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How to create and use Item Pools

Item Pools allow you to create an assignment that randomly selects items to display to each student. You can specify the number of items to sample from and set specific sampling requirements, or you can choose to have a random number of items displayed to the student. 

Random selection

The random selection option is available in any assignment. You can specify a number under the Number of items to randomly select field and the assignment will randomly pull n items out of the total number of available items in the assignment. The assignment will be randomized to each student.

Sample based on tags

Sampling based on tags is only available for items that have tags in an assignment. This option can be used to create an assessment where students are tested on several topics but you want them to see a varied amount of questions for each topic. 

Example Use Case:

I have 3 topics I want to test: Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry. I have created 10 items for each topic. I want students to see 5 Algebra items, 3 Geometry items, and 2 Trigonometry items, for a total of 10 items. 

Make sure to add different tags for each grouping you need. For this example use case, you would tag all Algebra items with the same tag to sample on that one grouping, all Geometry, and all Trigonometry as such.

Sampling will be available for each tag that was found in the assignment item list. If you have two tags -- "Algebra: Module 1" and "Algebra: Module 2", you will sample those tags independent of each other to create a sampling subset of the topic Algebra.

How to configure the assignment

  1. Create all of the material you want to test on and add those to your assignment. The assignment will act as your item pool, so add all of the items to the assignment that you want to test on.
  2. Add tags to your items based on the specific groupings you want to sample for. If you don't have tags created and added already, you can learn how to create and apply tags here.
  3. Once you have applied tags to the related Items, go to the Assignment Settings, scroll down to the Item Pool section, and check the box Sample based on tags.
  4. All of the tags in your assignment will display so that you can set sampling requirements, including:
    1. Don’t include items with this tag:  Items will not be included in the assignment
    2. 1+: A random selection of the specified number of items will be included in the assignment
    3. Don’t sample based on this tag: Items will not be sampled. Instead, all items with this tag will be included in the assignment.

Note: Don’t sample based on this tag will include all items with the tag unless you have other tags attached to the item that are excluded in other ways. For example, I have an Item tagged with both Tag 1 and Tag 2. I set my Tag 1 settings to randomly select 1 and my Tag 2 settings to 'don't sample'. The student may not see the Item because of the Tag 1 setting.

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