In the first blog of this series, we covered how formative assessment data can guide instruction and improve achievement for all students. Element one was specifically devoted to learning outcomes and specifying early and often in the teaching-learning cycle how students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of content. Element two focuses on the number of items that should be on a formative assessment.
So now we move to element three which is what item types should be included in your assessments.
Element Three: Item Types
Teachers and students are no longer stuck with using only multiple-choice items with four answer options.
Innovative technology solutions allow students the opportunity to perform actions other than simple clicks of a radio button to select the correct answer. Twenty-first-century assessments offer many types of items for teachers to choose from when creating a test. Certain content lends itself to specific item types.
Take a look at some of the most readily available “technology-enhanced” item types:
Enhanced Multiple Choice
Spices up the traditional four-option multiple-choice item by increasing the number of answer options provided.
Student is required to select all correct answer options. When assessing content that has a group of factors, indicators, or elements, using a hot spot item allows students to select more than one correct answer as the right choice.
Drag and Drop
Student drags answers or questions into appropriate area on a graphic. For example, when assessing a concept that requires students to be able to identify and label parts of a whole, the drag-and-drop item type is most appropriate.
Fill in the Blank
Student types in his or her answer. A fill-in-the-blank item type is a great choice when you want students to generate the answer instead of selecting from a list of possible answers. For example, fill-in-the-blank item types are great for assessing measurement and computation skills in math and science.
Student is required to create his or her answer in the space provided.
Constructed response items that require students to write their response to a prompt are very valuable in asking students to evaluate, analyze, and create extended written responses.
Constructed Response with Equation Editor
Assessments that provide a variety of item types and allow students to show what they have learned in several formats keep them on task and engaged.
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