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?

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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 5215 Points

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

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10180 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

Lisa Lang Lisa Lang 1693 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 692 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 1693 Points

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

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