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Modification Recommendations on InnerOrbit
Modification Recommendations on InnerOrbit

This article provides guidance and tips on modifying NGSS assessment items on InnerOrbit!

Erin Cooke avatar
Written by Erin Cooke
Updated over a week ago

On InnerOrbit, you can modify the question text and answer choices for any item on your assessment. Learn more by exploring the 2 sections of this article:

Modification Guidelines

InnerOrbit takes great care to ensure our Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) assessments are rooted in the NGSS, have intentional rigor, and are equitable in language, content, and jargon. Learn more about InnerOrbit's Questions here!

Before modifying a question, reflect on the following 3 questions:

  1. What misalignment do I see in the question?

    1. Consider if the content you want to assess is truly aligned to the NGSS.

      1. Tip: Message us on the site chat or email with any content questions or feedback you may have.

  2. What am I (specifically) wanting to modify?

    1. Look at the question's NGSS tags (hover over the question and the tagged standards will appear on the right). Will you be removing an essential element of the standards?

      1. Tip: Consider a less rigorous question using the question tags (Ex: If you're wanting to modify a 3D question, consider a 2D question instead.)

  3. Will an InnerOrbit question from a prior grade band target what I want to assess?

    1. Search InnerOrbit for the DCI of what you're assessing (search bar). Skim through the phenomena and consider if questions from a prior grade band better matches what you want to assess.

      1. For example, if you want to assess HS-PS2-1, we suggest looking up the DCI PS2.A: Forces and Motion and looking for assessments in the MS grade band.

Modification Ideas & Tips

The section below is a compilation of modifications educators have made on InnerOrbit for their own assessments with success. If you want to add to this list, please email us at

For any question on InnerOrbit, you can modify the questions and answer choices with the modifying pencil icon:

Press "↵ Enter" key to add answer choice.

Press "←Backspace" or "Delete" to remove the answer.

Modification tips:

  • Remove an answer choice

  • Simplify specific language

  • Add synonyms in parenthesis

  • Add a framing sentence (ex: Consider the role of environmental pressures...)

  • Add a hint from class (ex: Hint: remember the elephant toothpaste lab!)

  • Add word banks/sentence stems for open ended questions (ex: A piece of evidence that matches the claim is...)

  • Add list of what to include in model for drawing questions (ex: Include the cell membrane, and 1 blue arrow showing...)

Want to create your own question?
Learn more about editing different question types

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