Calipers 2, WestEd Science Assessments
Red Hill collaborated with WestEd’s team of researchers and content experts to develop simulation-based assessments for middle school science curricula: Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth Science. The content experts described a particular model of a scientific system and/or process (i.e. population models based on competitive Lotka-Volterra equations) and we then constructed a Flash-based version of the simulation. We also designed and constructed the software interface to allow students to interact with the simulation as a means of determining their conceptual understanding of the modeled system and/or process.
A crucial component of the WestEd system involved the acquisition of real-time data regarding the students’ interactions with the simulation. The real-time data is used in several ways: as inputs to the simulation, as inputs to a Bayesian net that models the students’ conceptual understanding, as feedback to students and their teachers, and as the basis for several levels of interactive coaching.