Actionable e-Assessment Actionable e-Assessment

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.

State Assessment Innovation Leadership Network

The State Assessment Innovation Leadership Network (ILN) is a collaborative group of state assessment and technology leaders working to make online assessment systems, resources, and tools more efficient and effective. Learn more.

  • Dale Cornelius, Maryland State Department of Education
  • Cheryl Alcaya, Minnesota Department of Education

Interoperability of e-assessment items is here and expanding rapidly. Is your state or district taking full advantage of the benefits that QTI and APIP have to offer?  Are you ingesting interoperable items from digital content sources or state level item banks using the IMS standards?  Are you making assessment results readily available in a timely manner to teachers, students and parents?  If not, your state or district should consider engaging with the IMS community to help accelerate your ability to make better assessment available to teachers, students and parents.

By engaging with IMS your state or district will leverage the IMS interoperability standards to enable actionable assessment – not only QTI and APIP, but also Common Cartridge and LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability). All of these standards have a role to play in ensuring that assessment can be easily included in the curriculum and that assessment results are actionable.

IMS institutional members have formed a leadership collaboration to share how they are fostering the alignment of curriculum, instruction and assessment. The IMS K-12 community is leading the way in defining what it means to be a center of excellence with respect to teaching and learning with effective digital curriculum and assessment toward enabling personalized learning. In addition, IMS districts and states are leaders in requiring IMS certification from all suppliers.

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.

Dale Cornelius

Dale Cornelius

Program Manager Online Testing, Maryland State Department of Education

Higher Ed

Higher education is struggling with an e-assessment ecosystem that is largely siloed and separated from learning environments. Assessment items are generally not shared across systems such as: learning platforms, in-class delivery and feedback systems, adaptive learning platforms, homework/assignment systems and assessment platforms. This makes it difficult to make this data meaningful and accessible to faculty so they can see a truly holistic picture of student learning. These separations also present multiple challenges to departments, schools and colleges, and institutions when this data is needed for business needs, such as accreditation.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  IMS standards can enable integration and interoperability among these products.

The IMS HED community is leading the way by developing the use cases that will enable multiple systems to share data easily and offer greater benefits to faculty, students, and the institution. The work focus on an integrated progress dashboard that is indifferent to the products or platforms the institution and faculty prefer. This single point of learning analytics leverages IMS’s LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) and IMS Caliper Analytics. Institutions are prioritizing the focus of this important work. 

The IMS HED community is focused on helping IT (information technology) and academic leaders enable more usable and actionable e-assessment. This type of revolution requires effective collaboration among leading institutions, including what defines a center of excellence with respect to enhancing teaching and learning with effective digital curriculum and assessment. 

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