Each core unit of Amplify Science contains three formal assessment opportunities that are designed to provide individualized information about student progress at key moments throughout the unit: the Pre-Unit, Critical Juncture, and End-of-Unit assessments.


Pre-Unit Assessments:

Pre-unit assessments are located in the first lesson of core units and they consist of a combination of multiple choice and written-response items.

Students can access the assessment digitally once you have unlocked the assessment lesson. The multiple choice items will be the first “activity,” followed by two activities each containing a written response item. Here is what the assessment lesson looks like for students:

If you prefer or need to administer the assessment on paper instead, you can utilize the PDF or Word document versions that are located in the Digital Resources area of the Lesson Brief.

If you are administering them online, remember to lock the assessment lesson at the end of the class period or school day! Once an assessment is re-locked, all assessments will be automatically handed in. You can unlock the assessment again at any time if you would like students to continue working on it.


Critical Juncture Assessments:

Occurring towards the midpoint of each core unit, the Critical Juncture is similar in format to the Pre-Unit Assessment, and is accessed the same way.

This assessment is designed to help teachers ensure all students are at the necessary Progress Build level before moving on to the next lessons of the unit. Student performance on the multiple choice portion of the Critical Juncture drives auto-grouping for the differentiated learning experiences in the lesson that follows. See here for details on how that works.


End-of-Unit Assessments:

End-of-Unit Assessments occur in the last lesson of all core units.

This summative assessment mirrors the Pre-Unit Assessment, providing a clear way to document student learning outcomes over the course of a given unit. If you want to give students the ability to see what they got correct and incorrect on the End-of-Unit Assessment, you can use the reveal answers feature found within Classwork.


Reviewing student responses:

An Answer Key and Scoring Guide that will help you interpret student assessment responses is included in the Digital Resources area of lessons that contain a Pre-Unit, Critical Juncture, or an End-of-Unit assessment.

If your students take their assessments on paper, you will need to hand-score the multiple-choice items using the Answer Key and Scoring Guide. If students take their assessments online, the multiple choice portion of them are autoscored for your convenience. You can review students’ scores, and details of their answer choices, in your Classwork app. You can also get insights into your classes’ overall growth and performance on the unit assessments by using the Reporting app.

Finally, you can refer to the Teacher Support and/or Possible Responses tabs of the activities within the assessment lesson for information about the individual items that comprise each assessment.


Assessments in non-core units:

Assessments work differently in units that are not “core” units: Launch units (Geology on Mars, Microbiome, and Harnessing Human Energy) and Engineering Internship units. Launch units have no Pre-Unit or Critical Juncture assessments, but do include a one-item written-response End-of-Unit Assessment (located in the last lesson of the unit). Engineering Internship units, meanwhile, do not contain any of those assessments, but can actually be considered multi-day performance assessments in and of themselves. Included in all units are embedded formative assessments called On-the-Fly Assessments. See the “Unit level assessment information” below for more.


Can students retake assessments?:

It is not possible to completely reset an assessment, but students can update their answers if you unlock the assessment. Alternatively, you can have them retake the assessment on paper using the copymaster available in the Digital Resources. Keep in mind, however, that the Pre-unit and End-of-Unit Assessments are identical, and that the Critical Juncture Assessment contains items from the highest level of the Progress Build (and therefore students are not expected to be able to answer all of the questions accurately).


Unit-level assessment information

You can find overall information about an individual unit’s assessments in the “Assessment System” resource, which is located within the Teacher References section on the Unit Overview page.

The Assessment System resource contains a comprehensive list of all of the assessment opportunities in the unit, including the assessment’s location, a brief indication of what students are doing in that particular activity, what type of assessment it is, which Disciplinary Core Ideas, science and engineering practices, and cross-cutting concepts it specifically addresses, and the kind of evaluation guidance you can expect for it.

If you’re interested in focusing on information related to the unit’s On-the-Fly assessments in particular, check out the “Embedded Formative Assessments” resource, also located within the Teacher References section on the Unit Overview page.

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