assessment. Note also that this was particularly true for the low-achieving students. This is evidence that the metacognitive reflective-assessment process is beneficial, particularly for academically disadvantaged students.

This finding was further explored by examining the gain scores for each component of the inquiry test. As shown in the figure below, one can see that the effect of reflective assessment is greatest for the more difficult aspects of the test: making up results, analyzing those results, and relating them back to the original hypotheses. In fact, the largest difference in the gain scores is that for a measure termed “coherence,” which reflects the extent to which the experiments the students designed addressed their hypotheses, their made-up results related to their experiments, their conclusions followed from their results, and their conclusions were related back to their original hypotheses. The researchers note that this kind of overall coherence is a particularly important indication of sophistication in inquiry.

SOURCE: White and Frederiksen (2000, p. 347). Used with permission of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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