Our multiple-day performance assessments involve students working both individually and in groups, using evidence to construct, revise, and evaluate models incorporating core science content that has been studied in class.
Our multiple-day assessments assess students’ mastery of NGSS performance expectations as students use evidence in modeling, data analysis, argumentation, and communication practices. We have included two examples here.
The shore birds assessment engages students in evaluating a body of evidence to develop a model for why the population of the red knot, a shorebird that migrates from South America to northern Canada every spring, is decreasing over time. Students must use knowledge of ecology as well as their competencies in practices of modeling, evidence analysis and evaluation, coordinating models with evidence, argumentation, and communication.
The finches assessment, based on a scenario developed the BGUiLE project (references xxx), has students use their knowledge of natural selection and microevolution to develop and evaluate models explaining patterns of population decreases among Galapagos finches from 19xx to 19xx. In a context in which they must draw on their understanding of natural selection to develop a new model in a new domain, students engage in practices of modeling, evidence analysis and evaluation, coordinating models with evidence, argumentation, and communication.
Teachers have used these assessments either in addition to other unit tests, or as their unit tests.