Survey and Feed back
Major advantage of constructed
They elicit responses that more closely resemble
Use direct questions rather than incomplete
Write items so that the correct response is
concise (a few words or a short phrase).
Write items so that they can be scored
Be sure there is a highly limited set of
Think of the correct response, then write
Require several sentences or brief paragraph
Require higher level thinking (than simple recall)
and the application of students’ knowledge
Evaluating Points of View
Allow for the examination of Student Thinking
Scored using a Rubric that provides varying degrees
“The notion that learning comes about by
accretion of little bits is outmoded learning
theory. Current models of learning …
learners gain understanding
when they construct their own knowledge
and develop … interconnections among
facts and concepts …”
of the Content
new questions that can be
investigated in the laboratory or field
empirical evidence to
the reasoning used to draw a
scientific conclusion or explanation
isomers for simple hydrocarbons.
Set the Context
Specify the knowledge to be brought to bear
Specify the Reasoning
Use specific verbs e.g.
analyze, cite, describe…
Point the Way
Inform students of the
that will be applied
to evaluate their responses
Develop the Scoring Rubric
Clear articulation of the appropriate evaluation
criteria by which to judge the quality of student
scientific tradeoffs in design decisions and
choose among alternative solutions.
that genetic engineering techniques
provide great potential and responsibilities
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disadvantage that might result from the use of
recombinant DNA technology. Then describe a plan
or a policy for dealing with the disadvantage that
could be followed by research scientists, doctors,
public officials, or other people who are involved
with recombinant DNA technology and its uses.”
Student response describes a reasonable disadvantage of
recombinant DNA technology and provides a clear description of a plan
for dealing with the disadvantage. Credited disadvantages
Regulation of new strains
Production of dangerous organisms
loss of diversity
Regulation of applications/patents
Credited acceptable plans
Student response describes a reasonable disadvantage and
attempts a brief description of a plan for dealing with this disadvantage
(e.g., test or observe, research further). OR Student response provides
only a description of a plan.
Student response describes a reasonable disadvantage of
genetic technology but does not develop a plan for dealing with the
Student response states that there are no
disadvantages, or states a disadvantage that is inaccurate or
“Student response states that making new kinds of viruses and
mutations are a disadvantage, and outlines a plan that involves
experimentation with human cells outside the body.”
“Student response discusses the production of
dangerous viruses, and attempts a brief
description of a plan.”
“Student response explains that the intermixing
of genes could result in the production of
diseases. No plan is given.”
“Student response does not give a clear
disadvantage, and states merely that these people
should stop messing around with recombinant
information from data tables and graphs to answer
“One characteristic that can be used to identify pure metals
is density. If you determine the density of a pure metal,
you can determine what the metal is, as shown in the
Suppose that you determine that a metal ring has a density
. Assume that the ring is a mixture of
some combination of the metals listed in the table. What
can you determine about its composition from its
calculated density? Explain your answer.”
that cellular differentiation results from gene
expression and/or environmental influence (e.g.,
Sample Item: “Biologists know that nearly all
cells in a person's body contain the same
genes. For example, kidney cells contain the
same genes as the cells that normally make
hemoglobin. Given these facts, explain why
kidney cells do not make hemoglobin even
though they contain the hemoglobin gene.”
Explain how animal systems (digestive, circulatory,
respiratory, skeletal, muscular, nervous, excretory, and
reproductive) work together to perform selected activities.
Sample Item: “When you exercise strenuously,
your body produces excess heat. Describe at
least two things your body does to help
prevent your temperature from rising
excessively, and explain why the body's
response is effective.”
provides a series of statements
that outlines a scheme or
sequence of events in summary
form, followed by a question
concerning what should be
discovered or deduced from the
based items can utilize these forms
of question construction formats after
presenting the situation under investigation.
• What is the nature of the problem?
• What is needed to solve the problem?
• What will occur from......?
• What is a solution?
• If this happens, what should be done?
• What is the most effective or efficient
• Why is … the most effective solution?
• What would happen if ….?
• Given …. what is the primary cause?
• On the basis of …, what is the primary cause?
• What is the most effective (appropriate)
method for ….?
• What is better (or worse) ….?
• What is the most critical step in this
• What is (un)necessary in a procedure?
Assess understanding beyond rote
There should be more than one way to
answer a question.
There should be opportunities for
students to earn partial credit.
Keep the item within a reasonable
Avoid questions that are so broad that a
knowledgeable person could write
multiple pages on the subject.
Poor: Explain kinetic energy and
gravitational potential energy.
Better: A pencil rolls across a tabletop
and then falls to the floor. Describe
the changes in the kinetic energy and
gravitational potential energy of the
pencil as it rolls, falls, and lands on
Define the task specifically.
Don’t expect students to “read between the
Poor: Describe the differences between
various types of rocks.
Better: Describe three differences between
igneous and sedimentary rocks.
Break a complex task into parts.
Makes an item more accessible to students.
Put tasks in a logical sequence (first part is often at lower
cognitive level than later parts).
Poor: Juan and Valerie are designing an experiment to test
whether a pesticide affects tomato plant growth. Identify four
possible variables in this experiment. Choose one of these and
explain how it can be controlled and how the results might
change if it were not controlled.
Better: Juan and Valerie are designing an experiment to test
whether a pesticide affects tomato plant growth.
Identify four possible variables in this experiment.
Choose one of these and explain how it can be controlled.
Explain how the results of their experiment might change if
this factor were not controlled.
Use verbs that discourage one
Avoid questions that can be answered simply “yes”
“Explain” or “Illustrate” vs. “Name” or “List”
Use caution when asking subjective questions.
Items should not intrude on student privacy.
Do not ask students how they feel.
Do not ask students to relate things to personal
Any explanation or justification for a student’s
response should be based on the
Write the scoring rubric at the same time as
Include examples of “correct” or “partial”
Critique and confirm that the item elicits the
Aligned to a specific Content Expectation.
A common error is to ask one question, but base
the scoring rubric on an answer that really
corresponds to another related question that goes
into more depth than what is asked.
Bring a chapter test and identify on it
test items (Multiple choice
Note: Modify the items if it is needed
according to the rules of test items and
higher DOK .