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From the Item Bank

The Professional Testing Blog


Archives for Cynthia G. Parshall, Ph.D.

Action Design Approaches For Survey Administration

December 14, 2017  | Published by  | Leave a comment

Action design is a set of tools aimed at making it easy for users to take an action or make... View Article

Action Design for Instruction and Assessment

March 1, 2017  | Published by  | Leave a comment

There are many areas of life where people have the desire to take actions, but have difficulty following through. This... View Article

Audio – Why, When, and How to Use This Item Type

December 16, 2016  | Published by  | Leave a comment

Overview In a typical Audio (AU) item a sound file is included within the stem of a multiple choice item,... View Article

The Short Answer – Why, When, and How to Use this Item Type

July 19, 2016  | Published by  | Leave a comment

Overview The Short Answer (SA) is a constructed response item type in which the examinee types a short response. Like... View Article

The Drag and Drop – Why, When, and How to Use this Item Type

June 22, 2016  | Published by  | Leave a comment

Overview The Drag and Drop (DD) item typically includes a list of elements that the examinee is asked to associate... View Article

Designing a Test with Accessibility in Mind

March 30, 2016  | Published by  | Leave a comment

Testing organizations have a legal obligation to provide a broad range of test accommodations, based on the 2008 amendment to... View Article

The Hotspot – Why, When, and How to Use this Item Type

January 27, 2016  | Published by  | Leave a comment

Overview In a Hotspot (HS) item the examinee responds to the question by clicking directly on an image. This is often a... View Article

Video – Why, When, and How to Use this Item Type

September 30, 2015  | Published by  | Leave a comment

The video item type is useful across a wide range of content areas and exam programs. Video can be used to better represent crucial aspects of the profession. In addition, video can facilitate coverage of test content not easily measured with traditional written stems.

The Multiple Response – Why, When, and How to Use this Item Type

June 17, 2015  | Published by  | Leave a comment


The multiple response (MR) item type is, hands-down, one of the most useful alternative item types available today.  It isn’t a new item type; the MR been used in paper-based assessments for many years (under various names, including multiple select, multiple-answer, multiple-choice, etc.). Now that the MR item type is provided as a standard option within many CBT applications, it is becoming a more popular option.

Alternative Item Types – The Big Picture

March 18, 2015  | Published by  | Leave a comment

Alternative item types (AIT) is a catch-all term, and can refer to any item type that's new or a bit different from the standard multiple choice (MC) item. AITs are sometimes called innovative item types or technology-enhanced items.

This post is the first in a planned series on AITs. In this post we’ll consider why program staff might want to add AITs to an exam program and a useful approach to designing the item types so that they will be successful. Future posts will address some popular AITs individually, along with other factors to consider when implementing new item types.