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About PADI
PADI aims to provide a practical, theory-based approach to developing quality assessments of science inquiry by combining developments in cognitive psychology and research on science inquiry with advances in measurement theory and technology. The center of attention is a rigorous design framework for assessing inquiry skills in science — highlighted in various standards but difficult to assess. The long range goals of PADI are as follows:
  • Articulate a conceptual framework for designing, delivering, and scoring complex assessment tasks that can be used to assess inquiry skills in science;

  • Provide support in the form of resources and task schemas or templates for others to develop tasks in the same conceptual framework;

  • Explicate the requirements of delivery systems that would be required to present such tasks and evaluate performances; and

  • Provide a digital library of working exemplars of assessment tasks and accompanying scoring systems developed within the PADI conceptual framework.

The PADI approach to standards-based assessment moves from statements of standards, through statements of the claims about the capabilities of students’ the standards imply, to the kinds of evidence one would need to justify those claims. These steps require working from the perspectives of not only researchers and experts in the content area, but experts in teaching and learning in that area. In this way, central science concepts and how students come to know them can be taken into account. Moreover, we incorporate the insights of master teachers into the nature of the understanding they want their students to achieve, and how they know it when they see it.

PADI Object Model
PADI defines a system of interrelated objects which contain assessment information. Some of these relations are represented below within diagrams.

Click on the small diagrams to see larger images in a separate window.

Relations between main objects An example of a template with three activities
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