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CETE staff to present at TASH conference

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Four staff members from the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE) are participating in the 2012 TASH conference in California in November 2012. TASH is a disability advocacy organization that advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities.

Staff members work on the CETE-led Dynamic Learning Maps project, which is developing a computer-based, online assessment for the 1% of the K-12 public school student population with significant cognitive disabilities for whom, even with accommodations, general state assessments are not appropriate. The 13-state DLM Consortium was awarded a $22 million grant to develop the assessment system from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs in 2010.

“Improving instructional quality with students with significant cognitive disabilities”

Presenters: Patti Whetstone, Alan Sheinker, and Kristen Jouannou

Participants will get to experience the Dynamic Learning Map (currently in development) as a tool for both instruction and assessment. With the help of the Dynamic Learning Map, participants will explore how the atypical student learns through alternate pathways that still allows students to learn.

In the future, the Dynamic Learning Map will allow teachers to develop standards-based Individualized Education Programs, use embedded assessments, and monitor student progress throughout the year. The Map will also allow teachers to view students’ foundational skills to inform teachers’ instruction.

“Go ahead and ask: Can students with significant cognitive disabilities take an online test?”

Presenters: Alan Sheinker, Patti Whetstone, and Kristen Jouannou

If you’re afraid to ask, go ahead: Can students with significant cognitive disabilities access and participate in a computer-based, online assessment?

In the summer of 2012, DLM project staff videotaped students with significant cognitive disabilities doing just that. Staff has designed innovated item types in math, tried them with students, and has the video to prove it.

Participants will review various item types and view video footage of students with significant cognitive disabilities engaging in and completing tasks.

“Are the “right” students taking the alternate? How do we know?” (poster session)

Presenters: Amanda Ferster, Alan Sheinker, and Patti Whetstone

The First Contact Census Survey, being completed until May 2013 by DLM Consortium members, is collecting fine-grain descriptive information regarding the characteristics of students participating in an alternate assessment based on Alternate Achievement Standards. The areas of data collection include student demographics, sensory perception, motor skills, expressive and receptive language, computer access, use of alternate communication devices, academic skills, and engagement with and attention to instruction.

In the summer of 2012, educators from seven states within the DLM Consortium participated in the First Contact Reliability Pilot. Members of the Dynamic Learning Map project staff will present the results of the pilot study including the degree that educators were consistent in their ratings, an initial evaluation of assessment mis-assignment, and a description of the assessment needs of the sample.

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