Diagnostic Inventories of Cognition in Education (DICE)


In the United States, formative assessment has historically been thought of as quizzes and tests. In reality, truly formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback used to adjust ongoing teaching and learning. Despite the clear relationship that formative assessment processes lead to significant learning gains, next generation assessment systems with formative components are rarely developed from a learning paradigm and teachers are left without access to formative assessment systems that provide valid and reliable feedback about students’ cognitive traits for the purpose of informing instructional decisions and closing gaps in student learning.

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The Diagnostic Inventories of Cognition in Education (DICE) project (2017-2021) aims to address this reality by developing a freely-available, web-based assessment system that efficiently provides teachers with timely, accurate, and actionable feedback about student cognition in probabilistic reasoning.
The project team will develop a formative assessment system to support a more global shift in assessment practice where cognition and assessment are better aligned —a shift away from ubiquitous general ability tests and towards assessment systems that profile multifaceted reasoning.
In addition to the adaptive diagnostic concept inventory, the team will develop two other critical components to the formative assessment system: feedback reports and interpretive guides. Effective formative assessment requires actionable feedback that teachers can interpret and use to make instructional decisions. Student and classroom-level feedback reports will present the results of the psychometric modeling to teachers in a format that enables them to understand students’ cognition. An interpretive guide will aid in correct interpretation of feedback reports.

Four year project: 2017-2021
Funded by: US Dept. of Education/IES grant