Designing Three-Dimensional Life Science Tasks for the Next Generation Science Standards Authors


Phyllis Pennock, Samuel Severance, and Joseph Krajcik

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) integrate disciplinary core ideas, science (engineering) practices, and crosscutting concepts for curriculum and instruction. As states around the country continue to adopt these standards, many educators are in need of strong assessments that align to the three-dimensional learning approach of NGSS.

We provide an update of our systematic approach for designing these life science tasks that assess middle school students’ understanding of performance expectations; integrating disciplinary core ideas (DCI), crosscutting concepts (CCC), and scientific practices. Our design process is based on the principles of evidence-centered design (ECD). This poster will provide an update of our work-in-progress and a sample of our tasks. Exemplar cases of how assessment may be used in the classroom will serve as helpful models to inform educators on how best to aim next-generation science assessments.

Kang, H., Thomson, J., & Windschitl, M. (2014). Creating opportunities for students to show what they know: The role of scaffolding in assessment tasks, Science Education, 98(4), 674-704.
National Research Council (2012). A framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Pellegrino, J. W., Wilson, M., Koenig, J., Beatty, A. (Eds.) (2014). Developing assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards. Washington, DC: National Academies Press