Technology-Enhanced Items in Grades 1–12 English Language Proficiency Assessments

Ahyoung Alicia Kim, Rurik L. Tywoniw, Mark Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Technology-enhanced items (TEIs) are innovative, computer-delivered test items that allow test takers to better interact with the test environment compared to traditional multiple-choice items (MCIs). The interactive nature of TEIs offer improved construct coverage compared with MCIs but little research exists regarding students’ performance on TEIs versus MCIs in English language proficiency (ELP) assessments. This study examines the performance of Grades 1–12 English learners (ELs) on TEIs and MCIs in an online reading test. The test included TEI and MCI content-matched pairs that shared the same reading input but differed in response mode. We analyzed 1.2 million ELs’ scores across five different grade-level clusters: 1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–8, and 9–12. Items were evaluated for difficulty, discrimination, and information using Item Response Theory. Additionally, efficiency was investigated using the amount of information provided and item duration. TEIs were slightly more difficult than MCIs, but they did not differ in discriminative power. Notably, TEIs were more informative for ELs at higher grade or reading proficiency levels. TEIs generally had longer item durations than MCIs, making them less efficient, except for at Grades 6–8. Results provide insights for developing TEIs for ELP reading assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-367
Number of pages25
JournalLanguage Assessment Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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