Technology-Enhanced Assessments for Contemporary Science Classrooms

Presenters: Christopher Harris, Marcia Linn

Presenters report on recent advances in science assessment designed to help teachers and administrators improve their practice. Harris focuses on technology-supported classroom assessment for middle-grades physical science, assessment aligned with performance assessment, and evidence-centered design methodologies. Linn seeks assessments that serve as inquiry partners embedded in the Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE). Taking advantage of natural language processing as well as analysis of graphs and drawings, Linn explores how automated scoring can augment inquiry instruction and help teachers optimize their guidance of students.


Christopher Harris, Senior Researcher in Science Education, Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International
Christopher Harris leads the science education research group within the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International in Menlo Park, California. His research focuses on the design, implementation, and study of science instructional innovations in PK–12 classrooms and informal settings. Of central interest is the design and research of curricula and assessments that capitalize on innovative technologies and make learning accessible for students of diverse backgrounds and abilities. At SRI, he leads large-scale multi-year, multi-institutional research, development, and evaluation projects and has been involved in developing scalable approaches to address the NGSS through curricula and assessments that help teachers engage their students in using science practices, core ideas, and crosscutting concepts to make sense of phenomena and design solutions to problems. His research often involves collaborative work in real-world educational settings for the purpose of informing both research and practice. His recent publications have addressed science education policy, science curriculum implementation, science assessment, design-based implementation research, science teaching practice, and the role of authenticity in science education. Previously, Harris was an assistant professor of science education at the University of Arizona. He completed his doctoral work at the University of Michigan, where he conducted learning sciences-based research within the Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education.

Marcia C. Linn, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Marcia C. Linn is professor of development and cognition, specializing in science and technology in the Graduate School of Education at University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. She has served as president of the International Society of the Learning Sciences, as chair of the AAAS Education Section, and on the boards of the AAAS, the Educational Testing Service Graduate Record Examination, the McDonnell Foundation Cognitive Studies in Education Practice, and the NSF Education and Human Resources Directorate. Awards include the National Association for Research in Science Teaching Award for Lifelong Distinguished Contributions to Science Education, the American Educational Research Association Willystine Goodsell Award, and the Council of Scientific Society Presidents first award for Excellence in Educational Research. Linn earned her PhD at Stanford University where she worked with Lee Cronbach. She spent a year in Geneva working with Jean Piaget, a year in Israel as a Fulbright Professor, and a year in London at University College. She has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences three times.