Item banking: theory, practice and delivery

Item banking: theory, practice and delivery woman attending webinar
Date: 12 Mar 2024 - 26 Mar 2024 Venue: Online
Time: 12:30 - 14:00
Type: Workshop series Fee: £265 (Members - £238.50)

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Bookings close 11 March 2024 at 11am (UK time)

Do you want to gain Cambridge insight into the best approaches to item banking?

This interactive series of three workshops will provide you with a practical approach for using item banking as a process to produce assessment material effectively and efficiently. Each session builds on the learning from the last, with a chance to reflect on the content during the weeks in between.

The workshop will be relevant to those working on the production of assessment content. For example, you may be involved in writing assessment material or the design and management of processes and procedures related to assessment.

What is Item Banking?

Item banking is the process of creating and maintaining a large set of items for the purpose of constructing multiple versions of an assessment or test.

If you are new to item banking, or have limited experience, this workshop will give you everything you need to get going. Or if you are more experienced and want to refresh your skills this workshop will increase your understanding of the underpinning principles and boost confidence in your practice. Over the three week course, we will investigate how you can set up your own item bank using a common database, as well as considering what you should look for in commercially available systems.

Whether you are working in an awarding organisation, as a teacher, or in management in an education setting, this is the course will be valuable to your practice.

Workshop dates

Week 1 12 Mar 2024 | 12:30 - 14:00 (UK time) Title:  Principles and theory of item banking
Week 2 19 Mar 2024 | 12:30 - 14:00 (UK time) Title:  Exploiting item banking
Week 3 26 Mar 2024 | 12:30 - 14:00 (UK time) Title:  Practicalities of delivering item banking

Course outline

These workshops will provide you with a comprehensive guide to item banking. You will learn about the principles and theory behind item banking, be provided with practical information and guidance, and have opportunities to consider how to apply these to your own context.

By the end of the three weeks, you will be equipped with the relevant information you need to be able to implement item banking in your setting:

  • Week 1 - Learn about the concept of item banking and the theories behind it by linking the principles of good assessment (e.g. validity, reliability and fairness) to your own context
  • Week 2 - Explore what is needed to ensure you develop an effective item bank with the tagging of items and documentation to support item writers. Investigate how item banking supports pretesting and start considering how to calculate what resources are needed to run an item bank efficiently
  • Week 3 - Examine different system requirements for item banking, developing a checklist of factors for either developing your own system or selecting from those commercially available.

In addition to the workshops, you will take away resources to support you in your own context in developing an item banking system which works for you.

Key learning outcomes

By the end of the three sessions you will have:

  • learned key principles of item banking design, relating them to areas of validity and reliability
  • developed an awareness of how item banking can support pre-testing and trialling of assessment material
  • explored how to establish a system for tagging items to support effective use of the item bank
  • considered your context and how to apply the content of the workshops to your situation.

Course trainer

Margaret Cooze Margaret Cooze is a freelance language and assessment specialist. She holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and an MSc in English Language Teaching Management. She has taught in Guatemala, Japan and the UK with a particular interest in the teaching and assessment of writing. 

Margaret has also worked for Cambridge Assessment managing the production of a range of assessments for language learners and teachers. She has also led on assessment reviews, benchmarking and comparability studies as well as supporting awarding bodies in gaining recognition for their assessments. 

She is now involved in the design, development and production of assessment materials as well acting as moderator and Principal Examiner for English assessments for Cambridge International. Alongside this, Margaret has recently written for Cambridge University Press and also designs and delivers training on the principles of assessment, question paper content writing, the operational aspects of assessment systems and also language awareness for teachers with recent work in Sweden, Lesotho, Pakistan, Botswana, Eswatini, The Bahamas and Vietnam.

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