Mark-up: Annotating Text for Item Writing

Consider this Part II of how to avoid writing superficial items. I thought it might be helpful to give a real example of what annotating text for item writing might look like. I started out by doing what I usually do: printing out a page and marking it up. But! My handwriting is bad. Not […]

Go Deep: How to Avoid Writing Superficial Reading Comprehension and Literary Analysis Items

Item writing is so complex–it is this interweaving of interpretation and analysis and extension of ideas beyond the text; it is the conjoining of skills and knowledge in order to measure students’ skills and knowledge. There are so many ways to get it wrong. In writing items to measure reading comprehension, one of the most […]

Rule Number One

…is that you gotta have fun.Every craft, art, skill, vocation–every discipline–comes with rules. Call them procedures, steps, processes–there’s a set of knowledge that must be acquired and then applied over and over.The path to mastery is1. learn the rules2. practice following the rules3. make mistakes4. get corrected5. do it over6. repeat eleventy gazillion times Until […]

Getting Our House in Order

What is fun about homeschooling is a lot. All those lectures in the car to a captive audience? (Parents, you know what I’m talking about.) I get to make my kids take notes while I’m talking. Heheheheheheheh.The regime schedule includes vocabulary study, a subject about which I hold strong opinions. For proficient readers, I believe […]

Speaking of Language, Cross-Referenced to Value-Added

Some item writers love multiple-choice language items; some hate them. I pitch my tent in the former category. Several years ago, I wrote all of the language items (writing conventions and writing strategies) that appeared on multiple parallel forms of a statewide high school exit examination.  Language items may be either standalone or passage-dependent. The […]