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Aligning to standards from the "get go:" Designing alternate assessments based on states’ standards, expanded benchmarks, and universal design Sue Bechard,

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Presentation on theme: "Aligning to standards from the "get go:" Designing alternate assessments based on states’ standards, expanded benchmarks, and universal design Sue Bechard,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Aligning to standards from the "get go:" Designing alternate assessments based on states’ standards, expanded benchmarks, and universal design Sue Bechard, Measured Progress NCME, Montreal, April 14, 2005

2 Comparison of test development process for general and AAC assessments

3 Process used to develop aligned alternate assessments for the AAC 1. Develop crosswalks 2. Develop consensus frameworks 3. Develop expanded benchmarks 4. Develop two types of alternate assessments (performance tasks and instructionally embedded assessments)

4 Develop crosswalks Collect state standards (nine states) Spreadsheet developed using structures suggested by national content organizations (NCTE, NCTM, NCES) All state standards are compared by essential concepts/topics and grade level the topic was first introduced.

5 Develop Consensus Frameworks Crosswalks were examined for consistency across states. Common topics were extrapolated. Mismatches were negotiated using consistent decision rules. Vocabulary was standardized. State content experts reviewed for coverage CAST examined for universal language PLT reviewed and finalized

6 Develop Expanded Benchmarks The consensus frameworks standards were expanded backward by grade spans (El., M.S., H.S.). Assumes a learning continuum that has been defined by content experts. Assumes all students pass similar learning milestones for acquisition of academic content.

7 Develop expanded benchmarks: Considerations of content Content is described along a continuum in each essential concept/topic from least to most complex to capture the range of students in this population. Content covers the small steps that typical students learn incidentally, but must be directly taught to students with significant cognitive disabilities.

8 Process for expanding benchmarks 1. Identify foundational skills to describe what are all students asked to do, e.g.: Reading = comprehend graphic symbols Writing = use graphics to convey meaning 2. Conduct task analysis, e.g., reading: Connect objects to words Connect words to symbols Connect symbols to print

9 Expanding benchmarks (cont.) 3. Lay out expanded benchmarks along learning continuum for each essential concept/topic, in measurable terms, using universal language. 4. Conduct reverse alignment from benchmarks back to standards.

10 Concepts and expanded benchmarks

11 Project leadership team determined content of assessments Content area/grade level foci: Elementary/science: characteristics and structure of living things Middle school/reading and writing: informational and functional text, write in a variety of genres, considering audience & purpose High school/mathematics: patterns, relations, and functions of algebra.

12 Develop assessments: Considerations of context Age – appropriate topics and materials are used: Elementary students understand living vs. non-living using mealworms and conducting experiments with celery. Middle school students comprehend informational text using newspaper articles and biographies. High school students use manipulatives to build fences and bridges to demonstrate understanding related to linear equations.

13 Relationship of content and context in AAC alternate assessments Considering content and context

14 Develop assessments: Considerations of learning modality Principles of universal design used to construct tasks and activities. Students with significant disabilities require multiple means of access. Flexibility in adapting materials and providing response options is necessary for valid results.

15 Number of assistive technologies used by students in AAC pilot How many assistive technologies (AT) did the student use during day-to-day instruction? Number of AT Items Selected Number of StudentsPercent Total

16 How many words does the student communicate expressively by grade range? (in any mode—speaking, writing, signing, gesturing, pictures, symbols, or objects)?

17 Develop Assessments (cont.) Templates are used by PT for each step

18 Develop Assessments (cont.) Templates are used by IEA for each day

19 Write steps (PT) and days’ lessons (IEA) linked to activities - Based on principles of universal design To elicit measurable behaviors/products linked to benchmarks With scoring rubrics in mind Reviewed for bias

20 Scoring Rubrics PT - Level of independence IEA - Number of indicators with evidence of independent student performance Each content area had unique numbers of indicators listed in each of the rubric levels

21 Conclusions The pilot assessments would have benefited from an assessment blueprint indicating specific expanded benchmarks. Procedures can be followed to align alternate assessments to standards at the time of test development. More research is needed to determine if students with significant cognitive disabilities acquire skills in a sequence that has been identified by content experts.


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