Skip to main content

Welcome, the Hub connects all projects

RETA Workshops

MSP Workshop: Assessment of Student Learning
May 16-18, 2004

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine



The Keck Center, 500 Fifth St. NW, Room 100
Washington, DC
May 16-18, 2004


Sunday, May 16 | Monday, May 17 | Tuesday, May 18

May 16 (Sunday)

1:00   Opening Remarks
Jay Labov, National Research Council (NRC)
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation

Sally Goetz Shuler, National Science Resources Center
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation

Janice Earle, National Science Foundation
Biosketch | Transcript of Presentation

Overview of Workshop:
Mark Kaufman, Mathematics and Science Partnerships Committee, Co-Director of the Center for Education Partnerships
Biosketch | Transcript of Presentation

1:30   Exploring the Process of Classroom Assessment,
George Bright, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Classroom assessment is the process of gathering information about students' thinking, inferring what students know, and adjusting instruction to match students' needs. This process reflects the way assessment is characterized in the Knowing What Students Know report. As part of an NSF-funded project (grant #9819914), professional development materials have been developed that help middle grades and high school mathematics teachers learn to apply classroom assessment practices in the planning and delivery of instruction. In this session, an overview of those materials will be given. Participants will engage in several of the activities to see how those activities exemplify major principles of effective classroom assessment.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion*

3:00   BREAK

3:15   Exploring the Process (continued)

3:45   Implications for MSPs of Large-Scale Assessments
Marge Petit, Senior Associate, National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment

Under the requirements of NCLB each state must develop a set of mathematics grade level expectations for grades 3 - 8 and one grade at the high school level. These grade level expectations are to form the foundation for state level assessments in grades 3 - 8 and one high school grade aligned with the grade level expectation to be administered beginning in the school year 2005 -2006. In this session participants will explore the implications of these requirement on MSPs and how "bridging the gap" between large-scale and classroom assessment may have different implications for different Mathematics and Science Partnerships.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation

5:15   Wrap-up Mark Kaufman

5:30   Dinner for all participants (Keck Atrium)

5:45   Adjourn

6:00   Meeting: Facilitators, Presenters, NRC and NSRC Staff

May 17 (Monday)

8:00   Full Breakfast

8:30   What Researchers and Expert Panels Say about Assessment for Instruction and Learning:
Marge Petit, Senior Associate, National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion*

10:00   BREAK

10:15   Break-out Sessions:

  • Ongoing Classroom Assessment for Mathematics: Assessing for Understanding, Room 105
    Marge Petit, Senior Associate, National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment

    In this session participants will examine a model of ongoing classroom assessment in development by the Vermont Mathematics Partnership. The model draws on findings and recommendations in Adding it Up: How Children Learn Mathematics (2001), Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment (2000), Assessment in Support of Instruction and Learning: Bridging the Gap Between Large-scale and Classroom Assessment (2003), How People Learn: Brian, Mind, Experience, and School, Expanded Addition (2001), Jim Minstrell's work on Facet of Learning, and cognitive research in the development of specific mathematical concepts. The model is an evolving example of "bridging the gap" between large-scale and classroom assessment in support of student learning that focuses specifically on formative assessment strategies. Participants will explore the model, examine student work presented in a case study, and have an opportunity to provide feedback on the developing model.
    Handout 1 | Handout 2 | Handout 3 | Handout 4 | Transcripts not available

  • Formative Assessment in Science: Small Strategies that Work in a Big Way, Room 110
    Mary Colvard, Consultant, New York State Education Department, and Steering Committee Member

    Formative assessment is a tool too often overlooked by educators. Quick and easy formative assessment strategies appropriate for use in both the classroom and professional development settings will be modeled during this session. A discussion of when and how to use several of the techniques will follow activities during which participants work through a variety of formative assessment activities designed to provide feedback on student learning. Participants will receive materials and strategies to take home and implement in a classroom setting.
    Biosketch | Handouts | Transcripts not available

11:45   MSP Teams: Networking and time with facilitators

12:15   Lunch

1:15-2:45   Research Strategies for Assessment of Learning
Diane Ebert-May, Professor of Plant Biology, Michigan State University

Language for discussing assessment with scientists is critical in all educational projects, especially those that include the K through graduate continuum. Together will focus on current strategies we use in undergraduate education to design and implement active, inquiry-based instruction in science courses and the methods for assessing and analyzing student data to determine the effectiveness of these approaches. Our research designs and strategies are derived from the methods of discipline-based research in the sciences. We use this approach for diagnosing student misconceptions, developing problems to assess student understanding about key concepts in biology, and collecting, analyzing and reporting data that will influence future instruction. We argue that this approach is applicable across disciplines and is scalable for class size and academic level. We will explore, design and analyze assessment strategies and how the data can inform instruction in any course or curriculum.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation**

2:45   BREAK

3:00   Break-out Sessions:

  • C-TOOLS: Concept-map Tools for Online Learning in Science, Room 105
    Diane Ebert-May, Professor, Plant Biology, Michigan State University

    C-TOOLS is a web-based concept mapping tool (Java applet) with an automatic scoring function (Robo-grader). C-TOOLS enables students in large (or small) introductory science classes to visualize their thinking online as well as to receive immediate evaluative feedback. The value of concept maps is that they provide visual evidence of how students understand the direct relation and organization among many principles, data not easily assessed by multiple choice questions or even extended responses. In this workshop we will use C-TOOLS as an assessment tool and discuss methods of its application in the classroom to motivate students to reflect, revise and share their thinking with peers as an extension of the learning process. Participants are encouraged to explore the website.C-TOOLS web URL:
    Transcripts not available

  • Ongoing Classroom Assessment for Higher Education, Room 110
    Herbert Brunkhorst, Professor, Science Education and Biology, California State University, San Bernardino, and Steering Committee Member

    In this session participants will explore daily assessment strategies for students in higher education classrooms. Strategies that have been used successfully in a university "Introduction to Biology" course will be discussed and explained including, "quick-writes" and "think-pair-share", among others. Another part of this discussion will examine ways that assessment of student learning can be used to develop reflection on teaching and learning by teachers.
    Biosketch | Transcripts not available

4:30   BREAK

4:45   MSP Teams: Networking and time with facilitators

5:30   Adjourn and Dinner (on your own)

May 18 (Tuesday)

8:30   Full Breakfast

9:00   Equity and Access: The Implications of Accountability
Diana C. Pullin, Professor of Education Law and Public Policy, Boston College

This session addresses equity and fairness issues in the implementation of assessment programs in the current high-stakes accountability context. The session will address access, opportunity to learn, subgroup data in testing systems, and formative evaluation student needs. Strategies to promote equity and fairness will be considered through a review of legal requirements and professional and technical standards concerning educational assessment.
Biosketch | Powerpoint Presentation | Transcript of Presentation | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion*

9:45   BREAK

10:00   Planning for Change in Assessment
Mark Kaufman, Co-Director of the Center for Education Partnerships, TERC

In this session MSP teams will use the knowledge gained from the workshop to plan for the challenge of making changes in local assessment policies and practices. Teams will examine a specific set of conditions in their partnerships that can support or hinder the process of making needed changes.
Powerpoint Presentation | Handout | Transcript of Presentation** | Transcript of Final Questions and Discussion

11:30   Committee Reflections and Participant Discussion
Transcript of Discussion

12:15   Box Lunch and Adjourn

*Questions and responses by the speaker throughout their presentations were common. Those questions are embedded with the verbatim transcript of the presentation.