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Student Artifacts and 3-Dimensional Learning

July 2018

How do you know if your students have learned what you wanted them to know? How can you document student progress?

The answer: Collect artifacts of learning from your students. Whether in a paper notebook or electronic notebook, file folder or electronic folder, students need to generate and archive documentation of their learning paths.

The Achieve NGSS Lesson Screener advises, “Teachers deliberately seek out student artifacts that show direct, observable evidence of learning, building toward all three dimensions of the NGSS at a grade-appropriate level.” Artifacts should show evidence that students are weaving the dimensions together. In the chart below, you’ll see many of the artifacts are appropriate for several scientific and engineering practices (SEP) and crosscutting concepts (CCC). That’s how students weave the dimensions into a fabric of science.

Let’s look at dimension 1: scientific and engineering practices and dimension 2: crosscutting concepts for example artifacts. The disciplinary core ideas (DCI) of dimension 3 are course-specific content topics and incorporate both a practice and concept during instruction, so they will not be addressed separately.


Dimension 1: Scientific and Engineering Practices

SEP Artifact
1 Asking questions and defining problems Written project or planning guides showing iterations Video or recording of brainstorming sessions
2 Developing and using models Flow chart of model development showing revisions Design cycle iterations Pictorial evidence of model development
3 Planning and carrying out investigations Procedural flow chart Pictures or videos of procedures and data Formal lab write-up Video of group presentation of lab results Poster presentation of lab results
4 Analyzing and interpreting data Procedural flow chart of analysis steps Graphs with written interpretation Poster presentation of lab data with analysis
5 Using mathematics and computational thinking Graphic organizer of problem-solving steps Derivation of a formula from graphed data
6 Constructing explanations and designing solutions Claims, evidence, and reasoning graphic organizer Design cycle graphic organizer Written record of modified, expanded, corrected explanations
7 Engaging in argument from evidence Video of a class debate Written persuasive paper T-chart graphic organizer of claims and evidence
8 Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information Scientific research posters Research papers Video or audio of student presentations T-chart graphic organizer of claims, evidence, and reasoning
Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts

CCC Artifact
1 Patterns Diagrams Graphic organizers Written descriptions
2 Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation T-chart graphic organizer Procedural flow chart
3 Scale. proportion, and quantity Diagrams Graphic organizers Formula derivation Graphs
4 Systems and system models Diagrams System flow charts Physical 3-D model construction and picture
5 Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation Cycle diagrams Written cycle descriptions Energy diagrams
6 Structure and function T-chart graphic organizers Diagrams
7 Stability and change Timelines Procedural flow charts

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