New STAAR Item Type Examples

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HB 3906, passed in 2019 by the 86th Texas Legislature, requires that by the 2022-2023 school year no more than 75% of the items on STAAR tests be of the multiple choice item type. TEA has defined multiple choice as “an assessment Item in which the student is tasked with selecting one correct response from a set (typically four) of possible responses provided”. The new item types are expected to appear on STAAR tests effective with the Spring 2023 administrations, they will not appear on the Spring 2021 STAAR tests.

In January 2021 districts were able to volunteer to participate in cognitive labs where students were able to participate in learning activities that involved item types that were under consideration. These labs were held in February 2021. Because these new items are so different from the current operational items they cannot be embedded in the current STAAR tests as field test items and will need stand-alone field testing. This field testing is expected to take place in the spring of 2022. Details on these field tests are forthcoming.

Based on these cognitive labs, the following item types are currently under consideration for inclusion on future STAAR tests and are included in the subject area sample items linked further down in this post.

Multiselect

Multiselect items will require students to select more than one correct answer to a question. This item type would be applicable to mathematics, reading language arts, science, and social studies.

Multipart

Multipart items are made up of two parts, A & B. The answer to part B is dependent on the student’s answer to part A. This item type would be applicable to reading language arts, science, and social studies.

Drag-and-Drop

Drag-and-drop items require a student to evaluate a given set of options (words, numbers, symbols, etc.)and drag their answer choice(s) to an area of the item to which the student determines it belongs. This item type would be applicable to mathematics, science, and social studies.

Hot Spot

Hot spots require students to select one or more areas of a graphic as their response to an item. This item type would be applicable to mathematics, science, and social studies.

Graphing

Graphing items allow students to independently graph their response to an item using bar graphs, function graphs, solution sets, etc. This item type would be applicable to mathematics.

Equation Editor

Equation editor items allow students to independently enter equations or inequalities as their response to an item. This item type would be applicable to mathematics.

Hot Text

Hot text items require students to select a highlighted sample of text (hot test) in a sentence, paragraph, or extended passage to cite as evidence to demonstrate their understanding of the item This item type would be applicable to reading language arts and social studies.

Inline Choice

Inline choice items allow students to select a response from a drop down menu placed within the question. This item type would be applicable to mathematics, reading language arts, and social studies.

Text Entry

Text entry items require students to independently enter a brief response to an question, such as a word, number, or phrase. This item type would be applicable to mathematics, reading language arts, and science.

Short Constructed Response

Short constructed response items allow students to give brief explanations in their own words to demonstrate their understanding of the content in the item. This item type would be applicable to reading language arts, science, and social studies.

Match Table Grid

Match Table Grid items require students to match the information presented in a table to a response item. This item type would be applicable to mathematics, reading language arts, and social studies.

The following links will take you to subject area sample items that will demonstrate how each of these item types will function in an online test. These items are not divided by grade level and are only meant to demonstrate the functionality of the item types, they are not meant to demonstrate the depth and breadth of items found on an actual STAAR assessment. Remember that STAAR Spanish tests are only offered for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade assessments.

TEA is currently seeking feedback on the item types that have been identified as potential STAAR items. Feedback can include suggestions on how to make instructions clearer, grade level appropriateness of the item type, concerns about item difficulty, accessibility issues, or any other comments you may have. Please submit all feedback using this survey link.

Butch has worked with testing and accountability for 15 years at the campus, district, regional, and state levels. Originally from North Carolina, Butch is the State Assessment Specialist for Region 13, helping district test coordinators and others navigate the world of STAAR and TELPAS testing. He is available to answer any of your state testing policy and procedure questions.

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