Table of Contents

Assessment Methods and Item Types, Continued

Technology-Enhanced Items

Technology-enhanced items (TE) use specialized computer interactions for collecting response data that go beyond traditional SR or CR items. TE tasks require students to use technology skills to respond to the item prompt. For example, students may be required to draw a figure with a mouse, stylus, or finger; drag and drop text; highlight text; or reorder text.

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

Grades 3-5 ELA: Grandma Ruth 2

High School Math: Water Tank


Performance Tasks

Performance tasks (PTs) measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards—a key component of college and career readiness. PTs are used to measure capacities such as depth of understanding, research skills, and complex analysis, which cannot be adequately assessed with selected- or constructed-response items. These item types challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills to respond to complex real-world problems.

The Smarter Balanced interim and summative components of the assessment system will include PTs at each grade level tested. Additional extended tasks will be made available in the Digital Library of Formative Assessments as part of the Smarter Balanced exemplar instructional modules and inventory of currently available resources. 

Smarter Balanced has released some sample performance tasks focused on assessing critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. Select the performance task items below that are most applicable to your teaching assignment. As you read these items, think about what skills and knowledge students need to have in order to successfully complete the complex assessment tasks.

Grades 3-5 ELA: Animal Defenses

Grades 3-5 Math: Planting Tulips

Grades 6-8 ELA: Garden of Learning

Grades 6-8 Math: Taking a Field Trip

High School ELA: Nuclear Power

High School Math: Thermometer Crickets