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Formative Assessment For STEM Learning Ecosystems: Biographical Approaches As A Resource For Research And Practice


"Educational assessment systems are frequently challenged by divergent stakeholder needs. A major insight from experts who work on school assessment systems is the need to clearly articulate and evaluate assessment choices in relation to these distinct goals (Gorin & Mislevy, 2013). The out-of-school STEM ecosystem faces similar challenges. This background paper presents ideas for new assessment methodologies that include biographical and narrative approaches, measures of sustained learning, and social network representations to complement more traditional approaches that capture average effects of a particular program. It also considers how these forms of documentation might be useful as a tool for the formative assessment of nascent interests in order to help educators and parents broker and guide next steps for learners within and across systems to support interest, identity development, and learning."