In 2009, NAEP administered two types of innovative science assessments: Hands-on Tasks (HOTs) and Interactive Computer Tasks (ICTs). The released tasks include samples of innovative item types and innovative evidence types to demonstrate how hard-to-measure constructs, similar to what are called for in the NGSS, were addressed. Interactive computer tasks (ICTs) required students to solve scientific problems in a computer-based environment, often by simulating a natural or laboratory setting. These tasks provided students an opportunity to demonstrate a broad range of skills involved in doing science, but without many of the logistical constraints associated with the hands-on tasks. A total of nine ICTs have been released to the public and are available to preview on the NAEP site.
With the inclusion of interactive computer and hands-on tasks in 2009, the NAEP Science Assessment is often cited as a system that demonstrates large-scale assessment capabilities that could be leveraged to effectively assess the NGSS. These tasks serve as prime examples of assessment that addresses challenges similar to what states and other agencies face when designing, administering, and reporting for NGSS assessments.