Basic Concepts Selected Response Constructed Response  


A. Fill-in-the-Blank Items
B. Essay Questions
C. Scoring Options


A. Fill-in-the-Blank Items

The simplest forms of constructed response questions are fill-in-the-blank or short answer questions. For example, the question may take one of the following forms:

  1. Who was the 16th president of the United States?
  2. The 16th president of the United States was ___________________.

These assessments are relatively easy to construct, yet they have the potential to test recall, rather than simply recognition.  They also control for guessing, which can be a major factor, especially for T/F or multiple choice questions.

When creating short answer items, make sure the question is clear and there is a single, correct answer. Here are a few guidelines, along with examples and non-examples

Although constructed response assessments can more easily demand higher levels of thinking, they are more difficult to score.  For example, scantrons (optical grade scanners) cannot score this type of assessment, and computer-based scoring is difficult because you must include all synonyms and acceptable answers. For example, all of the following might be acceptable answers to the sample question: "Who was the 16th president of the United States?" Abraham Lincoln; Abe Lincoln; Lincoln; President Lincoln; Honest Abe; the Railsplitter. You might also want to accept common misspellings such as Abrahem or Lencoln (depending on the objective).



Try This

Creating an interactive quiz on the web used to involve sophisticated programming.  Now, it is easy to create an online quiz because there are websites that provide the tools.  For example, at most of the websites listed below, all you have to do is fill in the question, fill in the possible answers, mark the correct answer, and provide the feedback.  Then, the test is automatically generated for you and your students.  In some cases, the quiz is stored on the remote site, and your students can access it from school, home, or anywhere they have an Internet connection.  Some of these online test generators also allow the tests to be printed and used in the traditional hard copy format.

Try out one of the sites below.  Find or create a quiz for your class that includes short answer or fill-in-the-blank items.

  • EasyTestMaker -- Easy Test Maker is a FREE online test generator to help you create your tests. With Easy Test Maker you can create multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching, short answer and true and false questions and print out the test.
  • Test Maker - Test Maker is one of the resources at the Big Bus site. It's free and it allows you to create free-standing, self-marking tests or quizzes which can be saved to disc and used offline as required.
  • Quiz Center - Quiz Center is a powerful tool you can use to create, administer, and grade quizzes online. It is free and does not require any Web development experience!


Continue to Section B
| Basic Concepts | Selected Response | Constructed Response

This course was developed in partnership between the Pinellas School
and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at USF.

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