Assessment Ideas

Each teacher should decide how they will assess their students to determine if the students have achieved the outcomes that are appropriate for that class. Depending on the purpose for using this project with students and the students’ grade levels, teachers may want to create their own formative and summative assessments for this project. As this project is generally self-paced, teachers can differentiate their expectations and their formative and summative assessment to meet the needs of their learners.

Finally, teachers should spend some time going over the “K-W-L” chart that was begun before initiating this project. This allows students to reflect on what they learned through the course of their interaction with this project, and helps them to tie together the content and skills that they learned.

In order to assess the students’ rate of progress, teachers should refer to the project goals. These project goals include the content and skills that students can derive from interacting with this project. Depending on the grade level of the students, the school system’s curricular objectives, and the teacher’s purpose for including this project in the educational environment, each teacher will determine which project goals are appropriate for the students.

Once the project goals have been selected, the teacher can create a pre-assessment to determine previous knowledge the students have regarding these goals. This enables the teacher to develop lesson plans that are specific to the needs of the students, and allows them the opportunity to clear up any misconceptions that the students may possess. After the students have completed this project, the teacher may want to create a summative assessment that focuses on the same goals as had been assessed in the pre-assessment to determine if progress has been made in meeting these project goals.

This project includes many questions and exercises. Some of these have specific answers, while other solutions may be more open-ended. Each teacher should determine if these questions and exercises will be graded depending on their unique classroom situation. The sample solutions for many of the questions and exercises are given below.

Sample Solutions

Questions are designed to get students thinking about the way scientists work. Exercises are designed to get students to explore how the SkyServer data suggests that the universe is expanding.

For answers to all questions, click here. To see the answers, you must have the Adobe Acrobat PDF viewer installed on your computer. Acrobat is available for free download at Adobe’s web site.

NOTE: these are the answers to the old Universe project. However, the six galaxies selected are the same in both projects.