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A CBAL Science Model of Cognition: Developing a Competency Model and Learning Progressions to Support Assessment Development

Liu, Lei; Rogat, Aaron; Bertling, Maria
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ETS Research Report
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Competency Model Middle School Science Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning (CBAL) Learning Progressions Formative Assessment Summative Assessment Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)


The purpose of this report is to describe a science competency model and 3 related learning progressions, which were developed by applying the CBAL approach (Bennett & Gitomer, 2009) to the domain of middle school science. The Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning (CBAL) science competency model and its related learning progressions were developed by reviewing existing literature on learning sciences and science education, which have placed increasing emphasis on learners’ knowledge and ability to apply scientific knowledge to conduct evidence-based reasoning. In this report, we present the 5 competencies in our science competency model that reflect current efforts in the Next Generation Science Standards and the recent reform-based curriculum to promote integrated and generative understanding. In addition, we report 3 hypothesized learning progressions related to our competency model to define the increasing sophistication of both content understanding and the capacity to carry out scientific inquiry. Then we discuss features of assessment prototypes developed under the guidance of the competency model and the learning progressions, by illustrating parts of 1 sample formative assessment task prototype.

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