Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM)
DLM Assessments will be given during the April 11-May 13 testing window.
What is it?
Created by Kansas University and utilized by a consortium of states, the DLM Alternate Assessment System is designed to measure what students with significant cognitive disabilities know and can do. The computer-based assessment provides accessibility by design and is guided by the core belief that all students should have access to challenging grade level content. The system provides the opportunity for students with significant cognitive disabilities to show what they know versus what they don't know.
How does it work?
Most of the testlets are designed for direct student interaction via computer (based upon student a survey that measures their ability to interact independently with the system). Most items are multiple choice format. Some testlets are administered by the educator outside of the system and then recorded.
This very unique assessment incorporates many levels of adaptive learning standards to effectively evaluate a student on their own individual level of complexity. The initial level is set by the teacher using a student survey. While taking the assessment, if a student answers the items in a testlet correctly, the next set of questions will have increased difficulty.
Who takes the DLM?
Students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3-8 and 11.
These are students for whom general education assessments, even with accommodations, are not appropriate. In order to qualify, students need extensive, direct instruction and substantial supports to achieve measurable gains. Regular instruction for these types of students is based on Essential Elements derived from the common core, content and college and career readiness standards.
What content is assessed on the DLM?
Students will be assessed on the Essential Elements in English Language Arts and Mathematics. In New Jersey, the DLM replaces the Alternate Proficiency Assessment (APA) in these content areas. Students in grades 4, 8, and those who are currently taking HS Biology will still take the APA in science.
What accommodations and accessibility features are offered?
There are four categories of access features; display enhancements, language and Braille, audio and environmental supports, and other supports. Decisions regarding the necessary accommodations for a student are made by the CST based upon individual student needs- not by disability category. All features prescribed for testing should mirror what the student is regularly given during classroom instruction.
Timing and setting options are not defined by DLM because there are no timed or group administrations of the test. Flexibility to accommodate student needs is permissible. For example: the student may take frequent breaks and students can be logged on/off the system as needed.
Accessibility Features include:
- Invert Color Choice
- Color Contrast
- Overlay Color
- Read Aloud with highlighting - Text to Speech
- Text Only
- Text & Graphics
- Graphics Only
- Uncontracted Braille
- Single-switch System
- Two-switch System
- Administration via Ipad
- Adaptive Equipment
- Individualized Manipulatives
- Human Read Aloud
- Sign interpretation of the test
- Language translation of the test
- Test Administrator enter the responses
- Partner-Assisted Scanning
How long is the test?
There are 4-6 testlets in ELA - each taking approximately 10-15 minutes.
There are 6-7 testlets in Mathematics each taking approximately 5-10 minutes.
How is it scored?
There are no raw scores, percentages or scale scores generated by the test.
Results are based upon the student's probability of having mastered each skill. A summary of the student's mastery for each Essential Element will be shared.
Resources for Parents
Students with IEPs and New Jersey State Assessments: Information for Parents and Families
Dynamic Learning Maps Website