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Test Features

Instructionally Embedded Assessment
The Dynamic Learning Maps™ Alternate Assessment System uses items and tasks that are embedded in day-to-day instruction. As these embedded items and tasks are given to a student, the student’s learning is mapped throughout the year. Because of this, testing and teaching happen at the same time. This gives teachers the opportunity to see what students know during the year when teachers still have time to change instruction to better support student learning.

Instructionally Relevant Items
Over the last two decades, we have learned that when accountability is determined through testing, teachers will teach to the test. Therefore, it is important to create tests that are worth teaching to. The new DLM® assessments will be built using items that model good instruction.

Other Key Features:

  • Dynamic assessment
  • Universal design
  • Evidence-centered design including cognitive labs
  • Structured scaffolding


The DLM system will be created to be accessible for students with a variety of disabilities including significant cognitive disabilities, students who are deaf or hard of hearing, students who are blind or have low vision, and those who have neuromuscular, orthopedic, or other motor disabilities. Tests will be flexible enough to accept a variety of responses, such as:

Image: Photo of a Student with significant cognitive disabilities working with a teacher at a desk.
  • Keyboard-entered responses
  • Drag-and-drop responses that use the mouse to sort or label
  • Responses using touch-screen technology (when available)

The system will also be compatible with a variety of assistive technologies commonly used by students. It will also be flexible enough to allow for varying levels of teacher assistance.