Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Science Education (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences

Advisor 1

Shari Stockero

Advisor 2

Joshua Ellis

Committee Member 1

Amy Lark


Inquiry is an educational technique where students develop scientific knowledge and understanding through processes similar to those used by scientist. One of the obstacles to implementing the techniques is the need for teachers to self-evaluate their teaching and determine the effectiveness of inquiry-based teaching techniques with respect to developing higher-order thinking (HOT) skills in students. Feedback from an assessment permits teachers to adjust their curriculum to incorporate the most effective inquiry-base lessons.

This report considers three short assessments of inquiry that were modified for use in the high school biology classroom. First there three assessments were compared against one another for equality and applicability. Then, each of these three assessments were compared to a longer performance-based assessment for the application to evaluate HOT skills. The purpose of comparing these three assessment to the performance-based assessment was to determine the degree to which each assessment measured HOT skills. Two assessment tools were determined to conform to the requirements of being equally accessible to all students, applicable to being realistic and manageable to use in the classroom and able to evaluate HOT skills.