Table of Contents

Assessment Methods and Item Types

The explanations below define assessment methods and item types that may be used in any assessment to gather information about student learning. The Smarter Balanced assessments will be using these methods and item types. The following descriptions, however, are applicable to any statewide assessment system as well as to district-, school-, and classroom-level assessments.

 

Selected-Response

Selected-response (SR) items prompt students to select one or more correct responses from a set of choices. Carefully constructed and reviewed SR items allow students to demonstrate their use of complex thinking skills, such as developing comparisons or contrasts; identifying cause and effects; identifying patterns or conflicting points of view; or categorizing, summarizing, or interpreting information.

Select the link next to each student icon to review example Smarter Balanced SR items.


Grade span 6–8 Math: Expressions and equations item 1


High School ELA: Diamonds in the Sky 1




Constructed-Response

Constructed-response (CR) tasks prompt students to generate a text or numerical response in order to collect evidence about their knowledge or understanding of a given assessment target. Both short and extended CR items will be used on Smarter Balanced assessments. Short CR items may require test-takers to enter a single word, phrase, sentence, number, or set of numbers, whereas extended CR items require more elaborated answers and explanations of reasoning.

These kinds of tasks allow students to demonstrate their use of complex thinking skill by formulating comparisons or contrasts; proposing causes and effects; identifying patterns or conflicting points of view; categorizing, summarizing, or interpreting information; and developing generalizations, explanations, justifications, or evidence-based conclusions (Darling-Hammond & Pecheone 2010). These complex thinking skills support development of the 4 Cs and college and career readiness.

Select the link next to each student icon to review example Smarter Balanced CR items.


Grade span 3–5 Math: Rectangle 2


Grade span 6–8 Writing: Cell Phones