ERIC Number: ED467724
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Universally Designed Assessments: Better Tests for Everyone! NCEO Policy Directions.
Thompson, Sandra; Thurlow, Martha
This report argues that educators need to take a more global approach to addressing educational assessment issues, a universal design approach in which increased access for all students is considered from the beginning. Principles of universal design in architecture and other areas are listed. These include equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive use, perceptible information, tolerance for error, low physical efforts, and size and space for approach and use. The report then translates these principles into elements of universally designed educational assessments, including: (1) inclusive assessment populations; (2) precisely defined concepts; (3) accessible, non-biased items; (4) amenable to accommodations; (5) simple, clear, and intuitive instructions and procedures; (6) maximum readability; (7) comprehensibility; and (8) maximum legibility. Plain language editing strategies are then listed. Recommendations include reduce wordiness, use common words, avoid ambiguous words, avoid irregularly spelled words, avoid proper names, avoid inconsistent naming and graphic conventions, avoid unclear signals about how to direct attention, and mark all questions. The report closes by explaining dimensions of legibility and characteristics of maximum legibility. The need to progress toward universally designed assessments as rapidly as possible is stressed. (CR)
Descriptors: Achievement Tests, Disabilities, Educational Assessment, Educational Testing, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Standards, Student Evaluation, Student Participation, Test Construction, Test Format, Testing Accommodations, Testing Problems
National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota, 350 Elliott Hall, 75 East River Rd., Minneapolis, MN 55455. For full text: http://education.umn.edu/NCEO/OnlinePubs/Policy13.htm.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Educational Outcomes, Minneapolis, MN.