The 3DLP project develops and tests a learning progression for middle school physical science. By investigating multiple intermediate 3D learning pathways, the 3DLP project serves the national interest by exploring how to support teachers in creating equitable and coherent learning environments and promoting all students' development in problem-solving and sense-making in science.


3DLP_home page
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3DLP Resources

To test the developed 3D learning progression, the 3DLP project uses and modifies 3D assessments from our prior work on the Next Generation of Science Assessment (hereafter NGSA) project (DRL-1316908; 2013–2019). The NGSA project houses numerous 3D assessments covering substantial portions of all PEs related to matter, interaction, and energy (NGSS PEs MS-PS1, PS2, and PS3) at the middle school level. The NGSA assessment item bank will be used and revised to match with the levels of the 3D LPs for diagnosing, monitoring, and supporting students’ development of knowledge-in-use proficiency. Assessments and supporting instructional resources have been made freely accessible via an online portal with more than 120,000 active users worldwide, with almost 1M page views.

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The 3DLP has three main goals: (a) develop a three-dimensional learning progression (3D LP) that incorporates disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) with crosscutting concepts (CCCs) and science and engineering practices (SEPs) to support a wide variety of middle school students (with respect to their ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status [SES], and cultural and educational background) in developing a deeper understanding of physical science DCIs, CCCs and SEPs that align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS; NGSS Lead States, 2013); (b) use the 3D LP as a coherent framework to guide teachers in adapting their existing curriculum, instruction, and assessment to support the knowledge-in-use development of a broad range of students; and (c) study and monitor student knowledge-in-use development in the 3D LP-adapted science classrooms across the middle grades.