Accessibility Guide for Technology-Enhanced Items

Technology-enhanced assessment items offer innovative features in presentation, engagement, response, and scoring. High-quality TE items can tap complex cognitive processes and simulate real-world instructional situations.

This accessibility guide organizes TE and traditional item types into non-exclusive categories. These categories reflect the cognitive demands of TE items and include alternative formats that may be required for some learners.

TE items

sorting or organizing elements such as words, numerical expressions, shapes, or concepts into groups or categories
assigning labels such as words or symbols to statements, numerical expressions, or images
ordering or sequencing objects, numerical expressions, or text to represent a sequence of events or steps in a process
Selected response
choosing one or more responses from several options
Constructed response
generating a response such as a numerical expression, text, or graph

Alternative formats

Paper and pencil
necessary when computerized assessment is unavailable or inaccessible to the learner
essential when computerized assessment or paper and pencil tests are inaccessible to the learner
Optical scan
required when optical scan software is used for scoring answer sheets

A major challenge for TE items is to ensure that they are accessible to students with disabilities, particularly sensory and motor disabilities that affect access to computers and educational technology. This guide demonstrates TE items and how they can be transformed into accessible options for delivery online, in paper-and-pencil and braille formats, or for use with optical scan answer sheets.

Disability experts, teachers of students with disabilities, and students themselves provided guidance for these recommendations. Data from large- and small-scale field tests supplied evidence for the equivalence of alternate formats of TE items.

All TE items for this project were developed and delivered on KITE, the Kansas Interactive Testing Engine. Other assessment platforms and delivery systems may offer different item types and accessibility features. A complete description of the research activities and outcomes that resulted in these recommendations is available in the ATEA Report of Project Activities.


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