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ERIC Number: EJ1109260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 57
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2330-8516
Cognitively Based Assessment of Research and Inquiry Skills: Defining a Key Practice in the English Language Arts. Research Report. ETS RR-15-35
Sparks, Jesse R.; Deane, Paul
ETS Research Report Series, Dec 2015
Current educational standards call for students to engage in the skills of research and inquiry, with a focus on gathering evidence from multiple information sources, evaluating the credibility of those sources, and writing an integrated synthesis that cites evidence from those sources. Opportunities to build strong research skills are critical, yet empirical research demonstrates that students from Grades K-16 struggle with inquiry tasks, particularly in online environments. There is a need to create models that will support teachers in developing students' research skills and can be used to develop reliable and valid assessments of such skills while aligning with standards. Under the "CBAL"™ research initiative, we have developed a model of conducting research and inquiry as a key literacy practice in the English language arts (ELA). In this paper, we draw on literature from the cognitive and learning sciences--including work in discourse processing, science education, educational technology, and information literacy--to provide the theoretical background for this key practice. We identify a set of activities and skills that are critical for participating in research; each skill is accompanied by a set of provisional learning progressions, which outlines tentative predictions about the qualitative changes in a skill that develop over time with appropriate instruction. These learning progressions and their relation to the key practice can be leveraged in the design of cognitively based assessments of research and inquiry that are sensitive to students' developmental level. We conclude, with an example design for such an assessment to illustrate how key practices and learning progressions can be integrated to support measurement of research and inquiry skills.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A