Creating Customized Assessments Using Embedded Touchstone Questions

Creating a customized assessment is quick and easy. You can put Touchstone questions from related standards together, use the additional questions, or even add your own questions.

To do this, access the Touchstone Blueprints in the Resources widget to determine which Touchstone questions you would like to embed in your assessment. Then, navigate to the Assessment Builder widget to begin creating your assessment.  Enter the question IDs for the Touchstone questions and any other questions you would like to use on this assessment. Review and Publish your assessment as you normally would do.

Find just how flexible CTLS Assess can be for formative assessment by creating a custom assessment today!  Contact your TTIS for support.

Remember, Touchstone questions can only be used 1 time by a teacher (District Created Touchstone or embedded within a teacher created assessment).

Copying Teacher-Created Questions is Now Available!

Have you seen a question in CTLS Assess from another teacher that you wanted to use in your class, but needed to make a few changes?   Well you can now copy that question and save it as your own.  Now that the question is yours, you can edit the question and answer choices.  You can only copy and edit questions from another teacher, you cannot copy and edit district-level questions, such as Touchstone questions or vendor questions.  Just look for the teacher-created icon!

To Copy a Teacher-Created question, right click on the question you want to copy, then choose Copy Question.  Make changes to the question and answer choices, then click Save Question.

Save Time by Copying your Tests from a Previous Year in CTLS Assess!

Did you create assessments during a previous school year? Well, no need to reinvent the wheel! Save time by copying those tests over into the new school year. Follow the directions linked below to locate an assessment from a prior year and create a copy and/or move the assessment to the current school year and subject.

CTLS ASSESS-CopyAssessmentsFromPriorYear



New Look, New Name, New Features!

Welcome to a new school year with CTLS Assess!

We are excited to announce that the CTLS Student Performance Tool (SPT) and CTLS Phase 2 will now be known simply as CTLS Assess and CTLS Teach.




Within CTLS Assess there are many new and exciting features! First, you will notice that the dashboard has a fresh new look with user friendly widgets that can be personalized to quickly locate your assessment tools.





Within Item Builder, you will discover three new item types: Multi-Select, Constructed Response, and Extended Constructed Response. Your local TTIS will provide training this year on how to create these items, use them on assessments, and score them to view the data.





Another new enhancement is the ability to customize the weighting or point values for questions in Assessment Builder.





There are also new filter options when searching for data results. These filters include the ability to search data by course, term, type, and completed, active or pending tests. You can also customize the data results to show in order from date up/down and by name.




Under the “Help” link in the top right corner you will notice that you have quick access to assessment and support resources. In this section, you will find video tutorials and step-by-step documents for all aspects of CTLS Assess. This menu also contains Frequently Asked Questions and an option to submit Enhancements Requests.

Teacher Groups

Lastly, administrators can now create “Teams” of teachers or PLCs to facilitate data sharing and analysis among the team members.

If you need additional support please contact your local school TTIS.  We wish you a great new school year with CTLS Assess!

Math Type Now Available in CTLS for Middle/High School Teachers

Attention Middle School & High School Math Teachers

math-typeMiddle School and High School math teachers, are you tired of snipping every question and answer in CTLS Item Builder because of the lack of math symbols?  Have you ever wished that you could use MathType instead?  Great news for the New Year!  MathType in CTLS Item Builder is now available!  If you have MathType on your computer, you can now use it from directly within Item Builder.  If you are a middle or high school math teacher and do not have MathType on your computer, you can put in a work order to have it pushed to your teacher laptop.

The Following are 3 helpful videos:

  1. How to use MathType within Item BuilderFor those already familiar with MathType and simply need to use it with CTLS Item Builder
  2. How to copy MathType equations from a document that is already created – For those with pre-existing assessments in Word that have MathType equations in them
  3. How to use MathType in general – For those who are not already familiar with MathType

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The Following are MathType PDF Directions:

How To Use MathType 

                            MathType in Item Builder


Need more help with using MathType?  Please contact your TTIS for more assistance.

Printing in Test Management

Recently you may have noticed some minor changes to the printing tab in Test Management.  Now you will find a checkbox to print the assessment including the questions, answers and standard alignment for each question.  To do this, click the checkbox and then click “Print Test Document”.  This is a great option as a final check of your assessment including answers and alignment prior to Publishing.

printing-tab For those who would just like the answer key to an assessment, there is now an option to print an Answer Key only.  To print an Answer Key only, click on “Answer Key” at the bottom right.  This will give you an answer key similar to the one below.

answerkeyIn addition, If you would like to work with the assessment without the tables and other formatting that is in place, you can also choose “Preview and Print Test” option to open the assessment in a new browser tab.  Copy and paste the assessment into a new MS Word document so you can edit and customize as needed.


Printing District Created Touchstone Assessments

When you would like to print a hard copy of a Touchstone Assessment, the best location is the Assessment and Personalized Learning site.

The Touchstone assessments are pushed out to iRespond for giving the tests; however, that is not where you should go to print them.  The Touchstone assessments are located on the Assessment and Personalized Learning page of the Intranet.  Follow the steps below to get to the Touchstone Assessments. 

  1. Go to
  2. Under the Employees tab select Intranet
  3. Under Departments, on the left-hand side, select Assessment and Personalized Learning
4. Select the course/grade you teach and find the corresponding Touchstone or mini-Touchstone.
Additional ways to access the Touchstone assessments are as follows:
  • CTLS – If you are working in CTLS, you can also access the Touchstone Assessments on the Web Links tab underneath “For Teachers” located on the dashboard.












Seeking more Questions for a Reading Passage?

Did You Know that when you build an assessment that uses a supplemental passage you can search for all questions assigned to that passage?

Here’s how:

  1. Open Test Management and find a question with a reading passage. If you need additional support building a test you can find it in the CTLS Support Central.


2. To view the question, click on the icon to the left of the question and then select “Click here to view the passage for this item.” If you like the question and passage add it to your test. Then click “Close Question View”



3. Once the question has been added to the test, put a check in the box to the left of the question. Then, click “view.”


4. Click “Find all Passage Questions.”


5. Check the box beside any additional questions related to the passage to add them to your test.


*  If you need additional support contact your local TTIS

New Options for Printing and Editing Test Documents in Test Management


When printing tests in CTLS, teachers now have multiple options for printing to allow editing in a less structured document.  A new option has been added to allow teachers to be able to edit the Microsoft Word document without the tables in a free-form style that is structured exclusively with paragraph and style formatting for easier editing.

clicke hereCTLS-AlternateTestPrintOption