The Research Group

Assessment Services

We provide a range of assessment services for various projects and organizations. Our assessment work is multifaceted and specifically designed for the learning setting in which Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics (STEM) education takes place. The following highlights our services.

  • Assessment systems design and support materials
  • Scoring system design with exemplar identification
  • Item and scale development
  • Scanning/scoring of fixed-choice response, i.e., close-ended items
  • Scoring of constructed response, i.e., open-ended items
  • Gather and evaluate validity evidence, i.e., construct validity
  • Data analysis and psychometrics
  • Reporting

Our Work

The following highlights current work:

Past projects include the following:

  • Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading — grades 2–5
  • Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP)
  • Assessing Science Knowledge (ASK) — grades 2–8
  • Science Sequences — Space Science Sequence and Ocean Science Sequence — grades 3–8
  • We also have been involved in developing assessment materials and systems for many external clients including school districts andinstructional materials development projects.


Our approach involves a principled assessment design, which focuses on a match between client measurement needs, the instrument, and the types of questions that should be asked. Our assessment team offers expertise in all aspects of the design and use of subject-matter assessments: item, scale, and test development; classroom implementation; data management and analysis; reporting; and revision of measures. We offer additional expertise in development, implementation and analysis of assessments that measure the breadth and depth of knowledge, skills and dispositions. Our staff has experience at all levels of education from K-16, in numerous types of learning environments, and with students and teachers. We are experienced in the assessment of issue-oriented science and integrated instruction of science and literacy.


Assessment development and research is funded by multiple sources including federal grants, private foundations, private and public clients, and the Lawrence Hall of Science programs. The cost of our client-based assessment services varies depending on the scale and scope of the project. We work closely with project leadership to customize the work scope and budget to meet project needs.