This is a draft version of a Year 8 assessment task called the Student Research Project. It is quite a task that spans over a month where students plan, conduct, analyse and present on a scientific experiment.
This assessment task has already gone through a few feedback cycles within my school, but I’d like some feedback on it from educators, parents, scientists or anyone beyond that. The task is designed so that it caters for a range of teachers and students. For example the task leaves it up to the teacher and their students to decide HOW they will present the task (they can submit it as a traditional word-processed document or they can make a video, etc). The task can also be turned into project-based learning for those classes that have gone down that path.
Alice, have you seen this http://ideascale.com/
It could be good for projects needing feedback and crowd approval/comments.
I started working for an NGO who uses it and good/frequent contributions are taken into account when giving performace appraisals (the more you contribute, the more valuable you are to the organisation).
Just one comment, that is that the control may need different equipment. There’s a lot of text/instructions there and the control isn’t mentioned until the report writing stage. Not sure what your class’s abailities to think ahead are like, but it may help them with the design of the experiment to start considering that sooner than the report writing stage (they may choose to follow your instructions in order and not get to the mention of the control until they start writing the report).
You’re right. Not all the experiments will need controls but I’ll add it in as many would. Thanks 🙂
An excellent project. A few little thoughts. Will the requirement to include photos in the report restrict the use of video recordings of experiments being incorporated in a video presentation? Some of the wording in the marks criteria suggests a written text, is this intentional? Investigation 3 is a much narrower question than the others, could it be modified to “what is the best way to stop apple slices turing brown?”
High School Science and IT Teacher, South Australia
P.S. Have you looked at the CSIRO CREST Awards? I think these projects could be used as part of the Bronze Award and allow your students to get further recognition.
Thanks David. This project has traditionally been a written project, but I’m trying to shake things up! I’m going to edit the part where it says it must include photos to inclusion of photos or video footage. The lemon experiment was put there as an “easy” experiment so that the project caters for a range of student abilities. But I might change it to “how can we slow down apple pieces from browning”. It makes the experiment more open.
Thanks again David 🙂
Hi Alice, this task looks awesome. My thought is the marking for teachers: how involved is marking the draft? Would teachers use the same guidelines and be so thorough for both draft and final, and are your staff supportive of this workload?
Hi Daniel. For this task I’m going to hold meetings for the marking of the final report, so that all of us mark some of the reports together so we are all consistent. It’s also part of the overall strategy to break down classroom walls. I’m going to leave the marking of the draft up to individual teachers.
I don’t think it’s too demanding on workload. Students would be putting in a lot of work for this project. The least we can do as teachers is to give them the feedback they deserve.
Looking at comments of those posted, I can’t add much more than it looks to be a thorough, well thought out task that should suit the Yr 8 very well. Can’t add anything Alice, but let us all know what transpires after all the dust has settled and results are in from marking the test please. It would be interesting to see how the Yr 8’s coped as well as the marking of the results.
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