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ERIC Number: ED489140
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Maximizing the Effectiveness of Online Accountability Assessments for Students with Disabilities. Policy Briefs
Axelson, Mary
Appalachia Educational Laboratory at Edvantia (NJ1)
Online assessment promises a faster and more useful return of data about student performance in states accountability assessments. The prospect of gaining quick access to such information is alluring, and many states are creating new assessments for an online environment in order to obtain it. This period of retooling presents a significant additional opportunity--that of improving the assessment of students with disabilities. By employing universal design principles--i.e., using methods that take differing abilities into consideration from the start of a project-states can maximize the effectiveness of their new assessments for measuring the knowledge and skills of students with disabilities, while also improving the speed and usefulness of their systems generally. Adapting universal design practices can guide assessment developers as they work to capture the considerable potential of online environments to give educators a better picture of student learning. Universal design of assessment is specifically intended to benefit those students who have physical disabilities or learning disabilities that impede their interpretation of assessment items or their responses to them. Secondary benefits for all students, however, are likely to be the final result. This brief outlines the potential of acting during this historical moment to significantly improve accountability assessments through universal design of their online versions. Success with universal design will require collaboration among individuals with expertise in several distinct areas of specialized knowledge--including universal design, special education, online technology systems and applications, assistive technology, assessment, and content standards--all working within an environment of evolving legislation. This document provides an overview of the various facets of this congruence of specialties, discusses the potential of their interplay, and encourages a joint effort as states create online assessments. (Contains 36 endnotes.)
Appalachia Educational Laboratory at Edvantia, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348. Tel: 800-624-9120 (Toll Free); Tel: 304-347-0400; Fax: 304-347-0487; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A