Top 5 Considerations When Selecting an Item Bank

There are many assessment content options out there, so how do educators find the one that’s best for them? Here are some key factors to consider:

1.Rigor. It’s crucial that educators have a wide selection of items at a variety of cognitive levels, so teachers can easily differentiate instruction within a classroom. Oftentimes teachers have students at different stages of understanding and it’s the teacher’s role to help them all grow, so a rigorous bank provides content at a multitude of levels for each learning standard.

2. Alignment to State Standards. Items should be custom-aligned to your specific state, not just to the Common Core State Standards, to best prepare students. And for non-Core states, those learning standards vary even further. Be sure you’re heading down the right road ahead of time.

3. Item Types. Each state assessment tests particular item types such as Ordering, Choice Multiple, Hot Text, etc. If you’re truly going to simulate the testing experience prior to test day, make sure you practice with the right ones. You don’t want your students scoring poorly because a lack of technical literacy.

4. Metadata. A high-quality bank provides metadata, or information about the items and passages, from content experts. Some examples of metadata include: Blooms Revised Taxonomy, Lexile® Measure, Stimulus, Type, etc. Having this information available allows teachers to filter for specific types of assessment content that meets their instructional needs during each class.

5. Other Company Offerings. What other solutions complement their item bank? How can you grow with the content provider over time toward your district goals? What is the company’s expertise and reputation in the market?