Junior and senior high school teachers in core subject areas (n = 102) were randomly assigned to read 1 of 3 scenarios describing classrooms composed of students of different ability levels: all low-ability, all high-ability, or both high- and low-ability students. After reading the assigned scenario, teachers indicated how they would assign test items over the dimensions of item type and cognitive complexity for the students described. Teachers also gave estimates of difficulty and pass rate for different types of items. Teachers who read scenarios about a high-achieving class reported that they would construct tests with significantly fewer recognition than essay items, whereas teachers who read scenarios about a low-achieving or a mixed-ability class reported that they would construct tests with more recognition items than essay items. Teachers who read scenarios describing low- and mixed-ability classrooms included significantly more memorization and application items than higher order items.
ASJC Scopus subject areas