Publications & Resources

The Case for an Integrated Design Framework for Assessing Science Inquiry

Sep 2004

Robert J. Mislevy and Gail P. Baxter

In this paper we provide a rationale and approach for articulating a conceptual framework and corresponding development resources to guide the design of science inquiry assessments. Important here is attention to how and why research on cognition and learning, advances in technological capability, and development of sophisticated methods and techniques in measurement can and should be put to use in designing maximally informative assessments. To ensure quality and continuity in the design process the framework advocates an evidence-centered approach in which the components of assessment design (i.e., substantive arguments, design elements, and operational procedures) are described and their relationships elaborated. Further, assessment-design data structures, expressed in terms of extensible object models (i.e., reusable parts) and supported by web-based tools, facilitate generating, exchanging, and reusing particular components of the design process. A shared, practical, and instructionally informative set of assessment design tools, both conceptual and computer-based, can serve to speed the diffusion of improved assessment practices.

Mislevy, R. J., & Baxter, G. P. (2004). The case for an integrated design framework for assessing science inquiry (CSE Report 638). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).