We present a descriptive analysis of 53 naïve assessment constructors’ explanations for selecting test items to include on a summative assessment. We randomly assigned participants to an informed and uninformed condition (i.e., informed participants read an article describing a Table of Specifications). Through recursive thematic analyses of participants’ explanations, we identified 14 distinct strategies that coalesced into three families of strategies: Alignment, Item Evaluation, and Affective Evaluation. We describe the nature of the strategies and the degree to which participants used strategies with frequency and effect size analysis. Results can inform teacher education on assessment construction through explicit instruction in the three families of strategies identified.
- preservice teacher education
- strategy use
- teacher education preparation
- test construction