The SAIC produced the following guiding documentation that will be used by the 15 participating states—and are available publicly—to inform large-scale NGSS test and item development:
- An Assessment Framework that includes the overall test design, description of an aligned test item cluster as the foundational unit of an NGSS-aligned assessment, specifications for various types of test items, and accessibility principles;
- Item Specifications Guidelines that detail a model of NGSS item cluster specifications, classify item types for consideration in an item cluster, identify key elements for each item cluster, and describe the linkage between item clusters and the NGSS;
- Two Item Cluster Prototypes (Grade 5 and High School) that can be used by the participating states to inform test item development. Each prototype includes a description of the cluster’s alignment to performance expectation targets, NGSS dimensions (i.e., Disciplinary Core Ideas [DCI], Science and Engineering Practices [SEP], and Crosscutting Concepts [CCC]), NGSS evidence statements, and a description of how the items are designed to function as a unit.
The states and entity that participated in the Science Assessment Item Collaborative include Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Assessment Framework provides a range of options and accompanying rationales for the development of NGSS-aligned items and summative assessments.
The Item Specifications Guidelines, developed as a companion document to the SAIC Assessment Framework, provides a methodical and practical guide for the development of Item Specifications for the assessment of the NGSS. It discusses issues pertinent to assessment development and provides a road map for the development of clear, comprehensive specifications for NGSS-aligned item clusters.
The Grade 5 Item Cluster Prototype was designed to follow the principles and recommendations set forth in the SAIC Assessment Framework and Item Specifications Guidelines for an NGSS-aligned large-scale summative assessment item cluster. The prototype serves as an initial model for measuring the three-dimensional science learning called for in the NGSS and should promote ongoing dialogue about the vision for a truly next-generation science assessment. The item cluster can now be previewed live with interactive items and media.
The High School Item Cluster Prototype was designed to follow the principles and recommendations set forth in the SAIC Assessment Framework and Item Specifications Guidelines for an NGSS-aligned large-scale summative assessment item cluster. The prototype serves as an initial model for measuring the three-dimensional science learning called for in the NGSS and should promote ongoing dialogue about the vision for a truly next-generation science assessment.
We welcome your feedback about the Collaborative's framework, guidelines, and prototypes. Please submit comments at the CSAI Contact Us page.
In December 2016, WestEd administered a survey to SAIC members states to understand the ways in which member states have used SAIC materials. These survey responses provide understanding of how the SAIC Assessment Framework has been used in the development of NGSS-aligned assessments.
Based on SAIC members' survey responses, WestEd and the Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation have created this addendum, which provides an overview of proposed adjustments to scope or content. These adjustments are drawn from SAIC members' survey responses; a summary of these survey responses can also be found in the addendum.
As a follow-up to the resources developed by the CCSSO Science Assessment Item Collaborative (SAIC), WestEd administered a survey designed to capture how states have used the original SAIC materials. This flyer summarizes how use of the SAIC materials has evolved from the original documentation based on the unique needs of each state.
Design and Development of Multidimensional Science Item Clusters
One of the most commonly used tools for NGSS-aligned assessment is the item cluster, in which multiple dimensions of one or more performance expectations are tested via multiple items of different types. The design of item clusters involves numerous decisions that must be considered early in the development process. This paper examines these development considerations and offers sample item cluster procedural design criteria.
Quality Expectations and Development Considerations of Item Clusters Assessing Multidimensional Science Standards
A number of effective approaches and strategies related to the measurement of multidimensional science standards have emerged through early development efforts of large-scale assessments. This paper discusses several key considerations for designing and developing effective next generation science assessments, including an exploration of the quality expectations and development considerations that help support development.
Alignment Considerations for Next Generation Science Standards Assessments
When seeking to ensure multidimensional item alignments, assessment developers must begin with the end in mind. Without constant and careful attention to alignment considerations, item alignment can weaken throughout the development process. This paper explores the challenges of developing multidimensional assessment items and offers a guiding framework that can help practitioners maintain focus on alignment throughout all stages of development.
Webinar: Assessment Framework and Item Cluster Prototypes: New Tools to Support NGSS Large-Scale Assessment Development
On September 19, 2016, experts from CSAI and the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction discussed the development of NGSS-aligned assessment items. This discussion also included information on how the SAIC has informed Washington's development of a state science assessment aligned with NGSS.
* Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)® is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards was involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.