Certica Products

Creating an Item Bank (Classroom) Assessment

Updated Sep 08, 2021

This article describes how teachers/districts can create formative assessments using either high quality items provided in the CASE item bank, or using local items that are available in the "School Created" item bank.

Note: There are special instructions for creating an assessment using the College & Career Readiness Standards.

In this article:

Step 1: Find Items for the Assessment

To create a new assessment:

  1. From the top Assessments menu, choose Classroom.
  2. Click Create New Assessment in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

The Create Assessment page appears:

  1. Set the filters according to the type of items you want to add to the assessment. Choose:
    • Subject (required)
    • Core (required; standards)
    • Class (grade level)
    • Standard  
    • Topic Category
    • Topic
    • Item Bank 
    • Language
    • DOK (Depth of Knowledge) 
    • Item Type
    • Difficulty 
    • Item Number (allows you to search for specific items) 
    • "Show only passages" - shows only items with associated passages
  2. Click Load Items.

Step 2: Label the Assessment

After items matching your filter criteria are loaded, label the assessment by providing:

  • Title
  • Subtitle (optional) 
  • Difficulty (ensures that you are building a balanced test; optimal difficulty is 2.0 - 2.5; this value is calculated as you add items to the assessment) 
  • "This assessment is graded manually." You MUST select this if there are constructed response (CR) essays included in the assessment. If this option is not selected, the CR questions will not be available for grading.   

Step 3: Add Items to the Assessment

All available items appear on the left side of the table. Selected items will appear in the right side, in the one section available. (Refer to Manage Sections and Calculators, below, for information on assessments with multiple sections.)

To add an item:

Click +Add and the item moves to the right side of the page into "Section 1."

If the assessment contains multiple sections, click "Add items" in the appropriate section first, and then click +Add so the item is added to the selected section.

Notice the following while adding items:

  • You can change the order of items in the assessment (right side of page) by clicking and dragging the item to a new position.
  • You can preview an item by clicking on its item ID. (For more information on previewing, refer to Previewing Items.)
  • You can preview the standard to which the item is aligned by clicking on the standard identifier:
  • Every item has a View Related Assessments icon next to it. Click that to see details about any assessments that are currently using the item.
  • As items are added to the test, they are numbered so that you can keep track of how many items have been added to the test.  
  • Older items that were created with calculators embedded directly in the item show an image of a calculator:

If you see items with the calculator icon, you may want to edit the item, remove the calculator, and add a calculator to the section of the assessment instead. (Refer to Managing Sections and Calculators, below, for information on adding calculators to sections.)

When you locate a passage, you can preview the passage by clicking on its ID:

The passage displays in a separate window. 

To see the items related to the passage, click Preview Passage Items.

All items associated with that passage appear in the Related Items dialog box. To add one or more items, click the selection box and click Add Selected Items:

The items are added to the assessment, and the next passage appears in the preview window.

Alternatively, before adding the item, you may preview the item by clicking on the Item ID or the Preview Item icon:

Previewing Items

When you preview an item, the item preview dialog box appears:

  • To add the item to your assessment, click Add This Item.
  • To preview additional items (related to the same passage if you are previewing a passage-related item), click Prev or Next.

Notice the following when previewing an item:

  • You can enter or select answers to see how they are scored.
  • The Standards, Subject, Difficulty level, and DOK level are shown.
  • You can click the standards links to see the exact wording of the standard.
  • To add the item to your assessment, click Add This Item.
  • To preview additional items (related to the same passage if you are previewing a passage-related item), click Prev or Next
  • Click the Close button when you are done previewing items.

To see the correct answer(s) for an item, click the box for "Show Answers":

Note: If an item requires text or mathematical entry, alternate correct answers may be allowed. While "Show Answers" is checked, you may enter other answers in the preview dialog box to see how they are scored.

Step 4: Manage Sections and Calculators

By default, an assessment contains just one section titled "Section 1." You may add a calculator to any section, add additional sections, rearrange sections, or re-title them. 

Add a Calculator

To add a calculator to any section, select a type of calculator from the Calculator drop-down menu at the top of the section. The available types of calculators include: 

  • Desmos Four-Function (basic)
  • Desmos Scientific
  • Desmos Graphing Calculator (if purchased by from Certica; contact HelpDesk@CerticaSolutions.com for more information.)

When a student is taking the test, the selected calculator will be available for all the items in the section. 

Tip: Save and preview the assessment to see the calculator in action, located in the upper-right corner next to the Options menu.

Change the Name of a Section

To change the name of a section, click in the "Title" field containing the default name (such as "Section 1") and enter a new name.

Add a New Section

To add another section, click +Add Section.

The following message appears: 

Students taking an assessment containing multiple sections cannot go back to previous sections. If this is acceptable, click Yes; otherwise, click No and maintain just one section in the assessment.

Change the order of sections

To move a section, click in the title bar of the section until you see a hand cursor, then click and drag the section to a new location. 

Tip: Section titles do not change when you move them; re-name the sections, if necessary, to reflect a change in order. 

Step 5: Save the Assessment

When you're finished adding items to the assessment, you can click Save Changes or Save Changes & Preview.

Next Steps

  1. Once you've saved a new assessment, it is available in the system and you can edit it, print it, delete it, preview it, or schedule it. Refer to Working with an Item Bank (Classroom) Assessment for more information. 
  2. In order for students to take the assessment, you must schedule the assessment. Additionally, you may add any of the following assessment administration settings:
    • Set a time limit on the assessment
    • Allow students to see their results (and, optionally, the correct answers) after they've completed the assessment
    • Require enCASE Kiosk for a secure testing environment

Refer to Scheduling a Classroom Assessment for more information on scheduling and adding these settings. 

Previous Article Viewing Assessment Status (includes video)
Next Article Scheduling a Classroom Assessment