Project Assessments

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Using projects for assessment

Long- and short-term projects are great ways of assessing students' knowledge and presentation skills at the same time. In projects, students typically solve a problem, investigate a science issue, engage in a simulation, or a number of other activities. They then present their results in a variety of ways, including oral presentations, posters, PowerPoint presentations, murals, skits, videos, reports or displays. Students can do projects as individuals or small groups, but it is very important that they understand the evaluation criteria for their projects before they begin.

Evaluating project work

If you are using a point system to evaluate projects, students need to know in advance the maximum score they can receive for the various criteria, and what they must do to achieve that score. Typical criteria for projects can include: content accuracy; correctly designed fair test; completeness; originality; cited sources; neatness; evidence for conclusions, etc. It often helps students in project work to have the project divided into phases with clear timelines and deliverables. In phase one, for example, they can outline or design their project and get your sign-off on it. In the second phase, they collect data or conduct research in other ways to achieve the project goal and again get your approval. The final phase is the completed project and presentation.