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SimScientists: Effective Instruction and Assessment

Edys Quellmalz, WestEd

This session describes how WestEd’s SimScientists projects combine frameworks of system model design (components, interactions, and emergent system behavior) with evidence-centered assessment design. Simulations and reflection activities for ecosystems, atoms and molecules, and force and motion are demonstrated. Findings are shared from a series of studies over five states (including Nevada), 30 districts, 80 teachers and 8,000 students that document the feasibility, utility, quality, and impacts on learning of the modules.

About the Presenter:
Edys Quellmalz, Director of Technology Enhanced Assessments and Learning Systems in the STEM Program, WestEd
Edys Quellmalz, director of technology enhanced assessment and learning systems in WestEd’s Math, Science and Technology program, leads projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education related to simulation-based science curricula and assessments for formative and summative assessments that can serve as components of balanced state science assessment systems. Projects include NSF-funded Calipers II: Using Simulations to Assess Complex Science Learning, Foundations of 21st Century Science Assessment; Carnegie Corporation-funded Transformative Assessments for Science; IES-funded, SimScientists Assessment System; SimScientists: Interactive Simulation-Based Learning Environments; Multilevel Assessments of Science Standards, and Integrating Science Simulations into Balanced State Science Assessment Systems. Quellmalz is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in technology-supported assessment and has been widely published. She co-directed the development of the Framework and Specifications for the 2014 Technological Literacy National Assessment of Educational Progress. Quellmalz served on the Steering Committee for the 2011 NAEP Writing Framework. She has consulted for numerous state, national, and international assessment programs. She was associate director of the Center for Technology and Learning at SRI International and the director of assessment research and design. She served on the faculty at the Stanford School of Education and as research faculty in the UCLA Graduate School of Education. She was co-director of the Development of the Framework and Specifications for the 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress for Technology and Engineering Literacy, served on the Steering Committee for the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress Writing Framework and on various national advisory committees and editorial boards. She graduated from UCLA, where she received a BA in Psychology, and an MA and PhD in Educational Psychology.