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Effect of Scaffolding in the Assessment of Engineering Practices for Middle School Students (Fundamental)

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Middle School Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Debra Brockway Educational Testing Service

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Ms. Brockway is a Senior Research Associate at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, NJ, where she leads and contributes to projects exploring innovative approaches to assessment and integrating the STEM subjects.

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Kofi James

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Scaffolding is often used to facilitate learning by providing supports that allow students to complete tasks that they would not otherwise be able to complete successfully. The research literature on the types and efficacy of scaffolding in the context of teaching and learning is extensive. Although there are numerous examples of scaffolding in large scale assessment, there is relatively little research related to the impact of scaffolding in this context. With the need to create large-scale assessments aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, which requires assessing the integration of science and engineering core ideas with practices, knowledge about the impact of scaffolding in assessment tasks on the measurement of students’ knowledge and abilities may have increased importance. We conducted a study using cognitive interviews and classroom data to compare student responses and performance in scaffolded and unscaffolded versions of two tasks that integrate engineering practices with science. The two versions elicited different types of information about students’ abilities that may inform assessment design and development. We also found significant differences between overall performance on the two versions and between the two settings in which the instrument was administered.

Brockway, D., & James, K. (2018, June), Effect of Scaffolding in the Assessment of Engineering Practices for Middle School Students (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30353

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