The crucial role of hands-on science experiments in the school science curriculum is universally accepted. However, a formal assessment of practical skills is lacking, with most schools employing traditional theory-based or multiplechoice questions (MCQs) to evaluate students. In this paper, the authors present a framework for learning-enabled assessment of practical skills, which gives due consideration to both the structure of the practical assignments and the feedback that promotes learning. This approach opens up many new possibilities that require constructivist learning and higher-order thinking skills. Judgment of skills based on performance reports may decrease students’ confidence, whereas scaffolds used during the assessment process can improve students’ proficiency. The design of various online scaffolds—used during assessment that help students focus and redirect their efforts to the appropriate task needed for mastery of a skill—are discussed here. Early studies have shown that students prefer these types of assessment to more traditional ones, where intervention includes appropriate hands-on simulation or interactive animation or a given concept.
Prof. Prema Nedungadi and Raghu Raman, “Learning-Enabled Computer Assessment of Science Labs with Scaffolds Methodology”, The Technology Interface International Journal | , vol. Volume 11, Number 2 , no. Fall/Winter 2011, 2011.