What's Up With... Technology-Enhanced Items?

Technology-enhanced items, or TEIs, are assessment items that:

  • Require interaction between a student and technology, and
  • Are not easily translated on paper and pencil tests

In other words, TEIs are test questions that use technology to better assess a student's understanding of a concept or skill.

There are many benefits to using TEIs in assessments. These questions require more of students, often asking them to show both what the answer is and how they came to it. TEIs require that students fully understand what they're being asked, and reduce the chance that students could simply guess the right answer.

There are dozens of different TEIs, including drag-and-drop, graphing, and passages of text with "hot spots" that students can select or deselect.

As these assessment types become more common in the classroom and on high-stakes exams, it's important to give students practice with them throughout the school year. That way, they can spend test time answering the questions instead of struggling with the technology.