ERIC Number: ED368776
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Analysis of Cognitive Demand in Selected Alternative Science Assessments. Analysis of Structures and Processes Assessed in Science. Project 2.1 Alternative Approaches to Assessment in Mathematics and Science. Cognitive Theory as the Basis for Design of Innovative Assessment.
Baxter, Gail P.; And Others
Analyses of the cognitive activity displayed by students on existing innovative assessments in science were conducted. The project has worked with pilot alternative assessment programs in Connecticut and California to document the match or mismatch between the skills and processes that the assessment is designed to tap and those actually elicited. Exploratory investigation, conceptual integration, and component identification tasks were selected, each varying with respect to grade level, prior knowledge, stage of development, and purpose. Detailed verbal protocols of students in each of the assessment situations in conjunction with observations of student performance, evaluation of student test booklets, and an examination of the scoring criteria provide an empirical basis for linking performance scores with the level and kind of reasoning and understanding. Analysis of these sources of data was guided by a framework of proficient performance that grew from the cognitive psychology literature on the nature of expertise. Focus was placed on the extent to which tasks allowed students the opportunity to engage in higher-order thinking skills (i.e., plan, reason, explain, infer, monitor, or strategically problem solve) and the extent to which scoring systems reflected differential performance of students with respect to the nature of the cognitive activity in which they engaged. Five tables and 19 figures are included. (Contains 28 references.) (Author/SLD)
Descriptors: Alternative Assessment, Cognitive Processes, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Structures, Concept Formation, Educational Assessment, Educational Innovation, Elementary Secondary Education, Identification, Knowledge Level, Performance Based Assessment, Pilot Projects, Problem Solving, Protocol Analysis, Science Education, Science Tests, Scoring, Test Construction, Test Interpretation, Test Use, Thinking Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.