network Task Library: In early 2019, NextGenScience launched the Tennessee District Science Network (TDSciN), a group of six districts in Tennessee working collaboratively to improve their science programs and move towards the vision of science education reflected in the Tennessee Academic Standards for Science. As part of this work, teachers from each district collaborated in cross-district educator workgroups to develop a library of assessment tasks. These tasks and accompanying resources can deepen educators’ understanding of classroom tasks that measure student proficiency in today’s science standards. 

Science Cognitive Complexity Framework: This framework offers a new approach to capturing and communicating the complexity of summative assessment items and tasks designed for three-dimensional standards. The complexity framework can be used to assess the degree to which an assessment task asks students to intellectually engage in and make use of disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and cross-cutting concepts in service of sense-making. The new framework allows for both the analysis of individual items or tasks and the holistic analysis of multi-component tasks or item clusters. 

A recording of an introductory webinar on the science framework is available here

Science Assessment Criteria: This document describes the most important features of statewide summative assessments designed for three-dimensional standards based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education, such as the NGSS.

Science Assessment Task Screening Tools: These two tools are intended to assist educators in evaluating science assessment tasks to determine whether they are designed for three-dimensional science standards based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education, such as the Next Generation Science Standards.

Transforming Science Assessment: Challenges and Recommendations for States: This brief describes some key challenges associated with developing assessments for new three-dimensional science standards and recommendations for states to consider.

Transforming Science Assessment: Systems for Innovation: This series of resources is designed to provide state education leaders with 1) information about how states are currently pursuing statewide assessment systems in science; 2) analyses of what features influence different approaches, with an eye to supporting state leaders as they make their own decisions regarding science assessment systems; 3) detailed state profiles that highlight how and why some states have made decisions regarding designing and enacting different examples of systems of assessment; and 4) a how-to guide for policymakers looking to enact systems of assessment in science.