Purpose of the Assesslets
Assesslets are formative tools for teachers to assess student learning and guide instruction. They are aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE). Although not intended to predict performance on state summative assessments, Assesslets can provide information on how well students understand grade-level concepts and their ability to apply knowledge and skills to extended reasoning and critical thinking beyond basic recall. As formative tools, Assesslet items are designed to provide clear feedback on a student’s understanding of the state standards, including potential student misconceptions.
Like any formative assessment, Assesslets are best used as a means of guiding instructional next steps. These may include revisiting items many students answered incorrectly, providing students an opportunity to revise and improve their constructed and extended responses, and forming small-group follow-up instruction based on patterns in the data.
State resources, such as assessment guides, achievement level descriptors, and scoring
samples, were used when creating Assesslets to determine the format for items to best prepare
students for state assessments.
The development team consists of highly qualified subject matter experts who apply a deep understanding of the curriculum and best practices in item and assessment development. Many of our team members are Georgia educators with vast knowledge and experience in the classroom. Subject matter experts participated in Item Development Training and qualified as item writers by completing a series of performance tasks in assessment development.
All Assesslet items are written and reviewed during the development process by experienced educators with expertise in the content area and grade level. Items then go through multiple rounds of review. The review process is rigorous, checking for: alignment to standards and appropriate level of cognitive complexity, accuracy of content and answer key, compliance with item specifications, and adherence to Universal Design principles. This facilitates the greatest access to the widest possible range of learners. Once items are finalized for content, they go through a final editorial review.
Following each school year, items are reviewed based on statistical item analysis information for
Assesslet items that have a large enough sample size. Item analysis information may include answer choice or score point distributions, percentage correct (e.g., p-value), and item discrimination information (e.g., biserial correlations). Flagged items are reviewed, discussed, and revised if it is determined changes are needed.
Types of Items
Selected-Response (SR) Items
A selected-response item, sometimes called a multiple-choice item, is a question, problem, or statement that appears on an assessment, followed by several answer choices. The incorrect choices, called distractors, are designed to reflect common misconceptions. The student’s task is to choose the best choice to answer the question. Items in grades 1-2 have three answer choices with one correct key and two distractors. Beginning in grade 3, items have four answer choices with one correct key and three distractors.
These items include rationales for each answer choice. Rationales provide clarity around common misconceptions in the student’s thinking for incorrect choices.
Constructed-Response (CR) Items
A constructed-response item is an open-ended item that asks the student to provide a response that he or she constructs, rather than selecting from a set of answer choices. On Assesslets, full credit (two points) is given for a complete response. Partial credit may be awarded if part of the response is correct.
These items include a rubric and an exemplar, which is a model response at the highest score point. Each exemplar is written as if it were an actual student’s response.
Extended-Response (ER) Items
In ELA, ER items are either extended writing prompts or extended constructed-response items. Extended writing prompts ask students to write informative/explanatory texts or opinion/argumentative texts. Extended constructed-response items are open-ended items in ask students to write narratives. Both are specific types of constructed-response item that requires a longer, more detailed response from the student than a two-point constructed-response item.
For grades 1 and 2, the ER items are worth three points for all three ELA Assesslet genres. For grades 3-HS, the ER item is worth four points (for narrative writing) or seven points (for informational or opinion/argument writing). Partial credit may be awarded if part of the response is correct.