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New Item Types in MAP Address Common Core
In a recent blog, “Transitioning to Common Core State Standards”, we looked at the many impacts that educators are facing as they decide to make the transition to Common Core. We also discussed the stability and consistency MAP Data will continue to provide. In this blog, we will discuss the new item types in MAP and highlight what it allows us to measure.
MAP ADDRESSES COMMON CORE WITH NEW ITEM TYPES
This year, NWEA is adding three item types to MAP:
- Items with functionalities used in MAP for Primary Grades (MPG) including drag and drop and hot spot
- Graphing calculator items
- Common stimulus items
These items will help us accomplish three goals in both CCSS-aligned MAP and in state-standard aligned MAP. We will be able to:
- increase the breadth of the standards we can measure
- increase the depth of knowledge of our items
- increase the authenticity of the way we measure certain standards
We began field testing these item types in January of 2012, primarily in standalone field tests. This fall we will field test these items within MAP tests. When these items are calibrated—assigned a RIT value based on field test responses—they will be included as active items in test pools. Field testing reports from teachers indicated that students found these new items to be more engaging. Increased engagement is good news and an extra benefit from these new item types.
Depth of Knowledge (DoK) is a measure of the cognitive complexity of item or alternatively a measure of the amount of mental effort an item requires to respond to it. DoK is normally reported as DoK 1 through DoK 4, with DoK 1 identifying recall and other low level items and Dok 4 identifying extended responses generally associated with performance tasks or projects. Over that last several years, NWEA has worked diligently to increase the percentage of DoK 2 and DoK 3 items in its test pools. Adding these items types will enhance that effort.
Drag and drop and hot spot items allow us to measure standards more authentically. One quick example is the sort of math standards that ask students to locate points on a number line or on a coordinate plane. Though we can measure these standards effectively with multiple choice, it is more authentic for a student to drag and drop a point to a number line or grid. These items are likely more engaging for students, too. These functionalities also allow us to measure a few additional standards not assessable with multiple choice.
Common stimulus items are a set of items focused on the same asset, usually a reading passage. Associating several items with the same passage, or other asset, allows us to use longer richer texts. This allows us to align items to standards that require the longer passages to be assessed well. Obviously, having deeper and richer texts creates more opportunities to write items at higher DoK levels. Using common stimulus will initially involve reading items but will be extended to language, math and science.
Graphing calculators will be available in the same way calculators are available now. Adding the additional functionalities of a graphing calculator allows us to measure standards that require these functionalities, for example, items about line of best fit. Again, this new functionality will aid the development of higher DoK items. The calculator we will use will be the TI-84 and it will be available on client server MAP this year and on web-based MAP in July, 2013.
These new functionalities are one step toward improving the ability of MAP to assess the Common Core State Standards. Other enhance item types are in earlier stages of development and will be introduced as they mature.
John Wood is a Senior Curriculum Specialist for NWEA