Creativity and Achievement in Science Assessment

  • NSF Award #1240073
  • Registration Current Noyce Scholar

  • First Name Nina
  • Last Name Gustafson

  • Discipline Biology
  • Institution University of Colorado Boulder


Research has shown when differentiated instruction is used in the classroom including: creative assessments and activities, positive gains can be seen in student achievement and attitudes. This study investigates the effects of incorporating creative assessments on student attitudes and achievement. All chemistry and biomedical classes were provided with the same instruction, including learning resources and amount of time. Students in the control classes received traditional assessments. Students in the intervention group were provided opportunities to choose to demonstrate their understanding in their own way. These ‘creative assessments,’ such as comic strips, claymation, a children’s book or movie, or stop action motion were evaluated by researchers using the same performance expectations as in the traditional assessment. Assessment results revealed that students who completed the creative assessment scored higher than students who completed the traditional assessment (p<0.03). Survey results revealed that students reported being more engaged with the material and had better attitudes towards learning science.

Posted on July 4, 2018