|(A take-home quiz given recently to my 8th grade son).|
I'm tempted to add a question or two:
11. Suppose questions 1 through 10 above represent an attempt to assess the ability to assess experimental design. Which of the following should be done to improve this assessment:
a. Omitting obvious experimental design errors that no one is likely to make, especially when they are displayed clearly in pictures (different sized circles) or spelled out explicitly in words ("in the sun;" "in the shade").
b. Avoiding vaguenesses ("some bacteria"? "milk"?) that make it hard to understand what the experiment includes and does not include (more than one kind of bacteria? of milk?).
c. Not confusing concepts with simple key word mappings ("control"="measurable variable"; "constant"="same amount").
d. Field-testing this exam to find out whether it makes any predictions about students' experiment design skills.
e. All of the above, and more (can experimental design skills be abstracted away from content, or, like so many other instances of "higher level thinking," are they domain-specific?)