Reflective Judgment Assessment

The RFJ 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.

RFJ 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 RFJ 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.

sample item

This site was originally prepared for districts and teachers who partnered with us throughout the project. While we have updated the text, many of the videos included on this site were prepared during the launch of the study. Although the project has come to a close, we are keeping the site and related videos available for those who are interested to learn more about the project.

The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305F100026 to the Strategic Education Research Partnership as part of the Reading for Understanding Research Initiative. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

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