Assessment Strategies and Tools


Using Data to Construct an Explanation

1: Shows little understanding
Students see evidence as random information not related to his or her question. They cling to original ideas when confronted with new evidence.

2: Shows some understanding
Students begin to judge the merits and strength of data they will use to make explanations. They occasionally use evidence to support predictions.

3: Shows a solid understanding
Students use knowledge and evidence they obtained to support their explanations. They check out explanations against scientific knowledge, experiences, and others’ observations. They modify old ideas given new information.

4: Shows sophisticated understanding
All of the criteria from # 3, above, plus:
Students draw conclusions based on evidence and logical argument. They do not overstate evidence. They can explain errors or weaknesses in experimentation and their impact on conclusions.

Sample Journey North application for this rubric

  1. Have the class read Citizen Science and Journey North: Thinking Carefully About Methods
  2. Have students respond to this challenge: Human Population Centers and Monarch Reports Any Correlation?