BOX 4–1 Progress Variables from the Issues, Evidence and You (IEY) Curriculum

Designing and Conducting Investigations—designing a scientific experiment, performing laboratory procedures to collect data, recording and organizing data, and analyzing and interpreting the results of an experiment.

Evidence and Trade-offs—identifying objective scientific evidence, as well as evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of different possible solutions to a problem on the basis of the available evidence.

Understanding Concepts—understanding scientific concepts (such as properties and interactions of materials, energy, or thresholds) in order to apply the relevant scientific concepts to the solution of problems.

Communicating Scientific Information—effectively, and free of technical errors, organizing and presenting results of an experiment or explaining the process of gathering evidence and weighing trade-offs in selecting a solution to a problem.

Group Interaction—developing skill in collaborating with teammates to complete a task (such as a laboratory experiment), sharing the work of the activity, and contributing ideas to generate solutions to a given problem.

SOURCE: Roberts, Wilson, and Draney (1997, p. 8). Used with permission of the authors.

students through the progress variables is specified in a blueprint—a table showing an overview of all course activities, indicating where assessment tasks are located and to which variables they relate.

During IEY instruction, students carry out laboratory exercises and investigations in structured quadruples, work on projects in pairs, and then create reports and respond to assessment questions on their own. Observations of student performance consist of assessment tasks (which are embedded in the instructional program, and each of which has direct links to the progress variables) and link tests (which are composed of short-answer items also linked to the progress variables). Recording of teacher judgments about students’ work is aided by scoring guides—criteria unique to each progress

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