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Study Island Feature Focus: Technology-Enhanced Items

Friday, October 2, 2015 -- Ashlee Tatum-Eckley

There’s a buzz in the atmosphere these days around technology-enhanced items (TEIs). What are they? How are they used? And where did they come from? Having gained popularity through PARCC and SBAC assessments, these question types are popping up all over the place in lessons, practice tools, and all types of assessments.

PARCC defines TEIs as “tasks administered on a computer and [that] take advantage of the computer-based environment to present situations and capture responses in ways that are not possible on a paper-based test.” TEIs are especially impactful in learning because they help students develop higher-order thinking skills and also prepare learners for more rigorous next-generation assessments. Research from Peoples Education shows that TEIs are more engaging and “can be more genuinely aligned to curriculum objectives and experiences.” TEIs give educators an opportunity to use technology to measure multiple levels of thinking and give students the opportunity to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the material being tested.

There is a wide variety of technology-enhanced items in the market. Study Island, for example, offers fourteen technology-enhanced items, all of which students may encounter on next-generation assessments like the SBAC or PARCC. To date, we have added over 4,000 items to Study Island programs, and will be adding another 2,600 TEIs throughout the beginning of this school year. These items include:

  1. Multiple Choice: Students choose the single best answer.
  2. Constructed Response: Students construct a response using evidence from the question or reading passage to support their view.
  3. Matched Pairs: Students move answers from one column to the next and create matching pairs.
  4. Hot Text: Text choices are identified for the student within an item, and the students select the correct answer or answers with the cursor.
  5. Multiple Response: Students can select more than one correct answer in a multiple-choice format.
  6. Hot Spot: Using the cursor, students identify a location in an image that represents the correct answer.
  7. Cloze: Students select a response from a drop-down box in an equation or sentence.
  8. Fill in the Blank: Students answer an alphanumeric response in an open box. An item may have more than one open box.
  9. Graphical Gap Match: Using the cursor, students drag one image to another to answer the question.
  10. Sequence: Students click on an image and move it to the correct location on the screen, in sequence, to create the correct overall answer.
  11. Audio (coming fall 2015): Students must listen to an excerpt of audio and then respond to a question or series of questions.
  12. Multi-Part (coming fall 2015): Students answer two or more questions in one item.
  13. Drawing (coming fall 2015): Students plot an answer on either a graph or number line.
  14. Video (coming fall 2015): Students watch a video and then respond to a question or series of questions.

TEIs are designed to be more rigorous and require students to utilize specific technology skills. The Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium released a comprehensive list of “technology tasks” that students need to be able to perform to successfully complete TEIs—including scrolling, selecting/unselecting, clicking, plotting, and dragging. Click here for the full list.

Want to experience Study Island’s technology-enhanced item types for yourself? Take a test drive here!