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Evaluation is a high priority for all of NEED’s programming areas. Teachers and students participate in pre and post knowledge assessments during training workshops and in the classroom. The online Pre/Post Energy Poll provides educators with a tool to assess student knowledge of energy and NEED uses the data to determine areas of needed improvement in the curriculum and training. Teachers complete evaluations at local energy workshops and at all training events. Longitudinal evaluations are completed three months and one year after a teacher is introduced to NEED, and continue after that to determine maximum impact and efficiency of NEED programming.
NEED’s Teacher Advisory Board of outstanding educators and subject matter experts review NEED materials for scientific accuracy, comprehensiveness, objectivity, educational soundness and effectiveness. NEED participants—students, educators, sponsors, and partners—evaluate materials and training programs, as well as new activities. Using evaluation tools included with every unit, teachers evaluate individual activities and the entire NEED program. NEED believes in producing the highest quality curriculum and training possible. With annual updates as a core principle of NEED’s work, teacher feedback is immediately reviewed and alterations and course corrections are made if needed each year. How NEED delivers curriculum changes too – and NEED’s evaluation shows that access to online curriculum is important, but that teachers still find hard copies best for their use. Teachers use Facebook and Twitter and YouTube at times in the classroom, but continue to rely on email, mail, and word of mouth to learn about new opportunities.
Evaluation and assessment are important components of any energy unit and should be ongoing. NEED offers many assessment and evaluation tools for teachers to use.
NEED has developed Energy Polls that can be used to assess students’ basic energy knowledge, as well as their opinions about energy. These polls can be used at the start of your classroom energy unit as a pre-assessment, and again as a post-assessment at the close of your unit. Energy polls are offered on four different reading levels – primary, elementary, intermediate, and secondary, and each level includes instructions and an answer key. Copies of the Energy Polls can be found below:
Primary Energy Poll
Elementary Energy Poll
Intermediate Energy Poll
Secondary Energy Poll
Energy Polls can be used to assess students’ basic energy knowledge, as well as their opinions about energy before and after your classroom energy unit.
As you develop your energy unit, it may be helpful to build your own energy assessments. NEED’s Question Bank allows educators to customize evaluations to fit the needs of their students. Questions are available at the four levels, and are divided by topic. Within each topic, various formats of questions are included, such as knowledge, comprehension, multiple choice, and higher-order thinking formatted questions. Feel free to select from many different categories to tailor the assessment for your student. Questions are provided at four grade levels for a variety of energy topics in easy to access word documents.
Rubrics for Assessment
NEED is happy to provide sample rubrics to use throughout your energy units for student assessment. Share the rubrics and checklists with students ahead of time, and communicate your grading procedures. Certain NEED guides contain rubrics tailored to specific activities. Make sure to check each guide for sample rubrics and feel free to adapt for your classroom needs.
Topic Centered Assessments
NEED activity guides and units include authentic assessment activities that assess student knowledge gain in various ways. Most units include several examples of assessment activities; a mixture of formative and summative assessments. Examples include: multiple choice assessments, essay questions, letter writing campaigns, town hall meetings/debates, games, and engineering and design challenges. Be sure to check each guide for sample assessments and activities that meet the needs of your class and your unit.
Curriculum Correlations and Standards for Assessment
NEED has correlated all materials to meet relevant standards for learning and assessment. NEED materials support Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts and Mathematics, and individual state science standards, where applicable. Access the correlations files for the relevant standards by visiting NEED’s correlations page, www.NEED.org/curriculumcorrelations.