Recent Advances in the Accessibility of Digitally Delivered Educational Assessments

  • Michael RussellEmail author


The last few years have seen rapid adoption of computer-based testing across a majority of states. A variety of technology-enhanced items (TEI) have been introduced to state testing programs. Several state testing programs have experimented with automated scoring. Many testing programs and test vendors have embraced the concept of interoperability and have begun developing test content and delivery systems that comply with internationally recognized standards. And the concept of accessible test delivery has shifted testing programs from accommodating students with special needs to increasing accessibility for all. This chapter describes several advances in accessibility that have occurred over the past decade. Many of these advances have capitalized on the flexibility of digital technology to embed accessibility content into test items and accessibility supports into test delivery systems. Using information about each student’s accessibility needs, digital tests are now able to customize the content presented to students and the access tools available to them as they perform a test. In addition, interoperability standards support the exchange of items across systems, and guidelines have been developed to inform the creation of specific representational forms of content. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the need to create consistency and commonality across a number of areas: accessibility supports, terminology, and guidelines and standards used to inform the development and encoding of accessibility information. Standardizing accessibility will require compromise by assessment programs and test vendors but will solidify recent advances and create common practices and expectations across classrooms.


Computer-based assessment Technology-enhanced items Accessibility supports 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Boston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

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