People think using ideas, not memorized facts; our tests probe for people's scientific ideas and how they compare to those of scientists.
-Hal Coyle, Project Director

About the MOSART Project

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The primary purpose of MOSART is to provide to NSF-funded MSP Institutes assessment instruments for administration to teacher participants (and to their students, if requested). Each such instrument comprises a set of multiple-choice items that we developed linked to the K–12 physical science and earth science content in the NRC's "National Science Education Standards" (NSES), as well as to the research literature documenting misconceptions concerning science concepts. (The life sciences and mathematics do not fall within our scope.)

By June 2006, we will have developed, field-tested, analyzed, and profiled items for the grades K–12 physical science content standards and the grades K–12 earth science content standards. We have on our team a full-time psychometrician, Dr. Nancy Cook Smith, who designed our tests and performs all project data analysis. Thus we are in position to offer pre/post-test instruments for use by any MSP in any professional development setting and to analyze and report the results of those tests. Our NSF funding lets us provide this service at no cost to an MSP. (We are funded to produce and analyze a total of 30,000 item applications, e.g., 1000 30-item tests in any combination of topics among interested MSPs. Beyond that, we will charge only the actual cost of test printing and mailing.)

MOSART tests probe for any conceptual shift(s) as a result of professional development activities or course work. MOSART will also support administration of the tests to the students of MSP teacher participants to seek any effects on the conceptual state of students whose teachers have participated in MSP professional development activities.

We now have our full set of prepared tests available upon request to any NSF-funded MSP. The tests target three grade bands (K–4, 5–8, 9–12) and cover as separate topics physical science, earth science, chemistry, physics, and astronomy within those bands. To maximize the power of the instruments, items are linked together statistically on any given test form and therefore tests cannot be customized with respect to content items. These tests will be available for the duration of MOSART's award.

Requests for tests should be made at the MSP Test Request Form.

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