Designing good tests item analysis is part of the equation
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Designing Good Tests: Item Analysis is Part of the Equation!. Molly Herman Baker, Ph.D. Black Hawk College. Planning Tests. Determine amt of time, location, level of difficulty desired, resources available during test, and % weight of test compared to total # of assessments

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Designing Good Tests: Item Analysis is Part of the Equation!

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Designing good tests item analysis is part of the equation

Designing Good Tests: Item Analysis is Part of the Equation!

Molly Herman Baker, Ph.D.

Black Hawk College


Planning tests

Planning Tests

  • Determine amt of time, location, level of difficulty desired, resources available during test, and % weight of test compared to total # of assessments

  • Based on objectives, determine what is important to know, not “nice to know”

  • Based on amt of time, estimate number of questions possible (see Test Writing Basics handout for estimates)

  • Prepare specifications chart


Specification chart basics

Specification Chart Basics

  • Specifications chart:

    • Type and number of items for each content area or objective.

    • Type and number of items for each type of HOT skill (HOT=discipline-specific; Bloom often selected, but others may be more relevant for your discipline)


Sample specifications chart 1

Sample Specifications Chart #1


Sample specifications chart 2

Sample Specifications Chart #2


Writing choosing good items

Writing/Choosing Good Items

  • Write good objectives, using verbs that indicate desired performance; share with students

  • Write/select test items based on these verbs;

    • See “Comparison of Bloom and Ebel’s Taxonomies” handout for samples

  • See “Test Writing Basics” handout

  • Discuss strategies for selecting test bank items


What about hots

What about HOTS?

  • HOTS (Higher order thinking skills)=application, analysis, prediction, synthesis, evaluation or alternative taxonomy relevant to your discipline

  • Important: practice HOT in class (critical thinking, creative thinking, problem-based learning, case-based learning, scenario-based lng)

  • Important: provide guidance, practice & feedback on preparing for and answering HOT exam questions


Item analysis to improve tests scantron quickscore ii qc1 106

Item Analysis to Improve Tests(Scantron QuickScore II: QC1-106)

  • # correct and # missed per item

    • What does this tell you?

  • # who answered each MC distractor

    • What does this tell you?

  • Correlation between answers and overall test performance (Discrimination Index/Pt. Biserial)

    • What could this tell you?

  • Questions with poor item analysis score

    • Discuss with students to determine item problems


Testing services at bhc

Testing Services at BHC

  • Administer individual tests to students in Study Unlimited or online classes

  • Administer individual tests to students taking make-up exams

  • Score and return Scantron tests if the key is provided by the instructor (campus mail or file drawer). More Scantron scoring machines in Bldg 2 and 3.

  • Email [email protected] or submit ILC Testing Form to make arrangements for online testing (course, instructor, exam#, student(s), deadline for completing, time limit, allowable notes or books, test password, what to do with hard copies)


Quickscore ii tips

QuickScore II Tips

  • Item analysis software in QC1-106 (ILC)

  • Use score sheet #101864-ERI-L only

  • Options for output:

    • Save electronic analysis reports in PDF format to your H: drive ( or floppy, Flash drive)

    • Print reports (bring paper from your dept)

  • Laminated instructions in 1-106 binder (or download from http://facweb.bhc.edu/tlc/tech/stepbystep/quickscore.html )


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