Is this item fair? What groups of students might it be biased against? Of what groups of students might it be biased in favor?
No. This item might be biased against students who are English Learners, students with language-related disabilities, or students who have no background knowledge of the name Stephan or alpacas. It might be biased in favor of students who live on an alpaca ranch or who have lived or traveled in the Andes.
How would you improve the quality of this item?
First I would change it to the active voice and simpler sentences. Then I would reflect the background of my students using a familiar name and situation. For example, if my students are not familiar with livestock auctions I might change the problem to giving away toys, clothing, etc...
Describe one strategy to check for understanding nonverbally.
I ask students to indicate their answers to a multiple choice question using finger spelling for A, B, C, and D or zero if they don't have clue how to answer.
Describe one strategy to check for understanding verbally.
I ask a fill-in-the-blank question and have students to respond verbally in unison on my signal with a vocabulary word. The students and I listen very closely to each response. When students hear a wrong answer, we work cooperatively to correct each other.