Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSA) is a set of projects that are designing formative assessments for classroom use aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. NGSA is a collaborative effort between four organizations: WestEd’s STEM Department, Michigan State University’s CREATE for STEM Institute, The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Learning Sciences Research Institute, and The Concord Consortium.

Photo of high school teacher and students interacting

Our current work centers on developing technology-enhanced assessment tasks, rubrics, and accompanying instructional resources in physical science and life science for middle school classrooms. Learn more about each project.

The NGSA collaborative team is comprised of experts in science and engineering education, K-12 assessment, technology-supported learning, and curriculum and instruction. Team members have a range of specializations, including evidence-centered design, multi-dimensional validation studies, researcher-practitioner partnerships, and technology integration. NGSA team members are currently pursuing research and development opportunities in the following areas:

  • NGSS-aligned assessments for K-12 Engineering Design – K-12 engineering education is gaining traction in the US and we see an urgent need for classroom-ready assessments for teachers to use formatively to gain insights into their students’ progress on achieving the NGSS engineering standards.
  • NGSS-aligned assessments for K-12 Earth and Space Science – Teachers in a growing number of states will need assessments to effectively support the integrated learning called for by the NGSS performance expectations in Earth and Space Science.
  • Classroom-based assessment systems that bring together instruction, assessment, and professional development – There is a high need for assessment systems that provide comprehensive support to teachers so that they can (1) be informed about their students’ learning in relation to the new standards and (2) be able to respond instructionally in a manner that will advance students’ science proficiency. Such systems will need interconnected components consisting of educative resources and professional development to help increase teachers’ knowledge and expertise for instructional decision-making around NGSS.
  • Innovative Curriculum + Assessment + Standards projects – All too often, curriculum development and assessment development initiatives are run independently from each other. We see a pressing need for science curricula and assessments that are aligned to NGSS performance expectations and that work together to support teaching and learning. To ensure strong alignment, large-scale projects that take on both curriculum and assessment, guided by a unifying principled design approach, will be needed.

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