Preparing for PARCC/NJSLA Part VIII – Creating PARCC/NJSLA-Like English Assessments TECRs

Preparing for PARCC/NJSLA Part VIII – Creating PARCC/NJSLA-Like English Assessments TECRs

Jaclyn Siano

Creating PARCC/NJSLA-Like English Assessments – TECRs

This post is part of our blog series on PARCC/NJSLA. In this series, we offer tips and strategies you can use to ensure that your students perform at their very best on the PARCC/NJSLA tests.

One way to assist students to perform at their personal best on PARCC/NJSLA is to simulate the test-taking experience, both in terms of the test content and the testing conditions. This two-part blog post covers how to create a PARCC/NJSLA-like English assessment. Part 1 addressed how to select text, how to identify what is special or unique about the text, and how to write Evidence-Based Selected Response (EBSR) items. This blog will present ideas and templates for creating the assessment’s Technology-Enhanced Constructed Responses (TECR).

What is a TECR?

“This ELA/literacy item uses technology to capture a student’s comprehension of texts in authentic ways that have been historically difficult to capture using current assessments. Examples include using drag and drop, cut and paste, and highlight text features.” (

What types of technology-enhanced items does PARCC/NJSLA utilize?

The PARCC/NJSLA assessments include several types of technology-enhanced items:

  • Multiple Select: These items are similar to multiple choice questions, except that students can select more than one correct answer.
  • Highlight Text: Students highlight sections of the text to identify evidence that answers the question.
  • Reorder Text: Students rearrange text selections to place them in chronological order, or to display theme, supporting details, etc.
  • Drag and Drop Text: Students drag blocks of text to tables to display attributes of the text: setting, characterization, chronology, etc.

At this time PARCC/NJSLA only has a few sample online practice tests. However, instructors can make their own TECR items and integrate the concepts as paper and pencil experiences. It’s a matter of identifying what the question types are requiring of students. By providing additional opportunities to practice TECR items in class, students will be more familiar with the construct of the TECRs. Additionally, the TECRs assess students’ ability to meet Common Core ELA Standards.

Here is a download to several TECR templates you can use in your classroom. Download the template, and fill in the blanks based on the text you use. Students can either cut and paste the items or draw lines to the correct space. Either way, students will have a chance to apply the Standards as well as practice using the TECR formats.

Inspired Instruction would be happy to review your work on PARCC/NJSLA. Email your TECR to along with the text, your reason for choosing that text, and the standards that you wish to assess with the item. She’ll reply with feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Inspired Instruction offers hundreds of PARCC/NJSLA lesson plans, online PARCC/NJSLA-like assessments with technology-enhanced items, PARCC/NJSLA workshops, and PARCC/NJSLA demonstration lessons.

Please contact Michele Regan for more information: or 908-223-7202

Inspired Instruction and Standards Solution Holding, LLC are not owned by or affiliated in any fashion with PARCC, Inc.

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