Carolina Biological OSE – April 2024


Forums / Evaluation and Assessment / What are your favorite ways to assess students in the science classroom?

Evaluation and Assessment

What are your favorite ways to assess students in the science classroom?

Author Post
McKenna Keener McKenna Keener 1505 Points

Hello! I am a pre-service teacher in the undergraduate program at the College of Charleston. Last week in my science education course we evaluated different assessment instruments that were created by teachers for use in their classrooms. As we evaluated them, I was wondering what other ways besides quizzes, tests, and worksheets that teachers like to use to assess their students in the science classroom. What ways are effective for you to gather data about students that accurately reflect their learning in the unit? 

Emily Faulconer Emily Faulconer 5755 Points

Presentations, research (literature review), infographic creation, video/blog/podcast production, etc. 

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10275 Points

Hi McKenna! Quizzes, tests, and worksheets are designed to assess content learning objectives. I also liked to use observational checklists to monitor student skills. For example, as they were doing a hands-on actitvity, I could assess whether they were following safety guidelines, working as a team, using equipment such as balances or microscopes effectively, etc. It's hard to turn a checklist into a letter or numerical grade, but the lists give you insight into how students are not just learning about skills but actually using them. This evolved from my preservice methods class where we had to design a nonwritten student assessment! -- Mary B

Darcie Pilon Darcie Pilon 490 Points

Hi McKenna!

In a few of my classes we look at different ways to assess students. Personally, I love the idea of project-based learning. This gives students an end goal in mind and can really show what they learned over the unit. It is also usually more fun and engaging for the students. I also like the thought of using technology to assess students. Especially with our current situation, students are experiencing a higher amount of technology use. One assessment I found was Socrative, which works well to assess students throughout a unit and it grades for you.

Website Link: 

Ryen Gailey Ryen Gailey 85 Points

This is a great question! Through my experiences so far, although I'm also only a pre-service teacher, I've seen some of my mentor teachers use graded discussions as assessment. Even for young students, I've noticed that they can produce pretty coherent and productive thoughts verbally through discussion, but just may not have the tools or skill set yet to put it down on paper. That's why graded discussions can be effective!

Cierra Johnson Cierra Johnson 389 Points

Hello McKenna! I am a cohort at Voorhees University in their graduate program. Previously I was in a 4th-grade class. We also used quizzez to assess them. We then found out that we could do assessments by them watching an interactive video. The kids enjoyed that because the video would pause and they could take their time doing the quizzes and tests. 

Lisa Lang Lisa Lang 1703 Points

A Formative Assessment Probe can be used as you teach a lesson to determine where your students are in terms of understanding. 

A Justified List Probe is one format you could use for this type of assessment. For example, a Solar System lesson could include a formative probe for 'Understanding the Characteristics of Gaseous Planets.' You provide a list of characterists and students select the items that fit. Quick-check probes can be done 2-3 times throughout a lesson and are used to improve teaching.

Example: Characteristics of Gaseous Planets:  Multiple Moons? Rings? Crusty Surface? Rotating? 


Denice Salinas Denice Salinas 20 Points

I think something fun for the students to do while learning. For example, doing a video on the subject or something creative that incorporates more than research and talking. 

Nicole Anthony Nicole Anthony 702 Points

I am currently a student teacher, as I was able to be placed in two different classrooms I was able to observe different learning styles and different forms of daily assessments. I feel that formative assessments are a great way to find out how students are learning and retaining the material. If you plan on collecting the data I enjoyed using Google Plickers, this tool allowed the students to submit answers via a QR code that is specific to them. The teacher can scan all the answers at once and see how the students were answering, this allowed for an immediate response on what questions were getting the most incorrect answers and what questions the students understood. Another tool I liked is quizzizz, this was a great tool for immediate responses as well. 

Lisa Lang Lisa Lang 1703 Points

I've used Google Plickers! Thanks for making the connection to formative assessments.

Karla Garzon Karla Garzon 1000 Points

My favorite way to assess students in a science classroom is by using or other games. Children don't really like the old fashion formal assessment with pencil and paper. If it is done in a fun way, children won't find it tedious. In addition, teacher can assess students just by asking verbal questions and teacher can tell if a student understood the lesson or not.

Chelsea Johnson Chelsea Johnson 254 Points

I am also a pre-service teacher, but we have recently worked with finding different assessment tools in my classes! I really liked using a technology component when it comes to formative assessment because it can be a lengthier class activity or it can be used as a quick exit ticket. Three platforms that we have used are Quizzizz, Kahoot!, and GimKit! What's great about using components like these is that it records student answers and all answers are compilable into a spreadsheet so that you can see student answers across the board to show misconceptions and where students are excelling!

Vinsensia Wunga Vinsensia Wunga 2056 Points


Assessments are always good to use in learning and teaching progress. I think, hands-on activity should be always be included in science class because science is meant to be a  hands-on class.

A Science teacher should always provide hands-on activity. The students learn more when they are allowed to have hands-on activity in all the lessons they are learning. 

Sara Haizoun Sara Haizoun 2790 Points


I prefer non conventional ways of assessing students. Especially in a science classroom where hands-on activities are part of the daily lessons. I would lean towards oral presentations (live or pre-recorded), a project, presenting the material on a song or another art form, group work, and perhaps a checklist throughout the chapter in which students have tasks that must be completed by the end of the week.

Stephanie Castro Stephanie Castro 790 Points



I would like to comment on Darcie's post because it has a great alternative for assessing students in a science classroom. I think using technology is a must in the 21st century and using it to your advantage is a plus for teachers. I believe Socrative is very useful because you can do so much with it and also assess students. Additionally, your favorite assessment is also another good choice for science teachers to use which is project-based learning because students, as you said, are working towards a goal where as they learn they can have fun. Thank you for your response I will for sure be taking some of these into consideration in my future classroom. 

Annette Ontiveros Annette Ontiveros 360 Points


I personally would consider involving technology and assesments into the science classrooms. Not only that but as a Science class I would also incorporate science projects in a classroom setting.

Tiffany York Tiffany York 755 Points

In my classroom, we do try to do a mixture of assessments in my classroom, but we do a lot of informal assessments while doing experiments. So observations (in notes), discussion, exit tickets. At the end of a unit, we will do a big science test over that unit. We also do 'review' questions at the beginning of each class and that is over any standard we've taught and just keeps it fresh in their brains. It's really helpful since our standards are set up to do units at a time and we don't do a whole lot of circling back with lessons. 

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