Publications & Resources

Exploring Career-Readiness Features in High School Test Items Through Cognitive Laboratory Interviews

Dec 2018

Ayesha Madni, Jenny C. Kao, Nichole M. Rivera, Eva L. Baker, and Li Cai

This report is the first in a series of five reports considering career-readiness features within high school assessments. Utilizing feature analysis and cognitive lab interviews, the primary objective of this study was to verify and validate the existence of specific career-readiness features in select math and English language arts (ELA) test items. Feature analysis is a method to characterize items and tasks by components, so that item design, revision, and instruction may benefit. Seventeen students representing three high schools in Southern California participated. Results from the preliminary feature analysis on four math and two ELA items indicated that each test item contained between eight and 13 career-readiness features. Results from the cognitive labs supported the presence of these features. That is, these features were either part of the problem-solving process, and/or were necessary to solve the problem correctly.

Madni, A., Kao, J. C., Rivera, N. M., Baker, E. L., & Cai, L. (2018). Exploring career-readiness features in high school test items through cognitive laboratory interviews (CRESST Report 857). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).