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Students Analyzing Assessments with Item Analysis

Helping students understand their learning progress and areas of need through structured self-analysis of assessments


Students at Locust Grove generate formative and summative data by taking a pretest and posttest within a unit, and reflect on that data by performing an item analysis. An item analysis is a structured reflection that helps break down a test into meaningful components for a student. Pretest item analyses help students identify which learning targets they already know, where they need support, and help determine where they should start in their Learner Pathways. Posttest item analyses show students what they’ve learned, which learning targets they have mastered, and how their learning has grown through the unit.

For students to complete an item analysis, teachers provide a form to students that pairs with each assessment. The form walks students through each problem they missed and aligns each problem with a learning objective. Students are then able to group wrong answers and identify trends and possible gaps in their learning. For example, an item analysis for the Rational Numbers unit might show that a student has mastered identification of rational numbers, missed a few problems adding and subtracting them, and struggles applying multiplication and division to this concept. This student’s Learner Pathway would be adjusted so they focus some of their time on addition and subtraction of rational numbers, and the majority of their time on multiplication and division.

Student Does

  • Takes pretest before an instructional unit and posttest after the unit.
  • Works through item analysis to determine learning targets they have mastered based on the pretest.

Teacher Does

  • Adjusts students’ Learner Pathways based on strengths and gaps identified in item analysis.
  • Provides supports for students who need coaching to perform the item analysis.
  • Conferences with student to discuss item analysis and its implications for teaching and learning.

Technology Does

  • Provides easy to adjust Learner Pathways that can be modified based on student need.

Strategy Resources

Locust Grove Sample Pretest: 8th Grade Physical Science Unit 1

Teachers at Locust Grove Middle School give students pretests before the start of a unit... Learn More

Locust Grove Item Analysis (with Learning Targets)

Teachers at Locust Grove Middle School design pre-assessments to directly align with the learning targets... Learn More

Learner Pathways at Locust Grove Middle School

Hear from Locust Grove students and educators about how Learner Pathways are incorporated into routine... Learn More

Locust Grove Sample Performance Task Rubric

Students at Locust Grove Middle School demonstrate mastery through performance tasks. Teachers build rubrics to... Learn More