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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 18, 2024
  2. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) emphasize integrating three dimensions of science learning: disciplinary core ideas, cross-cutting concepts, and science and engineering practices. In this study, we develop formative assessments that measure student understanding of the integration of these three dimensions along with automated scoring methods that distinguish among them. The formative assessments allow students to express their emerging ideas while also capturing progress in integrating core ideas, cross-cutting concepts, and practices. We describe how item and rubric design can work in concert with an automated scoring system to independently score science explanations from multiple perspectives. We describe item design considerations and provide validity evidence for the automated scores. 
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  3. With the increasing use of online interactive environments for science and engineering education in grades K-12, there is a growing need for detailed automatic analysis of student explanations of ideas and reasoning. With the widespread adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), an important goal is identifying the alignment of student ideas with NGSS-defined dimensions of proficiency. We develop a set of constructed response formative assessment items that call for students to express and integrate ideas across multiple dimensions of the NGSS and explore the effectiveness of state-of-the-art neural sequence-labeling methods for identifying discourse-level expressions of ideas that align with the NGSS. We discuss challenges for idea detection task in the formative science assessment context. 
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