How Renaissance Learning Determines a Book`s Quizzability


How Renaissance Learning Determines a Book’s


The goal of the Content Development Department is to construct valid, reliable reading practice assessments that determine whether the student actually read the book. To accomplish this, Renaissance

Learning™ content developers need sufficient plot- or fact-driven text from which to create a 5-, 10-, or

20-question quiz. After review, some books are tagged as non-quizzable.

Factors That Contribute to a Non-quizzable Text

Insufficient Text

There is simply not enough unique text to generate five fair and memorable questions. For example, some picture books have only one or two words beneath a picture or use phrases, incomplete sentences, or a series of questions to tell a story. Sometimes, the pictures in a book make it non-quizzable. This happens in one of two ways: either the pictures tell the entire story, which makes it possible for a student to pass a quiz merely by looking at the pictures, or the text is very skimpy and actually relies on the pictures to tell the story. Questions in quizzes are not based on the interpretation or memorization of pictures in a book.

Difficult to Falsify

The text in the book cannot be plausibly falsified.

Unidentified Narrator

The speaker or narrator is never identified.

General or Vague Text

The text is too general, too obvious, or too vague. A general text encompasses too much information to leave room for plausible distracters. A quiz on an obvious text is likely to be passed from the common knowledge the student has without having to read the book. Vague books frequently use the words may, might, can, and could. For example, “When you break the lamp, you might feel upset.” Such language leaves no room for plausible distracters, because any particular person might feel a different emotion in a certain situation. Quizzable texts provide examples with named characters and concrete events.

Repetitive Text

The text is simply too repetitive or the information from one page to the next overlaps too much. It is very difficult to write five fair, distinct questions for these books.

Lack of Information or a Plot

Texts that are simply lists, steps, or recipes may also be deemed non-quizzable as they do not lend themselves to plot-driven or fact-driven questions. Cookbooks, arts and craft books, science experiments, and other how-to books are examples. These books may be considered quizzable if they offer background information, facts, results, conclusions, or other extra information that pertains to the topic and is presented in a prominent manner that a student is likely to read.

Reference Material

Reference books would in all likelihood not be read cover-to-cover and are almost always deemed nonquizzable. Many how-to books are also considered reference books.

Familiar Content

Stories and songs that are very familiar (such as nursery rhymes or popular folk songs) are often deemed non-quizzable because the quiz could be passed by most students without reading the book.

Novelty Books

Novelty books, including rebus, puzzle, pick-your-own-ending, lift-the-flap, and pop-up books are most often deemed non-quizzable. There is no guarantee that a student will read information that is concealed under a flap or in a pocket, and flaps can be removed or torn out with heavy use.

Undefined Foreign Words

Books containing foreign words that are not defined in the text are often deemed non-quizzable.

Sidebars and Text Boxes

Books in which the only useful information is contained in sidebars or inserted in text boxes or captions may be deemed non-quizzable.

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