Day 184: Showing Growth in Experimental Design

Another part of our teacher evaluation must include a way of measuring growth for each student in our classes (as mandated by the state). Locally, teachers are in charge of determining what those pre/post assessments will be. Locally, the post test MUST be the final exam.

As a physics department, we decided to go with a common assessment of scientific reasoning and experimental design, rather than focus on physics content. We are going to use the Science Olympiad rubric for the “Experimental Design” event as a starting point. The pre-assessment might be “Here’s XYZ equipment, design and carry out an experiment.” The post assessment would be a more lengthy open-ended experiment of the students choosing that they would prepare in advance.

We, as a high school, are working are hardest to ensure our kids take the fewest tests as possible as required by the state.. And the few they do take are as meaningful as possible.

UPDATE 6/22/2012: This is the document we decided to go with. Rather than the nitty-gritty point system from Science Olympiad, we used a modified version of Eugenia Ektina’s scientific abilities rubrics. Here it is: 


About Frank Noschese

HS Physics Teacher constantly questioning my teaching.

One response to “Day 184: Showing Growth in Experimental Design”

  1. MatthewPMoran says :

    I really like the scioly experimental design criteria, but wonder that works for your pre/post lab assessment. Do students get assessed individually for this? Can the students stick to a familiar lab or does it have to be original to them? Would love to see a more detailed writeup of this process.

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