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NGSS Assessment Design and Analysis Resources

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SNAP's resources for supporting performance assessment design and use

SNAP has developed sets of tools to support educators in designing and using performance assessments for 3-dimensional science standards, such as NGSS. Free online courses provide instruction on how to use these tools to support professional learning communities in learning about and developing NGSS assessments.

Resources for learning about NGSS performance assessments

Open-ended performance assessments that engage students in sense-making around a phenomenon hold tremendous promise for supporting students' progress with multidimensional reasoning. But for these assessments to support NGSS classrooms, educators must understand how to find evidence of each dimension in students' responses and how to use this evidence to inform instructional decisions.

The documents you will find below include a sequence of activities designed to guide groups of educators in practicing doing collaborative analysis of a performance assessment to guide instructional decisions. SNAP's free hybrid online courses use these activities as part of an introduction to NGSS performance assessments. In the courses, participants can select a performance assessment to use in their group. The first sample resource below uses a middle school life science assessment. The second resource is used as a reference to show what it looks like when the activities are completed.

Introduction to NGSS Performance Assessment (MS Life Science)

Introduction to NGSS Performance Assessment (EXAMPLE)

Resources for developing 3D performance assessments

In SNAP's vision of high-quality assessment for NGSS, classroom assessment blends almost seamlessly with instruction. Students are presented with a challenging task or problem, and through discourse, group work, opportunities for peer feedback, and scaffolded learning experiences, they build their expertise so that they are prepared to do their best possible work on a summative product. Our design tools use SNAP's design principles as a foundation to guide developers in building instructionally-embedded performance assessments (IEAs) that elicit actionable information about students' progress with the dimensions being assessed.

Resources for evaluating the quality of 3D performance assessments

Once a 3D performance assessment has been designed, we need to evaluate the assessment to ensure that it meets our goals for quality. SNAP analyzes multiple facets of the assessment, including the degree to which students provide evidence of the dimensions we set out to measure, coherence of the task fro the student's perspective, accessibility, engagement, how sensitive the task is to student performance from the developing to excelling levels, and many others. The toolkit provided here includes frameworks and analytic tools that support these analyses of the quality of a performance task.


21st Century Science Performance Assessments

The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) funded SCALE to create a set of design criteria for science performance assessments that incorporates current research on teaching and learning to see how they would influence the design of Instructionally-Embedded Assessments (IEAs). These criteria are intended to be used together with the SNAP Design Criteria. In our design process, of the SNAP criteria must be met, as well as a selection of the 21st Century Criteria. In the samples below, we met at least one criterion under each category of 21st Century Criteria, but this results in a very lengthy task and we would not expect all assessments to do so.

The assessments that you can find below were designed to illustrate what the 21st Century Criteria might look like in an assessment. They are only intended to be exemplars for this purpose; they have not been piloted and do not have rubrics.