Technology Enhanced Item Passage BasedWe’re excited that the Edulastic app now has Common Core ELA standards for ALL grades K-12!

We also recently introduced a few new question types to help you align your assessments with crucial ELA standards; you can create some creative and pedagogically rich questions to meet all your students’ needs.

Introducing Passage Based to the Technology Enhanced Items Showcase!

Common Core ELA Standards

On December 17th, 2014 we did a post on Cloze Matrix showcasing our first example of creating a question that’s aligned to a English Language Arts standard. Now it’s time to show you much much more! Below you’ll see how to craft intricate and personalized assessments for a wide variety of ELA standards. 

Notice how this question example covers all criteria for CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.2 CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.4. Other ELA alignment examples you may find through open resources (or presented by other digital tools) will only cover snippets of these literature standards—leaving your students only partly prepared and a few steps short of true mastery. 

*You’ll also notice that Passage Based can satisfy standards like CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.5 as well (please refer to Step 13).

See Passage Based in action!


TEI Passage Based

Standards & Learning Objectives Covered

English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Literature » Grade 8


Key Ideas and Details

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

Craft and Structure

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

What You Want Students To Do

Read one or more passages and answer questions crafted in a range of formats such as: True & False, Multiple Choice, Multiple Selection, Text Entry, Essay Type etc. Demonstrate their ability to analyze and articulate textual meaning, structure, intent, and craft mechanics. 

Pedagogical Value

In this example we’re crafting an assessment that’s aligned to CCSS Reading: Literature standards. Since Passage Based allows you to enter multiple passages, and multiple question formats, you can dive deep into analytical topics like Key Ideas & Details; Craft & Structure; and Integration of Knowledge & Ideas to fulfill each part of these rich standards.


Used primarily in ELA Assessments, but you can use this question type creatively for math word problems by selecting the Numeric Entry w/ Units.

Grading = auto-scoring expect for Essay Type.

Creating a Passage Based Question

Below I’ll cover step-by-step how you can create a Passage Based question to add to your technology-enhanced assessments. *Click each image for an enlarged view. 

The questions featured in the following example:

Answer the following questions after reading this short excerpt of Ray Bradbury’s famous short story “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950):

Questions for RL.8.2

#1A (Multiple Choice):

Which statement best summarizes the central idea of the passage?

A. Technology is a more powerful force than humanity by surviving our destruction.

B. Technology ironically led to the destruction of humanity—but it’s own purpose and perhaps survival depends on humanity.

C. The technology-enhanced house, almost like a living organism, can understand how the world has changed around it.

D. The technology-enhanced house, built to help people live their daily lives, is purposefully carrying out its routines in the hopes that the family will be returning soon.

Questions for RL.8.4

#2A (Multiple Selection):

Closely read the following sentence from the passage:

But the gods had gone away, and the ritual of the religion continued senselessly, uselessly.

In this sentence, “ritual” conveys which two meanings most closely?

A. Service

B. Ceremonial

C. Protocol

D. Formality

E. Habit

#1B (Essay Type):

In a short paragraph, provide a summary of how the eerie actions of the house develop setting—and drive the underlying plot of nature versus technology. What do you think of the house being the main (and only) character?

#2B (Essay Type):

In a short paragraph, describe how word choices have an impact on meaning and tone within the passage. Does this parallel any other texts you’ve read so far?

Step 1

Step 2

From your dashboard click on the main menu button (≡) to access Assessments. From there, click on + New Assessment and then Create New Assessment. 

Make sure you’re on the correct subject and grade level—and then select the standard you’d like to create an assessment for. In this example make sure you’ve selected the following: ELA – Common Core; Grade 8; and CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.2 + CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.4.

*Please note that since you can only select one standard/learning objective from the creation screen, you’ll have to manually add the second learning objective (standards tagging) later. Please refer to Step 11. 

Step 3

Step 4

After clicking Create, choose Passage Based from the interactive question types list.

Start by creating your main question with the Text Editor. From the example above enter: Answer the following questions after reading this short excerpt of Ray Bradbury’s famous short story “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950):

Step 5

Step 6

Give your tab a shorthand label (in this example there will be only one passage excerpt) then cut and paste your passage directly into the main container. Feel free to use the Text Editor to make any important changes or modifications to the passage.

In order to add questions for this passage click Save. After clicking Save you will be able to select “Choose a question type.” Right now we offer seven different question items to accompany Passage Based

Step 7

Step 8

In this example I want to start by adding a Multiple Choice question to cover the first part of RL.8.2. Start by entering your question—and then add each of your answer choices one by one (you may find it easier to craft these in a separate document first, and then copy and paste them over). Choose the correct answer and click Save. 

After you save your Multiple Choice question, you can navigate back to the main Passage Based page to go through the “Choose a question type” process again. In this example, I’ve used Essay Type to satisfy the second, analytical, half of RL.8.2 (“provide an objective summary of the text”). For this, all you need to do is enter your prompt and click Save. 

Step 9

Step 10

This step is simply a preview of what the entire question looks like after you’ve added a Multiple Choice and Essay Type question to the passage. Now you’re done with standard RL.8.2 and you’re ready to move on to RL.8.4.

Click on “Choose a question type” again to begin fulfilling RL.8.4. In this example I want to add a Multiple Selection question to align my assessment to the first part of RL.8.4. This is very similar to Multiple Choice except this time you want to select two or more correct answers. 

Step 11

Step 12

In order to have these questions align with RL.8.4, you’ll need to navigate to the bottom of the screen while still authoring the Multiple Selection question and choose “Learning Objectives.” From here you can search for the desired standard to tag. Click Associate and you’re done!

You’re almost there! Lastly you want to add one more Essay Type question so you satisfy every component of RL.8.4. Add your prompt, click Save, and that’s it (you’re now ready to view your Passage Based question in its final form). 

Step 13

This is the final panoramic preview of your question (make sure to click this image to enlarge). You have your main prompt, passage, and then four questions for two different ELA standards. One last thing…Passage Based allows add multiple passages and excerpts. With this feature you can go one step further and satisfy RL.8.5:

Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.

Hey! I am first heading line feel free to change me

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