The Maryland State Department of Education has been working with IMS Global Learning Consortium since 2009. As a member of the PARCC consortium, Maryland has administered QTI® and APIP® supported online assessments for two years, with a projected 95% online assessment participation rate in 2017. These standards have not only supported the state to transition to a 100% online testing environment, they have enabled the state to do so while delivering more valid and reliable high-stakes assessments. With QTI/APIP, traditionally underserved populations, such as deaf and blind students, can test online for the first time. In addition, the accessibility features for all students, such as answer masking, magnification, and color contrast, support the state’s commitment to Universal Design, ensuring that all Internet-delivered content is accessible to all. The state has been integrating the QTI/APIP standards into all of its online assessments, with the new Maryland Integrated Science Assessment scheduled to go live in the spring of 2017 and the new High School Assessments to follow in the spring of 2018.
IMS Global Learning Consortium is revolutionizing assessment by providing the technical specifications that enable high quality interoperable digital assessment, both summative and formative. These specifications, QTI (Question & Test Interoperability) and APIP (Accessible Portable Item Protocol) have been helping to lead the assessment industry forward for many years.
The goal of the IMS work is not to increase the number of high stakes assessments, but rather to improve assessment quality and integrate actionable assessment into the daily lives of faculty and students to help them achieve better learning.
Leading states, state consortia and suppliers around the world are now using IMS standards on a massive scale, realizing significant cost savings, supporting major advances in assessment functionality and improving the response time to receiving results compared to paper-based assessments .
State and institutional leaders have been discovering the power of interoperable digital assessment as being more effective and efficient. This has lead to broad adoption of IMS standards. The collaboration of end-users within IMS has focused efforts on their requirements to better support high quality assessment, teaching and learning. This end-user collaboration has also led to breakthrough support for accessibility in digital assessment, or APIP.