Creating a “Fill in the Blank” Item

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PowerSchool Assessment & Analytics offers the ability to create new items using the “Fill in the Blank” Technology Enhanced Item (TEI) format. “Fill in the Blank” items can include up to ten “Accepted Answers.” Unlike other item formats, “Fill in the Blank” items do not include a combination of answers and distracters. Instead, the “Accepted Answers” are all formats of a single correct answer.

To view “Fill in the Blank” 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 “Fill-in-the-Blank,” indicated by a pink arrow, or “All Types” from the list.
*Note: To save the filter settings, check the box to the left of “Save as default.”
7. Click “Ok,” circled in yellow.
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To create a new “Fill in the Blank” item:
*Note: Due to constraints placed by paper/pencil test documents, exams containing “Fill in the Blank” items cannot be administered via paper/pencil test sessions.
1. Follow the steps outlined in the section titled, Creating a New Item.
2. Select “Fill in the Blank” from the “Item Wizard.”
3. Double-click the item type or click “Next.”
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4. Select one of the three available layouts. The chosen layout determines the appearance of the item in the “Item Editor” and “PowerTest.” The selected layout is highlighted.
5. Double-click the selected layout or click “Next.”

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The 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 “Accepted Answers.”
6. Check the box to the right of “Directions?” to include a field in the “Item Editor” for directions.
7. 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.
8. Click the drop-down to the right of “Number of Choices,” indicated with a blue arrow, to select the number of “Accepted Answers” to include.
*Note: An item may have no more than ten “Accepted Choices.”
9. Click “Next.”

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10. 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.
b. To confirm the selections and to continue creating the test item, click “Done,” circled in pink.

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11. The “Create Item” window opens with the “Information” tab displayed, shown circled in blue.
*Note: For instructions regarding the “Information” tab, refer to steps 12 through 15 under How to Create a Multiple Choice Item.

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12. Click the “Content” tab.
13. If directions were selected, click the “Directions” field to open the editing window. As the directions are typed, a preview of the text appears.

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

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

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14. Click a “Stem” field to open the editing window. As the stem is typed, a preview of the text appears.

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

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15. The boxes labeled “Prefix” and “Suffix” are referred to as “Decorators.” When double-clicked, these decorators will open a text box allowing for text and images to be entered.
Examples of “Decorators” may include: “x =,” “y =,” “feet,” and “inches.”

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*Note: The “Item Writing Tools” are available when entering “Stems”, “Prefixes,” and “Suffixes.”

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16. The “Student Answers” check boxes allows for the parameters of student responses to be limited to numerical characters, case sensitive responses, and a maximum character length for student responses.

a. “Numbers Only” – Checking the “Numbers Only” box limits students’ responses to numerical values, the addition symbol, the subtraction symbol, periods, commas, and forward slash, and a space.
b. “Case Sensitive?” – Checking the “Case Sensitive” box will require that students’ answers match the case sensitivity of the “Accepted Answers” entered by the item creator.
c. “Max Character Length” – Entering a number in the “Max Character Length” box limits the number of characters that a student’s response may include when entering an “Accepted Answer.”
*Note: An “Accepted Answer” cannot exceed 30 characters.

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17. “Fill in the Blank” items include no distractors, only accepted forms of one correct answer.

For example, if the answer is “475,” the “Accepted Answers” may include:
475
Four hundred seventy five
Four hundred seventy-five

*Note: If a student’s response does not match an “Accepted Answer,” the item will be marked incorrect.

Click within an “Accepted Answer” field to open the editing window. As the “Accepted Answer” is typed, a preview the text appears.

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*Note: The “Item Writing Tools” are not available when entering “Accepted Answers.” “Accepted Answers” must be limited to alpha-numerical characters and symbols that are found on a standard keyboard, as these characters are all that a student will have access to when testing.

a. To add an “Accepted Answer,” right-click an “Accepted Answer” field and select “Add Answer” from the drop-down menu, indicated by a blue arrow in the following image.
b. To remove an “Accepted Answer,” right-click the desired “Accepted Answer” field and select “Remove Answer” from the drop-down menu, indicated by a pink arrow.

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18. Once all “Accepted Answer” fields have been filled, click “Create.”

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19. After clicking “Create,” a “Maximum Character Length” window will open if a number was not entered in the “Max Character Length” field to the right of “Student Answers.” This window will offer three options:

a. “Set to Maximum Answer Length” – defaults to the character length of the longest “Accepted Answer
b. “Set to Maximum Field Length” – defaults to 30 characters
c. “Return and Set Manually” – allows the user to return to the item to manually enter a “Max Character Length

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