In the Item Development tutorial, content is broken down into the following sections:
The previous section addressed how one should analyze a role in full detail prior to developing test content. This is consistent with the step-by-step nature of the image below. In this section, we will review industry best practices associated with test content development, specifically multiple-choice test questions. This is the fun part!
With multiple-choice items, one can assess diverse knowledge, psychological processes, and decision making!
Here is an image where you can visualize the elements of a multiple-choice item:
- Item: An item is another way to reference a test question. A multiple choice test question is a type of item. However, for the purposes of this education, these terms will be used interchangeably.
- Stem: This is the premise of the multiple choice item. It is usually in the form of a written statement or question. Candidates need to solicit the best response based on the information presented in the stem.
- Response Options: These (A-D) represent the options that the candidate must choose from when answering a question. Items typically consist of two to five response options.
- Key: A "key" is another word for the correct answer of an item. For conventional multiple-choice items there is typically only one keyed response.
- Distractor: A distractor is an incorrect response options. The notion is that these options are meant to distract the candidate. These should be plausible or conceivable answers, but still incorrect.