1. Nathan Holbert
  3. Teachers College, Columbia University
  1. Matthew Berland
  3. University of Wisconsin - Madison
  1. Betsy DiSalvo
  2. http://betsy.disalvo.com
  3. Associate Professor
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Jeremy Roschelle
  2. http://digitalpromise.org/our-team/jeremy-roschelle/
  3. Executive Director, Learning Sciences Research
  5. Digital Promise Global
  1. Daisy Rutstein
  2. https://www.sri.com/about/people/daisy-wise-rutstein
  3. Principal Education Researcher
  5. SRI International

Formative Assessments for Computer Science in NYC

NSF Awards: 1742011, 1741956

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8

Our video showcases a game, called Beats Empire. Beats Empire is a playful formative assessment game aligned to the data and data analysis strand of the K-12 CS Education Framework. In Beats Empire players take on the role of a music studio manager, and equipped with a suite of data analysis tools, they sign artists, develop songs, and make investments with the goal of topping the charts. Player interactions with in-game representations of listener interests, artist stats, and data collection and storage mechanics, populate a dashboard that provides teachers with useful information about students’ knowledge of data and data analysis concepts and practices.

Beats Empire was developed as part of the Formative Assessment for Computer Science in New York grant (PFACS), which is focused on the emerging concept of ‘playful assessment’. In playful assessments students demonstrate knowledge, skills, and abilities through games and play - play that is personally meaningful and culturally relevant. Playtesting has begun in New York City Public Schools. Our ongoing analysis of how students interact with the game and how teachers interpret and respond to student data, is providing new insight into the impact of culturally relevant aesthetics on assessment data, the value and challenges to assessment that come with allowing player to define game goals, and how teachers use data from these experiences to inform their practice. 

You can play the game online at play.beatsempire.org.

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