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ERIC Number: EJ1062825
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: EISSN-2161-4210
Combining Learning and Assessment to Improve Science Education
Linn, Marcia C.; Chiu, Jennifer
Research & Practice in Assessment, v6 p5-14 Win 2011
High-stakes tests take time away from valuable learning activities, narrow the focus of instruction, and imply that science involves memorizing details rather than understanding the natural world. Current tests lead precollege instructors to postpone science inquiry activities until after the last standardized test is completed--often during the last week of school. Students spend countless hours practicing and taking multiple-choice tests that have little educational value. Learning tests that help students understand science and measure progress at the same time are needed. This article discusses the following topics regarding science education: (1) Learning Test Goals; (2) Teaching and Assessing Lifelong Learning; (3) Visualizations and Assessment; (4) Teaching and Assessing with Concept Maps; (5) Essay Questions, Learning, and Assessment; and (6) Improving Assessment in Lecture Classes. Valuable classroom time can be reclaimed by using online learning environments that incorporate learning tests to measure lifelong learning skills. Think about what would happen if scientists spent time memorizing new facts rather than investigating compelling problems. A focus on lifelong learning to the classroom needs to be restored to retain a competitive advantage in science.
Virginia Assessment Group. Tel: 504-314-2898; Fax: 504-247-1232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL-1119670|ESI-0334199|ESI-0455877