Findings from the TIMSS 2019 Problem Solving and Inquiry Tasks

Ina V.S. Mullis, Michael O. Martin, Bethany Fishbein, Pierre Foy, and Sebastian Moncaleano

Chapter 2: Science Grade 4

Farm Investigation

Screen 6 – Animal Finder App

As an example of a correct use of the App, when students click on the first footprint, they are asked:

 “Is this footprint larger than 10 cm?” Students click “Yes” or “No”.

If they clicked “No”, the students are asked:

 “Is the footprint in 2 parts?” Students click “Yes” or “No”.

If they clicked “Yes”, they are told the footprint belongs to a goat.

Students use the App to identify the animals that made all four footprints. Students who correctly identified all four animals, “cow”, “chicken”, “dog”, and “goat”, were given full credit (1 point).

Click video to play

Maximum Score Points: 1
Content Domain: Life Science
Topic Area: Characteristics and Life Processes of Organisms
Cognitive Domain: Applying
Science Practice: Working with Data


Exhibit 19 shows the percentage of students that used the Animal Finder App to identify correctly all four of the animals that made the footprints. More than half the students (54% on average internationally) successfully identified the four animals and a further 19 percent identified three of the four. There was a small gender difference favoring girls (3 percentage points, on average). Similar to the previous item where students had to use the ruler tool to measure the footprints, using the Animal Finder App did not require any science content knowledge of the students, but did require the methodical application of information from observing and measuring the footprints to a series of binary decisions posed by the App.