WIDA Teacher Collaboration and Standards-Based Test Item Writing Course

Online Graduate-Level Professional Development Course

Note: The Item Writing Course is on hiatus, however please see this flyer for more information on how to become an item writer for WIDA

ESL and general education teachers are invited to enroll as partners in the intensive online WIDA Item Writing Course and learn to prepare standards-based language proficiency assessment tasks for ACCESS for ELLs.

In the course, participants will:

  • Practice using the WIDA ELP Standards for assessment purposes
  • Examine the broad principles of language testing
  • Discuss ELL assessment issues with peers across the WIDA states through online discussion boards and chats
  • Help ensure that ACCESS for ELLs test items are linked to classroom practice and curriculum across WIDA states
  • Create standards-based test items targeting specific proficiency levels. Please note that any work that you prepare during your work as a specially commissioned test item writer shall be work made for hire. Ownership of this work shall reside solely with WIDA.
Course Details:
Institutional Host Hosted by the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
Delivered by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)
Credit Upon successful completion of all assignments, you may earn 3 graduate credits from the University of Wisconsin (transferable) or 40 CEUs
Duration Spring Semester (January - March) of academic school year

Paid by the WIDA Consortium

Enrollment Options

Solo enrollment: complete assignments individually

ESL-Gen. Ed. Teacher Pair enrollment: participate collaboratively with another teacher at your school and complete all assignments together

Teachers from past courses have this to say:

"I would recommend this course because I think it taught all of us about the specific needs for ELL students. But also, how to keep the content standards in mind- FOR ALL STUDENTS!"

"It is a must for all ELL and Bilingual teachers as well as any teacher that receives mainstreamed students from ELL classes."

"I think the course gives teachers great insight into ACCESS and a new view and understanding of the assessment. It also provides reminders of how to assess ESL students in the classroom and how to differentiate language and vocabulary for the students depending on the level."

"It increases awareness of the WIDA standards and how important academic language is to developing English language proficiency."

Quick Facts

  • Participants may be contacted following the course to consult for CAL as paid item writers.
  • The ESL/Bilingual and general education "teacher pair" model was introduced in 2008 and continues to be a success!
    • Over half the class consisted of pairs last year.
    • Collaborating was seen as a positive experience.
  • Past participants came from all of these WIDA states:
Alabama New Mexico
Delaware North Carolina
District of Columbia North Dakota
Georgia Oklahoma
Illinois Pennsylvania
Kentucky Rhode Island
Maine South Dakota
Mississippi Vermont
Missouri Virginia
New Hampshire Wisconsin
New Jersey Wyoming