Test and Content Development
Developing standards-based tests requires close collaboration among knowledgeable test developers, state curriculum experts, and teachers. Cambium Assessment (formerly AIR Assessment) brings the staff and infrastructure to ensure structured reviews that capture every voice in the process.
Our test developers are at the forefront of item innovation. They are writing many advanced item types that collect more information about what students know in the same amount of time as traditional item types. Check out a sample of items by taking our practice tests.
Innovative Item Types
Given the need to assess cognitively complex 21st-century skills, technology-enhanced items are everywhere. But Cambium Assessment takes the technology further. Our third-generation items leverage computing power to guide students through scaffolded, authentic performance tasks. Because these items mirror what students do in the classroom (and are just plain good pedagogy), they are engaging. Because students provide responses as they work toward a final task, they spend less time testing. And because the tasks collect data at various points, they provide teachers with highly specific information about what their students know and can do, and they also provide context about precisely what reteaching is warranted for which students.
Our powerful, proprietary item tracking and authoring system, ITS, ensures smooth, secure development of every item we create, from inception through internal, client, fairness, and data reviews to final publication. AIRCraft, our sophisticated, industry-leading authoring tool, allows test developers to create items right in the banking system, with access to the industry’s broadest set of available interactions. Within the platform, they also create scoring assertions linked to evidence statements, guaranteeing that all of Cambium Assessment's items embody evidence-centered design.
Test blueprint and item specification development
We work closely with our state counterparts to customize test blueprints that ensure tests provide a complex, complete picture of each student’s proficiency and that items align tightly to next-generation, college- and career-readiness standards.
Item development and review
Our developers are experts in their fields and master test question writers. Each item undergoes many layers of internal review before we present it to our clients. Post client signoff, items undergo yet further scrutiny, including that by educators in the field and auditors trained in fairness and sensitivity best practices.
Development and review of scoring rubrics
Within AIRCraft, item developers create detailed, precise, highly specific, and usable scoring rubrics for constructed-response items, anticipating a variety of student answers.
Content experts work closely with psychometricians to ensure that test forms are carefully aligned to blueprints as well as equivalent to each other and to field test forms, guaranteeing reliability and validity. Developers also care deeply about creating forms that make for an engaging test-taking experience for students, and they strive to balance topics and avoid redundancy.
Development of supporting materials for item release
On a custom basis, Cambium Assessment provides annotated materials for public release of items. We write rationales for all options for multiple choice questions—what makes the right answer right and the wrong answers wrong—and annotate hand-scored anchor papers for constructed-response items.
Client committee support and liaison with rangefinding services
We have the staff to fully support our clients when it comes to content, fairness, and rangefinding committee meetings. As educators themselves, our developers connect with committee members, facilitating student-focused collaboration.