Science Process Skills Inventory (SPSI)

The inventory consists of eleven items, each representing a different skill in the science inquiry process. Youth are prompted to respond to each statement using a 4-point Likert scale indicating how often they practice each of the items when doing science: Never (1), sometimes (2), usually (3), and always (4). Recommended scoring of the SPSI is the calculation of a composite science process skills score. This is calculated by summing the individual ratings for each item. The score range for the composite score is 11-44.

Average Review: 4 (4.5)

by Pendred Noyce, , , 5

The Science Process Skills Inventory asks students ages 12 and up to rate their own ability to formulate a scientific question and procedure; gather, analyze, and display data; and communicate results. It is short (11 Likert-scale items, probably less than ten minutes to administer) and easy to score. For these reasons, I think it would be a very helpful tool in any program or class that tries to involve kids in doing their own investigations, from a school science fair program to an out-of-school program of exploration and experiment. The instrument measures knowledge of process skills, not attitude, engagement, or content knowledge. It could be combined with other measures to investigate other domains. One mild concern is that sometimes students enter a program thinking they already know a lot. Only when they actually struggle to answer a question to they realize that, say, presenting their data well is harder than they thought. Scores or ratings on the instrument may not rise even when students are learning, because they're also learning how far they still have to go to master these skills.