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Student Assessments

National Agricultural Literacy Outcome Assessments

The development of grade appropriate, research-based psychometric assessments for the National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes (NALOs) began in 2018. The instruments were created using domain analysis to measure three proficiency levels: 1) Limited or developing agricultural exposure, 2) Functional agricultural literacy, and 3) Practical & applicable agriculture proficiency. The assessment links below include the instruction for administering each assessment, the interpretation of results, and the appropriate citation for each instrument. If you have questions please contact  Dr. Michelle Burrows, the NCAL Team Leader.

Download the appropriate grade level instructions and assessments for measuring agricultural literacy based on the NALOs. The file includes links to online forms and print versions of the assessments.

View Rose Judd-Murray's dissertation defense (March, 2019) on the development of the grade 9-12 assessments. All assessment instruments followed the same procedures for development.

Judd-Murray, R. (2019). Development and validation of an agricultural literacy instrument using the national agricultural literacy outcomes. (Doctoral dissertation). Utah State University. Retrieved from (Committee Member, Debra Spielmaker, W2006)

Related Research and Assessment Tools

Brandt, M. R. (2016). Exploring elementary students' agricultural and scientific knowledge using evidence centered design (Master's thesis). Retrieved from View a short webinar about how to use the assessment tools developed in this research project.

Kahan, D. M. (2014). Ordinary science intelligence: A science comprehension measure for use in the study of risk perception and science communication. Ordinary Science Intelligence Scale

Wray, P. (2016). Evaluating the effectiveness of Utah farm field days (Master's thesis). Retrieved from

MOSART project (Misconceptions-Oriented Standards-based Assessment Resources for Teachers). Each MOSART assessment instrument comprises a set of multiple-choice items that are linked to the K–12 physical science and earth science content, and K–8 life science content in the NRC National Science Education Standards, as well as to the research literature documenting misconceptions concerning science concepts. These instruments may be adapted to measure agricultural literacy-science related misconceptions.

Food and Fiber Systems Literacy Project (1998): K-8 Criterion referenced knowledge-based instruments. Posted here with permission from the Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and 4-H Youth Development, Oklahoma State University.

  • Leising, J. G., Pense, S. L., & Igo, C. (2000). An assessment of student agricultural literacy knowledge based on the food and fiber systems literacy framework. In Annual Publication of the Southern Agricultural Education Research Conference (p. 146).
  • Leising, J. G., Pense, S. L., & Portillo, C. (2003). The impact of selected agriculture in the classroom teachers on student agricultural literacy: Final report. Stillwater, Oklahoma: Department of Agricultural Education, Communications, and 4-H Youth Development. Retrieved from
  • Pense, S. L., Leising, J. G., Portillo, M. T., & Igo, C. G. (2005). Comparative assessment of student agricultural literacy in selected Agriculture in the Classroom programs. Journal of Agricultural Education46(3), 107-118. Retrieved from
Image Analysis
  • Jepsen, H., Pastor, M., & Elliot, J. (2007). Agricultural perceptions of the participants of the Summer Agricultural Institute. In Proceedings of the 2007 Association for Career and Technical Education Research 41st Annual Research Conference. Retrieved from