Assessment Items


Types of Items



Any instrument prepared to collect data needed to conduct an evaluation is made of a set of items or questions. It appears important to consider how these items should be developed to meet the objectives of the test. These choices will have an impact when preparing EduStat databases. It will then be possible to specify accordingly the parameters of databases. We will have to indicate that some variables are the "M" types; we will also indicate the answer key. Provided for response items, we will choose the type "C" items; it is not necessary to provide a correction key.


A.   Types of items

We can distinguish two main categories of items: those whose correction is objective and those whose correction is rather subjective. Each of these categories contains several types of items. We provide further features of the types of items listed.

  • Objective correction items

The item with short answer

The text of "closure"

The alternative

The multiple-choice item

The pairing

The rearrangement items

  • Subjective correction Items

The "short answer" question

The “longer answer” question

B.   Some characteristics of different types of items

  • The closure of text – This is a text in which we remove words at regular intervals between 5 and 12 words, depending of the level of difficulty. Each missing word is replaced with a space for the right word be entered. This type of exercise can be used to measure the understanding of a text in mother tongue or second language.
  • The alternative – It is a statement that calls a choice like "true / false", "yes / no", "correct / incorrect". The alternative is primarily used to measure knowledge of particular facts (terminology, definitions, principles, events).
  • The multiple-choice item – This type of item has an initial part that can take the form of a direct question or incomplete statement, and suggested answers from which the student must choose the answer he considers to be good. This type of item is suitable for many applications (knowledge and complex skills).
  • Matching – The matching exercise (pairing, association) presents at least two lists of items to be associated with each other according to a given rule. This type of exercise is adapted to measure knowledge of particular facts: terminology, dates, places, and events. It can also be used to measure the ability to make connections between series and items.
  • The rearrangement – This is an exercise to put in a logical or chronological order a series of statements or evidence presented in random order. This type of items is used primarily to measure the ability to establish or replenish an order (alphabetical, chronological, and logical).
  • Subjective correction Items; short answer – This is an item that is on relatively simple problems and that requires a short answer, all the elements are easily predictable.
  • Subjective correction Items; extended response – This type of item concerns more complex problems that require efforts of reflection and organization. There are words such as: discuss, explain, describe, summarize, comment, analysis, evaluation. 

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