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Multiple Types of Assessment


Multiple Types of Assessment

Assessment comes in a variety of forms. The teaching team creates a balance using several assessment methods throughout the project.




Type of Assessment

Description of Assessment

Application in the Project


Multiple Choice, Short answer, True/False, Essay

Occurs periodically throughout the project in the form of quizzes, multiple-choice test, short answer

Reflective/Self- Evaluation

Journal Writing and Portfolios

Dear Reader Letters, Notebook Cover Design, Group Progress Sheet during roller coaster split days, Roller Coaster Split Day Journals, Journal for At-Home Roller Coaster Project, Persuasive Letter to the school board after field trip


Task-oriented with scoring rubric—Contrived Setting

At-Home Roller Coaster Project

Inspiration diagrams on Newton’s Laws


Collaborative in Nature, Long-Term Investigation or Exploration, Invention Conventions and Science Fairs

Roller Coaster Split Days—Save the Canyon Coaster Amusement Park


Real World Setting Investigation

Field Trip Task Assignment at Lagoon Amusement Park



Student surveys on at-home Roller Coaster Project

Prior Knowledge

Brainstorming on what students already know

Graph-Match Pre-Assessment, Sensory Journal Free-Write, Top Twenty Roller Coaster Video, Internet Scavenger Hunt

Monitoring and Tracking Progress
Theresa, Meile, Paul, and Jill each use regular journaling to track progress and identify problems before they grow. Depending on the journal entry, students may turn them in for review and receive credit for complete responses. During the final group project, design team members meet during their language arts period to report on their individual progress. Journal entries are also recorded in the Roller Coaster Red Books.

The teachers also developed grade tracking sheets so students could manage and track their progress throughout the unit.

Defining Quality Work
The teachers develop and use scoring rubrics that they share with students as performance tasks are introduced. The home roller coaster project includes five criteria for which students are scored as "Meets Mastery" or "Redesign Required."

In addition, students are required to complete several calculations using their roller coaster design.

All special education students are included in regular classrooms and are expected to complete assignments according to their IEP requirements. Teachers adapt several assignments and assessments throughout the project to meet the needs of all students. 

Improving the Project
The science and math teachers use a survey to gain insight on how to improve the design process for students and how students perceive the at-home roller coaster project. Using surveys provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the process of completing a design project.

Multiple Choice Tests

"Traditional multiple choice testing still gives the quickest survey of what students know at the knowledge level and shows how well this type of curriculum and
instruction transfers to new situations."
—Theresa Maves

All three teachers believe strongly in performance assessment. They see the final group design presentation with its required products as the most significant assessment for this project. However, they also include traditional testing methods during the It’s a Wild Ride unit. Both Meile and Theresa developed multiple choice tests for this unit.

Another assessment tool Theresa uses is to ask her students to create their own multiple choice tests, from which she chooses questions for the final exam.

Other Types of Assessment

As a culminating science assessment, students write a “Dear Reader” letter and design a notebook cover for the project.  These allow students to creatively highlight the concepts they best understand. They are scored using rubrics.

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