The Item Report provides a curricular content breakdown at the level of the curriculum the test is recommended for. The Item report indicates what percentage of the group of students answered each question (item) on a test successfully. It also compares the success of the group on the questions with the success of students from the national reference group at a given year level.
The report provides links to each question/item plus a breakdown of how each student answered each question providing in-depth diagnostic knowledge of individual students' knowledge and skill in specific areas of the subject. Good curriculum knowledge will allow teachers to quickly make links behind the particular concept being tested by individual questions and the students' responses, to make formative decisions about how students think and approach each idea.
When reading the report it is important to identify which year level the group of students is being compared with. In Term 4 students will automatically be compared to the following reference year's Term 1 results. It is important to remember that national performance on a question is only a reference point. A school might expect their students to consistently perform above the national proportions.
Using the Item Report
The amount of assessment information in the Item report can seem overwhelming. Teachers are not expected to look at every question and every student. The Item Report can be used to 'drill down' into the subject knowledge and skill to:
- Group Strand/text/content questions and compare results
- Find trends and patterns, strengths and weaknesses that exist in the test group
- Identify specific cohorts in specific areas of the subject who require specific teaching to target knowledge and skills.
- Follow hunches, 'informal conclusions' to identify actual needs
Reviewing questions where the group’s performance is well under the national performance, or which deviate from the patterns shown on other questions, may highlight particular areas for concern and further investigation. By investigating the Individual Item Report by clicking on the question number, users can 'drill down' into specific areas of the subject, specific cohorts with learning needs - either support or extension, and target relevant teaching strategies to meet the needs.