In this article we will look at the types of constructed response questions that you can utilze for your assessments, and the advantages and disadvantages for each question type.
- Short item questions are truly easy to construct
- Require student to create a correct response
- Can be scored relatively quickly
- Reduce the possibility of simply “guessing”
- Best suited to testing only factual knowledge
- Must be carefully worded to avoid ambiguity
- Difficult to score accurately (spelling, handwriting, grammar, alternatives, etc)
Some things to keep in mind when constructing short-answer items
- Use direct questions over incomplete statements wherever possible
- Structure the question/statement to elicit a brief, unique response
- Place response space (or blanks) at the end for direct questions and in the margin for incomplete statements.
- For incomplete statements, restrict the number of blanks to one (two max!!)
- For incomplete statements make all response blanks equal in length
- For questions requiring longer response, supply sufficient answer space at the end.
- Assess higher-order cognitive skills
- Students are asked to think about and create complex responses
- Can be time consuming for students to write
- Can be time consuming for teachers to grade
- Tend to promote subjective inaccuracies in scoring
Some things to remember when constructing extended response items.
- Structure items so that the student’s task is explicitly explained and circumscribed
- Specify point-value, acceptable length and recommended time allocation
- Use more questions requiring shorter answers over few questions requiring longer answers
- Do not use optional questions
- Create a trial response to set criteria and standard (and assess the quality of the question)
- Create a concise, skill-focused, rubric
- limited, clearly defined, criteria
- reflects required standard(s)
- reflects teachable skills, knowledge, understanding