Participate in DLM Events

Dynamic Learning Maps® (DLM®) assessments are for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities for whom general state assessments are not appropriate, even with accommodations. DLM assessments offer these students a way to show what they know and can do in English language arts, mathematics, and science.

DLM assessments also help parents and educators set high academic expectations for their students. Results from DLM assessments are used to inform instruction and meet accountability requirements for reporting student achievement.



Educators working on laptops at a DLM-sponsored event



  • Item Writing

    At our DLM Item Writing events, general and special education experts work together to write items in English language arts, mathematics, and science for the DLM Alternate Assessment System. Item writers attend on-site training sessions and continue to write and review items remotely until they reach the final number of needed testlets.  

  • External Review

    At DLM External Review events, participants evaluate written testlets and ELA texts, learning map models or blueprints, and Essential Elements. Reviewers attend training and learn how to identify potential issues with academic content, accessibility, or biased and sensitive language.

    Testlet reviewers assess items and testlets for the DLM alternate assessments in English language arts, mathematics, and science.

    Map and Essential Element reviewers examine content area maps, blueprints, and Essential Elements for accuracy, conformity to state and national standards, and connections between the target linkage levels and defined Essential Elements.   

  • Scoring of Student Writing Samples

    At DLM Scoring of Student Writing Samples events, participants have an opportunity to apply their unique expertise by providing ratings for student writing samples for the DLM alternate assessment. This process is incredibly important to show reliability in DLM assessment results, and ratings do not impact student scores in any way.

Who Are Our Participants?

DLM event participants are curriculum and content area experts in English language arts, mathematics, or science. They may be special educators or general educators who offer their expertise in their content area and with our student population. DLM event participants often contribute as assessment item writers, external reviewers, or raters. Participants must travel for in-person meetings and are expected to attend the on-site training and all meeting days.

Item Writers

Item writers will write and submit at least two computer-delivered testlets during the in-person meeting and will complete remote item writing. Remote item writing may include writing, editing, and submitting two testlets within a two-week window, and peer-reviewing two testlets within the same window. Remote item writing rounds continue until writers reach the final number of needed testlets, which may vary from content area to content area.

External Reviewers

External reviewers complete individual review assignments (testlets, ELA texts, learning map models, or Essential Elements) and participate in facilitated discussions during the in-person meeting. External review is a collaborative process.


Raters for DLM Scoring of Student Writing Samples complete ratings for assignments during an in-person meeting. The assignments correspond to the participant’s grade-level teaching experience.

Participant Benefits

Participants of DLM events attend training and can learn item writing techniques, how to review testlets, and how to rate writing samples for students with significant cognitive disabilities. All participants contribute to the DLM Consortium and are greatly appreciated and valued as experts in their field. Participants may receive stipends or district reimbursements for substitutes. Other benefits of supporting DLM events:

  • Honorarium or district reimbursement for substitutes
  • Collaboration with others in the field
  • Support the development of assessments
  • An opportunity to share expertise
  • Professional development with assessment specialists
  • A behind-the-scenes view of the assessment-building process
  • General information to share with colleagues about the DLM alternate assessment
  • Networking


Sign Up

By participating in DLM events, experts like you ensure the development of instructionally-relevant, grade-appropriate, and accurate assessments. Thank you for your support and consideration!

Sign up for DLM Events