Online Item-Writer Training Course
Item Writing 101
Item Writing 101 is a user-interactive online course designed to take the potential item writer through all the phases of constructing an item—from the assignment to the last answer option—in addition to providing an overview of test development and the COMLEX-USA examination series, in particular.
Item Writing 101 consists of seven learning modules (five mandatory, two optional). Here is a brief summary of the modules included in the course:
- Overview provides information on the NBOME Assessment Tools, the COMLEX-USA examination levels, item development cycle, opportunities for item writers, and the architecture of an item.
- Blueprints explains the components of the COMLEX-USA blueprint (Dimension 1 and 2) and shows how the components impact an example item-writing assignment.
- Item-Writing Guidelines explores in-depth the successes and failures of clinical scenarios, lead-ins, and answer options, in addition to explaining how to properly reference an item.
- Alternative Item Formats reveals how to create case and matching sets, include multimedia in items, and the different types of OPP integration.
- Summary provides a succinct summary of the information listed in the required modules.
- Advanced Item Writing explores big-picture ideas and philosophies about learning and item writing. We recommend this segment for item writers who are interested in furthering their item-writing education and honing their item-writing skills.
- The Appendix provides more extensive information regarding topics found in this course, in addition to useful information to which you may want to return in the future as you embark on writing items.
To keep participants interested and involved, there are a number of Quick Quizzes throughout the course, designed to reinforce and test a participant’s knowledge of the material just covered. They consist of two questions that must be answered correctly in order to continue. There is also a final Review Quiz at the end of the course. In order to take the Review Quiz, you must have a passing score on all of the Quick Quizzes. All item writers are required to pass the Quick Quizzes and Review Quiz in order to become certified. In addition, all participants are required to submit two Example Items to demonstrate their proficiency at item writing.
This course is designed for people who would like to submit items for use in the NBOME examinations. In order to take the course, you must meet one of the following requirements: (1) have a D.O. degree, with completion of medical school, and be willing to work with us in writing items for NBOME examinations; (2) be a faculty member at an osteopathic medical school; (3) be recommended as an item-writer by an NBOME Level Coordinator or other senior staff member. If you meet these criteria and wish to take the on-line course just fill out the online registration form. As part of the registration, you will need to complete a quick 10-question pretest that consists of true/false questions. Once you have been approved, you will receive a user-name and password with which to access Item Writing 101.
Once you have access, we recommend that you set aside between two to three hours to complete this course. However, you may also feel free to take the course in shorter time increments at your leisure.
If you do not meet the above criteria but would still like to take Item Writing 101, please contact the NBOME item writing team with a brief description of your reasons for wanting to take the course.