The assessment and evaluation mismatch that often occurs between a proposed middle school curriculum that focuses on –how- and a secondary as well as post-secondary educational field that typically demand a focus on –what- is another story to itself for great worry. Needless to say, a number of tools have been recently developed that serve at least to provide valuable feedback to both the student and the teacher in multiple areas of life-long learning including higher-order skills, attitudes and knowledge too if they do not always provide an in-depth measurement of the latter that more traditional methods do.

Useful Assessment Structures

  • Rubrics- provide a 1-4 rating scale for any category the teacher wishes to address. As well, detailed comments are often present allowing more clear explanation about a number of areas of process-based learning that are not traditionally assessed but are arguably important (ex. work ethics, social skills)

  • Journals- students can often convey vital aspects of their expertise in their projects, inquiries or other framework-based activities through personal and informal writing

  • Portfolios- portfolios provide an organized way for students to present and explain about various products that they created throughout the science unit (ex. their design artifact, the results of their inquiry, collected data on their correlational studies etc.)

  • Interviews- sometimes an in-depth oral assessment approach can reveal insights on the student's progress that the more common written assessment tools cannot

  • Self and Peer Evaluation- students should be also given sufficient opportunity to assess and even evaluate themselves. Learning -how- should not be limited to mere participation in process-based activities but should also occur in the student's reflection of them. Learning how to success will often lead to more accurate self-assessments for the student in the future as well as the confidence and desire to do so.




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