Date
25 August 2019

Design assessments to enable students to demonstrate their understanding

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Planning using UDL in primary settings’

Design assessments with UDL

Design assessments with UDL

Plan for learner variability at the outset.

The important thing about getting an accurate assessment is to universally design it and make sure that we’re actually measuring what we’re hoping to measure,

so to do that we have to use alternatives, multiple assignments, multiple forms of a test so that every student gets a fair and accurate assessment.

Minimise threats and barriers

Minimise threats and barriers

Tyler describes his relief at being able to express his understanding.

Consider potential barriers

Consider potential barriers

Reflect on how you could minimise or remove the following potential barriers:
  • text-heavy assessments
  • multiple choice assessments (paper-based or online)
  • online assessments
  • time restrictions
  • prescribed writing tools (handwriting ot typing)
  • unfamiliar layout
  • length of assessment
  • size and organisation of spaces and boxes to record in
  • printed assessment.

Options for expressing learning

Options for expressing learning

Offer a range of flexible options for students to show what they know through:

  • student portfolios
  • systems where students are involved in keeping tack of their own learning
  • self assessments
  • peer assessments
  • surveys
  • checklists and regular check in times
  • journals and learning stories
  • video or audio recordings.

Reflection questions

Reflection questions

Consider the following questions in your own context.

  • How do I evaluate the knowledge and skills that are directly related to learning goals and expectations?
  • What processes do I use to ensure assessments are accessible, flexible, ongoing, and used to inform teaching and learning?
  • How do I provide multiple means for students to express their thinking?
  • Do I co-construct assessments with students whenever possible?
  • Do I ensure students are supported with the tools and approaches they need to be successful (text-to-speech, Reader and/or Writer, digital version, additional time)?

Source: Adapted from CAST UDL curriculum self-check (opens in a new tab/window)

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Top 10 UDL tips for assessment

Publisher: CAST

Visit website

Website

Know students better: 15 tools for formative assessments

Read time: 21 min

Publisher: Learning in Hand

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Design considerations in primary settings”:

Return to the guide “Universal Design for Learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Universal Design for Learning

Strategies for action:

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