Creating a “Constructed Response” Item

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PowerSchool Assessment & Analytics offers the ability to create new items using the “Constructed Response” item format.

Unlike other item formats, “Constructed Response” items do not include a combination of answers and distracters. Instead, the “Constructed Response” items allow for students to manually enter a response (e.g. equations, short answer, and essay) to a question.

*Note: “Constructed Response” answers must be limited to 10,000 words or less.

To view “Constructed Response” items within the item bank:

1. From the “Dashboard,” select “Assessment Library.”
2. Select the appropriate “Subject” from the drop-down menu.
3. Open the item filter by clicking the “gear” icon to the right of “Items,” circled in blue in the image below.
4. Click the drop-down menu beside “Item Type.”
5. Select “Constructed Response,” indicated by a pink arrow, or “All Types” from the list.
6. Click “OK,” circled in yellow.


Constructed Response” items are indicated in the item bank with an orange “CR” icon to the left in the item bank.


*Note: Due to constraints placed by paper pencil test documents, exams containing “Constructed Response” items cannot be administered via paper pencil test sessions.

To create a new “Constructed Response” item:

1. Follow the steps outlined in the section titled, Creating a New Item.
2. Select “Constructed Response” from the “Item Wizard.”
3. Double-click the item type or click “Next.”

Constructed-Response-Selection.pngThe next page of the “Item Wizard” allows for selections to be made regarding the inclusion of directions, the number of stems to include in the item, and the number of points possible.

4. Check the box to the right of “Directions,” indicated with a blue arrow, to include a field in the “Item Editor” for directions.
5. Click the drop-down to the right of “Number of Stems” to select the number of stems to include.
*Note: An item may have no more than two stems.
6. Click the drop-down to the right of “Number of Points” to select the number of points the item will be worth when administered.
7. Click “Next,” shown circled in pink in the following image.


8. The “Item Wizard” will provide a summary page with a list of the selections made throughout the wizard. Review the selected options.

a. To make changes to selections, click “Back,” circled in blue in the following image.
b. To confirm the selections and to continue creating the test item, click “Done,” circled in pink in the following image.

Constructed-Response-Selection-3.png9. The “Create Item” window opens with the “Information” tab displayed, circled in blue in the following image.
*Note: For instructions regarding the “Information” tab, refer to steps 12 through 16 under Creating a Multiple Choice Item.

Constructed-Response-Information.png10. Click the “Content” tab.
11. If directions were selected, click the “Directions” field to open the editing window. As the directions are typed, a preview of the text appears.


a. To delete the “Directions” field, right-click the “Directions” field and select “Remove Directions.”


b. To add the “Directions” field, right-click a “Stem” field and select “Add Directions” from the drop-down menu.


12. Click within the “Stem” field to open the editing window and enter the desired text.


a. To add an additional “Stem,” right-click the “Stem” field and select “Add Stem.”


b. To remove a “Stem,” right-click the “Stem” field and select “Remove Stem.”


13. Click the “Rubric” tab, circled in blue in the following image.
A rubric matching the point specification selected in the “Item Wizard” is automatically generated and contains default criteria to satisfy each point value.


To edit the default rubric criteria:

a. Click the selected rubric number to be edited to open the editing window, as depicted in the following image. Make the desired changes.


b. To remove a “Rubric,” right-click the “Rubric” field and select “Remove Rubric.”


c. To add a “Rubric,” right-click the “Rubric” field and select “Add Rubric.”


*Note: Adding a rubric does not auto-generate the default rubric criteria. The criteria associated with the added rubric must be entered manually, as shown by the empty rubric editing window in the following image.


d. To change the point value associated with each set of rubric criteria, click within the rubric to open the editing window. Click the drop-down to the right of “Score” and select the preferred point value from the drop-down menu to assign to the selected criteria.

14. Once all point values have been assigned, click “Create,” shown circled in pink in the following image, to complete the item creation process.