Assessment: LabLearner Works!

There is a huge paradox in science education today. On the one hand, most educators and researchers agree that Science should primarily be taught in a hands-on, experiential fashion. This is one of the major points of the national NGSS initiative. On the other hand, there are few established recommendations on how to assess for science learning using such pedagogical approaches.

What constitutes a good or successful science education assessment?

ChemReaction-Pretest

Grade 7: Chemical Reactions Pretest

At LabLearner, we have found that the best way to evaluate student progress, as well as program success, is through applying an array of evaluation criteria. This makes perfect sense – since the enormous success and progress of Science itself is based on a repeated and variety of tests that lead through analysis to reflection and subsequent understanding and discovery.

It is also essential to use assessment and evaluation as an integral part of the learning process. A simple pretest, for example, can assess the current state of a student’s knowledge when first approaching new science concepts. A good teacher values this kind of information. But it can be used equally well to focus the student’s attention on important issues they will soon encounter in the classroom and lab.

Below, are some key assessment perspectives and results for LabLearner programs from across the country. This is only a small sampling of the assessment strategies and indicators that are used to assess learning gains through hands-on, LabLearner science.