Nau mai haere mai ki tēnei rauemi pūtaiao.
Welcome to the NMSSA Science Toolkit
for Year 7 and 8 students.
What is the purpose of the toolkit?
This toolkit is designed to assist teachers to assess, understand, and support Year 7 and 8 students’ learning in science. Its development followed concerning results from the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA). It could be useful for teachers inquiring into their own or their school’s practice. With this toolkit schools can
- use the NMSSA Science Capabilities Scale (SC) to assess students in relation to levels in the New Zealand Curriculum
- identify aspects of the science learning area that each student does or does not understand
- find teaching and learning activities to address identified areas of need
- monitor student progress over time.
What is in the toolkit?
Rubrics for marking open-ended questions.
Reports on student achievement. These include an overall score for all students and information about how students scored on each question.
Descriptions of the important science concepts involved, and suggested next steps for each question.
Links to other resources to support teaching and learning in science.
How do I use the toolkit?
- Administer Assessment 1 to your students.
- Mark the open-ended questions online.
- Review the automatically generated reports to identify any gaps in our students’ science understandings.
- Use the suggested teaching and learning activities to support your students with their science learning.
- Administer Assessment 2 to your students.
- Mark the open-ended questions online.
- Compare results from Assessments 1 and 2, looking for changes in science understandings
What is in the assessments?
Assessment 2 includes questions that require students to use an online drawing tool. Make sure students are familiar with this type of tool, in particular, how to produce arrows, and how to add text. You can find more information on the drawing and labelling tool here. Allow students time to complete these tasks and feel free to provide them with support on using the tool during the assessment.
How do I administer the assessments?
To access the tests an ARB login is required. This can easily be obtained by registering on the ARB site.
To administer the assessments, you will need to provide your students with the unique URL found at the top of the page. This will ensure student results are linked to your teacher account. This link can be sent via Google Classroom, email, or social media.
Marking the tests
Click on the icon Marking student responses to access student results.
Marking can be completed student by student or item by item.
Items that are automatically marked can be made visible by selecting “Show auto-marked questions”.
Use the rubric to determine each student’s score.
Select the next student on the list to mark their responses or select Next question to move to the next question.
A List report includes:
The list can be sorted on any of these parameters.
The Individual test item reports contain background information about each question:
• the science capability the question assesses
• the science big idea behind the question
• the relevant New Zealand Curriculum Science achievement objective
• the progress indicator from the “Rainbow diagram” (page 6 of the booklet Science in the New Zealand Curriculum Understanding progress from levels 2 to 4).
The report also includes
• the question the students were asked
• a marking rubric
• a table of student results showing how students responded to the question
• information about what students need to be able to do to successfully answer the question
• an explanation of correct and incorrect responses
• suggested next steps.
This report explores four practical insights of learning in science. It also considers what we can learn from the NMSSA results about the literacy and numeracy skills students need to engage with their science learning. It describes (page 6) the development of the NMSSA Science Capabilities Scale.
These posters have been developed for teachers and whānau to show student progress in science at Levels 1 & 2, Level 3, Level 4 and Above Level 4. They are based on science progressions in the "Rainbow diagram” (described on page 6 of the booklet Science in the New Zealand Curriculum Understanding progress from levels 2 to 4).
The Science engagement survey is a free online tool to help teachers find out how students perceive their science learning in class. There are two versions of the survey: one for Years 0 to 4 and one for Years 5 to 10.
Science Thinking with Evidence assesses how well students use evidence to think about scientific contexts and issues. It makes explicit links to the Nature of Science strand of the NZ curriculum and the key competency thinking. There are four tests, two for students in Years 7 & 8 and two for students in Years 9 & 10. Achievement on each test can be reported on a common measurement scale.