What are the different levels of complexity on an assessment item?

When creating assessment items, committee members need to identify the specific level of complexity for an item. This allows SBL committee members to customize the assessment tests based on students’ expected mastery level of a learning target. For example, if students have been performing around a level 1 for learning target A, the committee member may choose not to include items at a level 4, as those questions will be too difficult.

The complexity options pull directly from the standards-based grading scale assigned on the course.


In the case of the scale above, the complexity options will be 4 - Exceeds, 3 - Proficient, 2 - Developing, and 1 - Beginning.

For more information on how the complexity of an item affects student scores, see How are item answers turned into standards-based scores?

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