Designing, Developing, and Implementing an Accessible Computer-Based National Assessment System

  • Magda ChiaEmail author
  • Rachel Kachchaf


As states adapt new content standards that support college and career readiness, there is a need to develop assessments that produce valid and reliable measures for all students. This chapter describes the overall processes and individual tasks that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) implemented to produce one of the most accessible mathematics and English language arts/literacy assessment systems. The assessments are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and are geared to students in grades 3–8 and 11. This chapter explains the ways in which the consortium operationalized and implemented universal design principles throughout the entire assessment design and development process, including creation of the test administration platform, item writing, piloting, field testing, and scoring. In addition, the authors share how Smarter Balanced emphasized utilizing a multidisciplinary approach and evidence-based decisions-making processes. The chapter shows how these approaches resulted in a suite of embedded and non-embedded accessibility resources that can help meet individual student needs. The ability to customize individual test instances reinforces a paradigm shift away from considering the needs of student groups (e.g., English learners, students with disabilities) to focusing on each individual student’s specific need(s). The chapter closes with a call for future work and research that includes identifying how technology can meet the needs of individual students, in particular low-instance populations.


Common core Standards Accessibility Assessment design Disabilities English learners Accessibility resources 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford University, Understanding Language/Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and EquityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.University of California Los Angeles, Smarter Balanced Assessment ConsortiumLos AngelesUSA

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