Assessment for Learning in STEM: Exploring Possibilities for Agency and Action

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "STEM Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 2494

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
School of Education, University of Waikato, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
Interests: assessment for learning/ formative assessment; science education; STEM; culturally responsive pedagogy

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Guest Editor
Centre for Research in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, Kings College London, London WC2R 2LS, UK
Interests: assessment for learning; classroom assessment; science education; science inquiry; STEM

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It has been 25 years since the initial work was undertaken on assessment for learning. It therefore seems timely to revisit and refresh the ideas and consider how they might play out in practice in this post-COVID era.

We are interested in contributions across early years, compulsory schooling, and the tertiary sector. We encourage contributors to pose questions about possibilities for student and teacher agency and action in a context of different theoretical framings, an expansive vision of a curriculum for STEM, and the opportunities and challenges that arise in more diverse STEM classrooms. We acknowledge that there are challenges around equity, diversity, inclusion, differentiation/ streaming, lifelong and lifewide learning, and the issues that flow from colonisation and racism. Papers might include consideration of social and epistemic justice and societal benefit relative to the possible short and longer term consequences of assessment in STEM.

Prof. Dr. Bronwen Cowie
Prof. Dr. Christine Harrison
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • assessment for learning
  • STEM
  • equity
  • classroom assessment
  • social justice
  • student and teacher agency
  • action

Published Papers (1 paper)

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22 pages, 3792 KiB  
Correlation between High School Students’ Computational Thinking and Their Performance in STEM and Language Courses
by Aikaterini Bounou, Konstantinos Lavidas, Vassilis Komis, Stamatis Papadakis and Polyxeni Manoli
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1101; - 31 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2149
According to numerous researchers, a clear and direct correlation exists between Computational Thinking (CT) and courses falling under the purview of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), thereby advocating for the integration of CT into the curricula of STEM courses. Nonetheless, it is [...] Read more.
According to numerous researchers, a clear and direct correlation exists between Computational Thinking (CT) and courses falling under the purview of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), thereby advocating for the integration of CT into the curricula of STEM courses. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that only a few studies have scrutinized this correlation in-depth. Most such studies connect the correlation tacitly and predominantly concentrate on the empirical assessment of CT within the curriculum of one STEM discipline. This research seeks to evaluate the Computational Thinking abilities of 80 high school students in Greece and discern the extent of correlation with their academic performance in STEM and Greek language courses. A longitudinal survey was executed to accomplish this objective, commencing with administering a test designed to gauge the fundamental components of Computational Thinking. It is worth noting that this test draws its inspiration from internationally recognized computer competitions and serves as a credible assessment tool. Subsequently, an assessment was carried out to ascertain the degree of correlation between students’ Computational Thinking aptitude and their written performance in the subjects encompassed by the STEM category and the Greek language courses. The outcomes of this investigation revealed the presence of a statistically significant correlation between students’ Computational Thinking proficiency and their performance in these academic subjects, further extending to the academic direction of study chosen by the students. Based on the findings of this research, implications and pedagogical recommendations are delineated while concurrently acknowledging the limitations encountered during this study. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: An Illuminative Evaluation: A Self-Study of an Online Educational Technology Graduate Program

Abstract: This paper includes a self-study program evaluation of the online and hybrid tracks offered to students in an Educational Technology master’s degree (M.A.) Program in Southern California. The authors conducted their analyses through the theoretical lens of an illuminative evaluation, which is a culturally responsive evaluation approach that considers the perspectives of all stakeholders to determine program quality. The self-study highlights key findings that can be used to develop a framework for overall program improvement. The authors present different forms of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques and explain how the data informs the program assessment which aligns with the state accreditation agency requirements (WSCUC). In addition, best practices and lessons learned for STEM faculty transitioning content to hybrid/online programs are discussed. The results from this study can provide a template for any other graduate program faculty in STEM fields that are interested in program assessment, evaluation, and accreditation.

Title: AfL and student assessment literacy in STEM

Abstract: Assessment literacy has been advocated as a composite of knowledge, competencies, beliefs, and attitudes key for teachers’ (Stiggins 1991, Pastore 2023) and students’ (Hannigan, Alonzo, and Oo, 2022) participation and engagement with educational assessment. Advances in theory and practice seek to promote students’ voice and agency in assessment (Bain 2010, Charteris and Thomas 2017). However, most students still have little say on why/how they are assessed (Dann 2014). Assessment for Learning (AfL) offers a counter space by creating opportunities for students’ active participation in assessment (e.g. see Willis and Cowie, 2014, Heritage and Harrison, 2019). Attempts to examine students’ understanding of assessment have been orientated less towards an idea of literacy per se and more towards how assessment supports their learning (DeLuca, Chapman-Chin, LaPointe-McEwan, and Klinger 2018). The relation between AfL spaces and the promotion of student assessment literacy (SAL) is still an under researched area. This paper will use Hannigan, Alonzo, and Oo (2022) six categories of SAL to reflect on existing AfL literature in STEM education and explore how teachers and students inhabit AfL spaces in STEM and how these can promote SAL. This will be explored by reflecting on teacher and student role in AfL and how that intersects with student voice and agency.

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