This post originally appeared on the Read Forward website.
The Assessment Resource Project and the Centre for Foundational Learning were happy to host a two-day workshop last week with Michael Hardt on how to construct and analyze questions. Participants ranged from instructors to coordinators to researchers, from a variety of the departments here at Bow Valley College.
The focus was on understanding questions to then be able to control difficulty in item design, all within the IALS framework. Mike’s technique of snapping a question into its two components – the given and the requested – allowed us to evaluate what each question was actually asking. From here we discussed the Type of Requested Information and the Type of Match to see how each of these factors impacts how difficult a question is to answer.
The Assessment Resource Project will be using these skills to evaluate all the test items developed for our resource. This will provide us with some feedback about whether or not the question we wrote was put in a test at the appropriate level. It will also help us tighten up our question writing to ensure that the challenge to the test-taker is in answering the question, rather than in just understanding it.
Michael Hardt is President and Co-Founder of Performance by Design and an Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University, New York. He earned a Masters in Learning Disabilities from Syracuse University and is currently completing his Ph.D. in the area of psychoeducational assessment. Michael is working with the Assessment Resource Project, Academic Foundations.