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University of St. Francis logo · College of Education · Regional Educational Academy for Leadership

Methods of Assessment in an Inquiry Science Classroom

  • Template 2022
  • Section SAMPLE
  • 1 Credits
  • 06/28/2022 to 07/29/2100
  • Modified 06/28/2022

Mission Statement

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership. 


Transitioning to inquiry-based science instruction often coincides with re-thinking assessment and grading.  Candidates will explore alternative means of assessment and grading theories that parallel inquiry thinking.  The rationale behind traditional assessment and grading will be studied.  Candidates will review and discuss strategies for alternative assessment and grading strategies.  Candidates will examine the role of portfolio-based assessment and standards-based grading, as well as experiment with modified assessment strategies.  



The mission of the College of Education is to prepare competent and caring educators who understand students, serve the community and develop professionally to become ethical decision-makers and leaders.

Understanding Students

Candidates will utilize alternative assessments that parallel student inquiry thinking.

Serving the Community

Candidates will plan culturally responsive learning opportunities utilizing inquiry instruction.

Finding Our Professional Selves

Candidates will demonstrate professional skills implementing inquiry-based instruction.


Standards referenced in this section can be found HERE

By the conclusion of the course, each participant will be able to do the following:

  1. Provide evidence that students have learned and can apply disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices as a result of instruction. (NSTA/ASTE Standard 5)
  2.  Analyze learning gains for individual students, the class as a whole, and subgroups of students disaggregated by demographic categories, and use these to inform planning and teaching. (NSTA/ASTE Standard 5)
  3. Collect, organize, analyze, and reflect on formative and summative evidence and use those data to inform future planning and teaching. (NSTA/ASTE Standard 5b)
  4. Analyze science-specific assessment data based upon student demographics, categorizing the levels of learner knowledge, and reflect on results for subsequent lesson plans. (NSTA/ASTE Standard 5c)
  5. Align instruction and assessment strategies to support instructional decision making that identifies and addresses student misunderstandings, prior knowledge, and naive conceptions. (NSTA/ASTE Standard 2d)
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of how to implement science standards, learning progressions, and sequencing of science content for specific groups (grade levels) of students. (NSTA/ASTE Standard 1c)
  7. Engage in critical reflection to continually improve instructional effectiveness. (NSTA/ASTE Standard 6a)
  8. Participate in professional development opportunities to deepen science content knowledge and practices. (NSTA/ASTE Standard 6b)


Discussions and Reflections

Candidates will respond to content discussions and provide thoughtful feedback others.

Construct Student Objectives Assignment

Candidates will identify a unit of study and create objectives aligned to standards.

Objectives to an Assessment Assignment

Candidates will create an authentic assessment aligned to standards-based objectives.

Detail a System for Collecting Data Assignment

Candidates will create a system appropriately collecting student standards-based data to improve instruction and provide effective student feedback.

Institutional Policies

Students should use the USF portal as the first resource for guidance and support on items such as student complaints, safety, security and transportation questions, contact information for various USF departments, student support services such as counseling and academic resources. Information on these resources can be found in the For Students section of the USF portal.

  • A complete listing of university policies and procedures can be found in the University of St. Francis Catalog and Student Handbooks. Students are expected to follow all policies in the USF Catalog and Student Handbook, both of which can be found in the student portal.
  • Students are expected to be familiar with and follow the various procedures and guidelines regarding USF’s COVID-19 Response, including the USF Preparedness Plan and other materials incorporated in the Saints United resource hub (
  • Policies not covered in this document will be handled in accordance with the USF Catalog, Student Handbook, and Program Handbook as applicable.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Collaboration is only acceptable when it is explicitly acknowledged. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses. Since a lack of integrity hinders the student’s academic development, it cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Violations include but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and denying others access to information or material. See the University of St. Francis Catalog for further clarification and information on grievance procedures.

Academic Support Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) located in Room L214 in the Library (815-740-5060) offers various types of academic services.  Online and distance learning students can contact ARC for appropriate resources.  ARC serves students who need tutoring in many areas of study including writing and math.  Library services include a number of online services and full text databases.  Call the Library at 815-740-5041 for additional information.  If you need academic-related resources or assistance, please contact the Academic Resource Center.

Services and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (ADA)

The University strives to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). A student who requires special accommodations or arrangements due to a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services. This contact preferably should occur no later than the first week of classes. Early contact before the semester starts is encouraged to allow sufficient time to provide accommodations. Extra time is needed for some types of accommodations such as sign language interpreters or special text formatting. Should a need arrive after the start of a semester; the student is encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible. Note that accommodations are not retroactive. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

USF is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs, regardless of the course format. If you have a documented disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in a course, complete course requirements, or benefit from the University’s programs or services, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 815-740-3631 or [email protected] . The Office of Disability Services is in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and is located on the second floor of the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Library in room L214. Consultations are welcome, please contact the Office of Disability Services for an appointment.

Technology Support

If you are experiencing any difficulty using Canvas or need technical assistance, you have several options to receive support:

  1. 24x7 Live Canvas Support. Canvas has a 24 hour support by clicking on ? Help while in Canvas. You can Chat with Canvas Support, Report a Problem, or call the Canvas Support Hotline. If you experience technical difficulties or have a question about Canvas, you can receive support 24 hours a day seven (7) days a week through the Canvas help menu. From the help menu; select Report a Problem to send an email support request, select Chat with Canvas Support (Student) for a “live” text-based click-to-chat session, or to speak to someone directly use the toll-free number listed under the Canvas Support Hotline (Student). NOTE: Responses to Canvas’ email based Report a Problem request system will go to your USF email account, NOT your personal email.
  2. Online Self-Service Help Resources. A student user guide and other resources for solving issues related to Canvas can be found at
  3. You can phone the Technology Support Center for personal help at (815) 768-8324 or (866) 337-1497 (toll-free) between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday or fill out a Technology Support Center ticket and select Canvas/Online courses as the component.

For any technical support issues that are not related to Canvas, you can also contact the USF Technology Support Center (TSC). You can reach them via: