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Developing diagnostic assessments

Several UYSEG projects over the past decade have developed sets of diagnostic questions to support teachers who want to use assessment formatively to monitor their students' learning and inform their teaching.  We have also carried out research on the ways teachers use these assessment materials and the impacts that this has had on their practice, and on their thinking about the teaching and learning of key ideas in science. 

Evidence-Based Practice in Science Education

The Evidence based Practice in Science Education (EPSE) Network was funded in the ESRC Teaching and Learning Research Programme from 1999-2005.

One of the EPSE projects developed banks of diagnostic questions on several major science topics at Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 level, and evaluated their use and impacts.  

To download some samples of EPSE questions, click on links below:

The Research Report (PDF , 300kb) and Research Briefing (PDF , 149kb) for this project describe and discuses how teachers used these materials, their reactions to them, and the impact they had on their practice.

York Science

The York Science project was funded by the Salters' Institute from 2011-2014. Its aim was to develop and trial a structured set of assessment materials for the main strands of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3, to support teachers in using embedded formative assessment and to encourage and support a 'backward design' approach to curriculum planning.

Best Evidence Science Teaching project will draw on the York Science materials. A few sample materials developed by the project can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

York Science sample questions (zip  , 3,742kb)

Papers about the York Science approach