RTTT Performing Fine Arts Assessment Project

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Test Items

Writing Test Items

Please use this Guide for Writing Performing Fine Arts Test Items

The guide provides a discussion of the performing fine arts elements assessed by the tests. Modules 1-3 provide an introduction and background information; Modules 4-6 provide information writing selected-response items; Modules 7-9 provide information on short-answer and extended-response items; Modules 10 through 12 address cognitive complexity levels, item difficulty, and universal design; Modules 14 and 15 are checklists; and Module 16 discusses the use of media in items.

Item Specifications (see Item Specs page) provide general and grade-specific guidelines for the development of all test items used in the Performing Fine Arts assessments for dance, music and theatre for grades K–12. It identifies the manner in which each benchmark is assessed at grades K–12; provides content limits and stimulus attributes for each benchmark; and gives specific information about content, item types, and response attributes.

Assessing the Performing Fine Arts

Overall Considerations

Guide to the Item Specifications

Criteria for the Performing Fine Arts responding items—
item style, format, and guidelines, difficulty and cognitive complexity

Universal Design

Item Review
(Checklists for: Short Answer & Extended Response or Selected Response )

Use of Graphics and Media


Project Review Process for Test Items 

(Review began with Grammar Review and ended with Leadership Review.)

 8.  Leadership Team Review
 7.  Final media checked in “item preview”
      (Is the graphic/video media viewed appropriately?  Can the audio media be heard appropriately?)
 6.  Lead Content Review using the Item Specifications and Checklists (See Checklists above)
 5.  Content Review using the Item Specifications and Checklists (See Checklists above)
 4.  Bias  & Sensitivity
 3.  Copyright
 2.  Layout
      (order of distractors, placement of media, appropriate media type-MP3, MP4 or jpg, etc.)
 1.  Grammar

ASSESSMENT: gathering information about where the student has been, where the student is now, and where the student should be, relevant to academic and artistic expectations

MEASUREMENT: the use of systematic methodology to observe artistic behaviors in order to represent the magnitude of performance achievement, task completion, and concept attainment

EVALUATION: the comparison of assessment information in relation to a standard or set of preestablished criteria


RTTT Performing Fine Arts Cloud On-line Media Store (COMS)


Content Area






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Logging onto the Cloud Online Media Store (COMS)


  • The media files in COMS should be used exclusively for Performing Fine Arts test items developed for your School District.
  • You must be a Florida Public School Employee and credentialed by your School District to use COMS.
  • There is a field for NEW USERS.  Just enter your School District email address and register.  OR submit your email address to Digital Worlds Music and Media Producer, Ethan Tripp, at ethan@digitalworlds.ufl.edu
  • Once your email address has been activated by Digital Worlds, type in your email address into the New Users dialogue box on the home page, then click “Register.”
  • A confirmation email with a link will be sent to you. Click the link and follow the instructions to set your password to log into COMS.

Using the Cloud Online Media Store (COMS)


If you are just browsing the RTTT Cloud Online Media Store (COMS) without any particular piece of media in mind, you can narrow down media in COMS through the menus on the left side of the screen. If you are certain of the exact text within a piece of media, you can skip the menus and just use the search bar. However, the text must be spelled exactly as displayed in the file name.

For example, if you were looking for an audio excerpt of Bach’s Minuet in G played by acoustic guitar, you could search for it in one of two ways:

Side menu search

  • Go to the Media Type menu and select audio.
  • Then go to the Instrument menu, find acoustic guitar (under a-c alphabetical submenu), then click it to further your search, showing all acoustic guitar audio media.
  • Then go to the Composer menu and select Bach.
  • Following all these steps will show only audio pieces, performed by an acoustic guitar, composed by Bach. It should be noted that you could do the previous three steps in any order, and at any time use the text search bar to narrow your search down if you use the exact text as shown in the file name.

Text search

  • If you know the exact text that exists in the file names of the media you are looking for, you can just type it into the search bar on the top-left side of the media viewing box.
  • Using normal spaces, you can type specific keywords and combinations to pull up the media you’re looking for. You do not need to use hyphens or underscores. There is a drop down menu that occurs as you type in the search box. If you want to see all media at once that contains your searched text, simply press the enter key before clicking anything in the drop down menu.
  • Type “bach guitar”  OR
    • Type “bach minuet g guitar”  OR
    • Type “minuet bach acoustic”  OR
    • Type “bach minuet in g excerpt acoustic guitar”  OR
    • Any combination of the above. You can also use a combination of the side menus and text box by typing a vague keyword like “rhy” and then use the menus to narrow down your search by instrumentation, tempo, genre, etc. The options that will show up in the side menus will change depending on how far along your search you already are.

Note: COMS is not a “commercial release” database. It was intended as a means to quickly browse media created for the RTTT Project. Some of the new media created towards the end of the Year 3 may not be displayed as a discrete category in the menus on the left hand side of the screen. So if you don’t see a category for what you are looking for (i.e. “wind ensemble”) simply enter a text search in the Search Bar. Search “wind ensemble” and all wind ensemble media will show up.


  • Once you have decided which pieces of media you wish to download, click the “Download” link within the media box for any given item.
  • This will download file formats as follows:  .wav for audio, .png for images or scores, and .mp4 for videos.

Quick Tips

  • Simple rhythms, labeled “rhy” in the file name, can be found by searching “rhy” in the search box, or by going to the Rhythm menu and finding a note length that you want to be prevalent in the rhythm you are looking for, or you can select multiple rhythmic values to show all simple rhythms. You can always narrow down your search by choosing the available instrumentation or tempi of audio recordings from the Instrument or Tempo menus.
  • Simple melodies, labeled “mel” or “vocal mel” can also be searched for in the same manner as simple rhythms.
  • If you have any usability problems, please click the customer service link on COMS to send an email, we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

NOTE: This information was developed under a grant from the U. S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U. S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.