Dear Middle School Science Teacher:
My name is Barbara Nagle. I am a curriculum and assessment developer at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley. I am planning to conduct a research study, which I invite you to take part in.
We are doing this study to develop assessments to monitor students’ progress towards understanding the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These assessments are intended for teachers to use at the end of a science unit and will be provided as open educational resources for broad use in a variety of educational settings.
If you would like to take part in our study, you will be asked to assist with the research activities that will take place in your science classroom, where students will respond to drafts of the assessment items. This will require permission from your principal and/or district. Your participation in our study potentially involves engaging in two activities. The first activity is providing our research team with your written feedback about the assessment items used for testing in your classroom. Your written feedback will help us improve the assessment items for use in classroom practice. After completing the written feedback about the assessment items used for testing in your classroom, you may be invited to take part in a focus group activity. This activity is optional and your participation may depend on your availability. This focus group will meet for up to three 8-hour full-day sessions at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, California or at a site convenient to your school district. You and the other group members will discuss the drafts of the assessment items and scoring rubrics, examine student work samples, and work with project staff to revise the items and scoring guides.
There will be no direct benefit to you from participating in this study other than an opportunity to see some assessment items developed for NGSS. However, it is hoped that the information gained from the study will allow us to generate a set of high-quality assessment tools that will allow teachers and districts to monitor their students’ progress towards mastery of the Next Generation Science Standards. These tools will be available to you and others at the end of the project.
Who can participate?
To participate, you must be currently teaching the NGSS in your middle school science classroom at a public or private school. Additionally, your principal or district must agree that we can conduct research in your classroom.
If you are interested in participating, please contact Sara Kolar at (510) 642-8719 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP)
Lawrence Hall of Science
University of California, Berkeley
Phone: (510)642-3891Email: email@example.com