Title: Exploring the affordances of computer-based assessment in measuring three-dimensional science learning

Authors: Christopher J. Thompson; Rebecca Hite

Addresses: Department of Curriculum and Instruction, STEM Education, Texas Tech University, 3002 18th Street, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA ' Department of Curriculum and Instruction, STEM Education, Texas Tech University, 3002 18th Street, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA

Abstract: The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) calls for higher proficiency in K-12 science through three-dimensional learning, defined as the integration of core ideas, science practices, and cross-cutting concepts. This indicates a shift from recitation of isolated scientific facts towards a contextualised application of scientific ideas, requiring students to develop and evidence their knowledge by constructing and defending explanations of scientific problems and phenomena. In response to NGSS's three-dimensional science learning, computer-based assessments of novel 3D items were created; permitting more complex responses and evidence of knowledge than traditional multiple-choice questions (MCQs). This case study used task-based interviews to compare students' responses to 3D items against comparable MCQs. Results demonstrate that 3D items are equally or more effective to MCQs for evaluating proficiency in three-dimensional science learning. This research suggests that, with further development, 3D items delivered in an online format are a scalable and suitable tool for statewide accountability testing.

Keywords: assessment; intermediate constraint; Next Generation Science Standards; NGSS; science education; three-dimensional learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2021.115468

International Journal of Learning Technology, 2021 Vol.16 No.1, pp.3 - 36

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 02 Jun 2021 *

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