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ERIC Number: ED308220
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Use of Item Shells To Construct Higher Level Test-Items in Reading Comprehension.
Simon, Marielle G.
The development and use of item shells in the construction of a series of standardized tests of reading comprehension at the elementary school level are described. An item shell is an item that is devoid of specific content, but contains key words and a distinctive syntactic structure. The specific content of the item shell varies depending on the context on which the item is based. Once developed, item shells can be used to generate a pool of items. Sample item shells were developed at the Ottawa Roman Catholic Separate School Board in preparation for construction of board-wide examinations in reading comprehension for grades 3, 6, and 8. Nine of the 22 sublevels of the taxonomy of B. S. Bloom (1981) were used as reading comprehension objectives. These objectives were grouped according to Bloom's six levels: (1) knowledge; (2) comprehension; (3) application; (4) analysis; (5) synthesis; and (6) evaluation. An average of three shells, built from a pool of available items found in similar tests, were built for each objective, for a total of 120 items. These were submitted to six educators for classification according to the cognitive skill each was intended to measure. Pilot versions were tested using 360 students, and shells that produced sound items and were classified by three experts were considered valid. The item shells were open enough for use at all three grade levels, but were less flexible with the lower grades. Test writers found that the structure of the shells allowed sufficient creative freedom and encouraged them to construct new item shells. (SLD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A