Item Writer/Reviewer – Item Writing

  • Key stage 1 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; and Mathematics and Science). 
  • Key stage 2 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; Mathematics and Science). 
  • Professional Skills Tests for Prospective Teachers (Literacy and Numeracy)

An Item Writer/Reviewer is responsible for creating/reviewing:
questions, items or tasks; 
•     marking instructions; 
•    commentaries, texts and rationales, where appropriate; 
which conforms to the Standards Testing Agency’s (STA) requirements. 

The role involves working with an Education Consultant, other Item Writers/Reviewers and SQA teams to ensure consistent application of standards and subject specific integrity of decision-making in relation to content.

These activities will be co-ordinated by an Education Consultant and staff from SQA’s Contract Operations Team.  It is intended that the work packages allocated to each Writer/Reviewer will allow them to produce them in their own time, whilst meeting SQA requirements for submission to STA.

Outline of duties

  • Produce and review new question(s)/item(s)/task(s) and marking instructions in accordance with the item specification and guidance from the Education Consultant.
  • Ensure question(s)/item(s)/tasks(s) and marking instructions are of a suitable standard in terms of validity, reliability, accuracy, content, degree of difficulty, spelling and grammar.
  • Review, refine and amend the items as a result of informal trialling, expert review, or any other feedback provided. 
  • Identify sources and copyright requirements for submission along with question(s)/item(s)/task(s) and marking instructions by specified dates.
  • Classify items according to the item type, content and cognitive domains from the test framework and where appropriate, provide evidence for its classification.
  • Ensure activities are concluded by specified dates and assist in ensuring resources are used effectively and efficiently.
  • Make recommendations where appropriate to SQA for improvements to systems, processes and procedures etc.

Item Writers may be asked to undertake additional activities. These activities will attract additional payment and could include the following:

  • Informally trialling items with appropriate age range / ability groups to derive qualitative data on item performance.

Selection criteria

Successful candidates must have expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Key stage 1 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; and Mathematics and Science) 
  • Key stage 2 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; Mathematics and Science)
  • Professional Skills Tests for Prospective Teachers (Literacy and Numeracy)
  • be able to demonstrate creative ability to generate assessment items
  • be able to communicate and engage professionally, confidently and effectively with other appointees and SQA staff both orally and in writing
  • be able to work professionally and co-operatively with other appointees and SQA staff
  • be able to demonstrate good forward planning and time management skills and adhere to deadlines
  • have a home computer or laptop with broadband internet connection and a private e-mail address
  • it would be advantageous if they are working in, or have access to, a school for informal trialling of the materials produced.

Key Performance Measures for Item Writer/Reviewer

Performance will be measured against the accomplishment of the duties specified within individual contracts, within the prescribed timelines and to the required standard.

 

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