CCDD Assessments - DiscoTest (complex reasoning)
The DiscoTest is a computer-based assessment, which takes most students approximately 30-40 minutes to complete. It is comprised of 5-7 open-ended short essay items built around subject-area specific dilemmas or ill-structured problems. The responses are then scored with a set of teacher-friendly rubrics, based on extensive research into how the targeted subject specific concepts and skills develop.
DiscoTest reports provide three measures of student reasoning about specific topics in different academic subject areas. The lectical score is an index of the complexity of the student's reasoning, providing a sense of how developed the student's thinking is about the topics tested. The argumentation rating is an index of the quality of the student's arguments in terms of their coherence, relevance, and a set of other aspects. The concept miss-rate is an index of which relevant academic concepts the student missed the opportunity to use, providing a sense of which concepts are salient to the student, and which are not. Combined, these three measures provide a portrait of the student's subject-area specific reasoning skills. A science DiscoTest about the water cycle, for example, would address how complex and abstract their reasoning is about the water cycle and related concepts, how good their arguments are about those issues, and how many of the relevant ideas from earth science they choose to apply.
Mature DiscoTests function as embedded, formative assessments, with each report also providing teachers and students with targeted, developmentally appropriate suggestions about next steps for learning, and relevant on-line curricular materials. Mature DiscoTests will be available starting in year three of this study.
There are also other resources under the "in plainer English" tab at this website: https://www.devtestservice.org/about/articles.html