Education Insights

Technology-Enhanced Items: 6 things you need to know


The TEI Hierarchy Pyramid

When building meaningful assessments for your students, it is essential to consider the implementation of technology-enhanced items (TEIs). These assessment items are computer-delivered questions that allow students to express their knowledge through a variety of formats, including (but not limited to!) graphing a word problem, labeling a map or diagram, completing complex algebraic equations, dragging images to proper locations,  selecting words to be capitalized, fill out a table matching ideas/concepts, filling in the blanks or identifying keywords/phrases in a literary passage. TEIs provide countless benefits to students and educators, but oftentimes educators don’t know where to start when building assessments featuring TEIs. With the use of TEIs, a test of 40 questions can generally be reduced to 25-30 questions to test the same information and increase the fun and reduce the time in test-taking.  New to TEIs? Here are 6 things you need to when creating and implementing them.

  • TEIs are an intuitive and authentic method for expressing learning for today’s students, mimicking real-world scenarios. Today’s students were born into and live immersed in a technological world, and TEIs are another manifestation of that natural environment.
  • High-level thinking and problem-solving skills are positively impacted by TEIs due to the ability for students to engage moreactively with questions. Standard response questions don’t provide the same level of engagement. TEIs emphasize “doing” over “knowing.”
  • TEIs level the playing field for students. Answering TEIs is more about expressing knowledge in an authentic way than it is about knowing how to take a test.
  • When constructing TEIs, the rigor, alignment, and quality of content is equally important as those of standard response items.
  • TEIs offer valuable insight into a student’s thought process. Insight that cannot be easily achieved through other styles of questions. TEIs allow educators to consider response time, tool usage, response changes, item navigation, and other variables when evaluating a student’s assessment performance. This provides invaluable data that enables educators to craft more meaningful assessments in the future.
  • Results from TEIs provide a glimpse into curriculum and instruction that is not readily available through standard response questions. The data gathered from TEIs can empower educators to refine their instruction to better serve their students.

The use of TEIs in your assessment can transform your students’ learning as well as your own instruction. Are you ready to use them? Learn more about our assessment tools, or schedule a demo with one of our experts.


Dave Sutton – Director, Sales Engineering
Mr. Sutton joined Performance Matters in 2005 for establishing business partnerships that create value for our shared customers. David has worked in the technology industry for over 30 years and has vast experience in both customer relations and sales. He began his Performance Matters career in the sales department. Due to his passion for consulting and education, Dave transitioned into the Customer Relations area in 2008 where he has actively managed large and small district implementations, and created personalized training plans to meet district needs, then was moved into managing the Customer Success Team. Through working with the sales team to bring solutions to prospects, David has become the Director of Sales Engineering. Prior to joining Performance Matters, Dave owned a successful consulting firm and worked for other business intelligence companies to create data analytic systems. Mr. Sutton received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration – Accounting from the University of Georgia.