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From the Item Bank

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Categories for Item Type

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

December 16, 2016  | 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

Multiple Choice Items – Can You Guess for Success?

September 23, 2016  | By  | Leave a comment

Co-authored by Joy Matthews-López and David Cox One of the most common criticisms of the standard multiple-choice (MC) item format... View Article

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

July 19, 2016  | 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  | 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

Evaluating New Item Types for Usability

June 1, 2016  | By  | Leave a comment

Usability testing can significantly enhance the quality of alternative item types and is one method used in incorporating Universal Design... View Article

Remote Item Development – Benefits and Considerations

May 11, 2016  | By  | Leave a comment

In the certification arena, a traditional model of item development consists of representative panels of content experts from various locations... View Article

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

January 27, 2016  | 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  | 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  | 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  | 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.