AAAS and SLO’s

Middle and High School SLO Projects:
One Science Teacher’s Experiences

AAAS Databank Item Data This year our Chemistry PLC did a SLO using the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Assessment Database items. Our goal was to assess our students’ understanding of the Law of Conservation of Mass/Matter.

The AAAS item bank has over 600 questions in biological, physical, and earth sciences.

We decided to use the AAAS assessment items for several reasons.

  • The questions were carefully constructed and piloted by AAAS.
  • Each question provides baseline data for a nationwide sample of students. Further, this data is broken down by MS/HS, gender, and language learning status.
  • The distractors for the questions also provide useful information about student thinking since they are based on common student ideas about the concept being assessed.

The video below provides an introduction to the Assessment items offered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

To better understand our students’ thinking we also asked them, “Explain why you chose this answer,” for each question. This provided information in addition to the multiple choice responses that helped guide our instruction and assisted in writing up our SLO.

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Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of anyone other than myself.