Kansas Alternate Assessment

Dynamic Learning Maps

Eligibility - Participation Guidelines
Dynamic Learning Maps
Testing Window
Test Administrator Responsibilities
Support Links

Dynamic Learning Maps™ Participation Guidelines

Participation in the Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment requires a yes answer to each of the following questions. Each state participating in the Dynamic Learning Maps will determine whether its IEP teams must select alternate assessment as the appropriate option for all subjects or whether teams may decide a student’s participation separately for each subject.

Participation Criterion

Participation Criterion Descriptors

Agree (Yes) or

Disagree (No)?

Provide documentation for each

1. The student has a significant cognitive disability

Review of student records indicate a disability or multiple disabilities that significantly impact intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior.


*Adaptive behavior is defined as essential for someone to live independently and to function safely in daily life.

Yes  /   No

2. The student is primarily being instructed (or taught) using the DLM Essential Elements as content standards

Goals and instruction listed in the IEP for this student are linked to the enrolled grade level DLM Essential Elements and address knowledge and skills that are appropriate and challenging for this student.

Yes  /   No

3. The student requires extensive direct individualized instruction and substantial supports to achieve measureable gains in the grade-and age-appropriate curriculum.

The student

a.     requires extensive, repeated, individualized instruction and support that is not of a temporary or transient nature and

b.    uses substantially adapted materials and individualized methods of accessing information in alternative ways to acquire, maintain, generalize, demonstrate and transfer skills across multiple settings.

Yes  /   No

The following are not allowable (or acceptable) considerations for determining participation in the Dynamic Learning Maps

Alternate Assessment.

  1. A disability category or label
  2. Poor attendance or extended absences
  3. Native language/social/cultural or economic difference
  4. Expected poor performance on the general education assessment
  5. Academic and other services student receives
  6. Educational environment or instructional setting
  7. Percent of time receiving special education
  8. English Language Learner (ELL) status
  9. Low reading level/achievement level
  10. Anticipated student’s disruptive behavior
  11. Impact of student scores on accountability system
  12. Administrator decision
  13. Anticipated emotional duress
  14. Need for accommodations (e.g., assistive technology/AAC) to participate in assessment process
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Dynamic Learning Maps

*Kansas is participating in the DLM History-Government pilot in 2016.

The Dynamic Learning Maps and Essential Elements page contains information for English Language Arts (ELA), Math, and Science.

Main DLM page for Kansas


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Testing Windows:

Instructionally Embedded Instruction - October 7-March 1

-One testlet for each Essential Element chosen in ITI interface
-Each testlet is assigned separately
-Teacher chooses linkage level

Spring Assessment Window - March 16-April 28, 2016

-5 testlets per subject
-The system delivers each testlet upon completion of the one before
-System chooses linkage level
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Test Administrator Responsibilities

-Complete Personal Needs Preferences (PNP)
-Complete all required training
-Prepare students for assessment
-Administer the DLM assessment
-Check student data
-Update Personal Needs Preferences
-Update First Contact
-Use the ITI to select EE's
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What is a PNP? (Personal Needs Preference)
Customize Display language & braille audio and environment
First Contact
Sensory characteristics
Motor characteristics
Computer access
Instruction in administration manual
Good news!!
PNP & First Contact Survey
Data carries forward from 2015-16 if the student still has the same ID
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Required test administrator training for DLM teachers participating in 2015Š16 testing is available on a state-driven schedule. The Guide to DLM Required Test Administrator Training (pdf) http://www.dynamiclearningmaps.org/sites/default/files/gtrt_2015-16.pdf is a great place to start, with information about accessing the DLM Moodle training site for your first login. http://training.dynamiclearningmaps.org/login/index.php

New Testing Administrators must complete 4 modules. (at 80%)

Part 1 - About the DLM System Video: 28:00
Post-test time: 15:00
1.Describe the components of the DLM system:
a. Learning Maps
b. Claims and Conceptual Areas
c. DLM Essential Elements
d. Testlets and Linkage Levels
2. Clarify the security demands of the DLM system
Part 2  - Accessibility by Design Video: 55:00
Post-test time: 15 minutes
Participants will learn:
1. Accessibility by Design
2. Six steps to customize DLM accessibility supports for students
3. Testlet Information Pages
4. Testlet delivery and results
Part 3 - Understanding and Delivering Testlets in the DLM System
Video: 44:00
Post-test time: 15:00
Participants will learn:
1. Testlet structure
2. Item types
3. Completing testlets
4. Standard test administration process
5. Allowable practices
6. Practices to be avoided
Part 4 - Preparing to Administer the Assessment
Video: less than 26:00
Post-test time: less than 15 minutes
Participants will learn:
1. Checking Data
2. Completing the First Contact Survey
3. Utilize Practice Activities and Released Testlets
4. Planning and Scheduling for Assessment Administration Days
5. Considerations for Test Administration

Returning Test Administrator Training -Review of the DLM AA System Video: Less than 24 minutes (at 80%)

Post-test time: 20:00

Participants will learn how to prepare for the DLM assessment:

1.Reviewthe components of the DLM Alternate Assessment System

2.Clarify the security demands of the DLM system

3.Review accessibility options and allowable practices

4.Review test administration practices

This guide helps access Dynamic Learning MapsTM (DLM) required test administration training in Moodle.

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Use this checklist to access and manage participation in required test administrator training. Major tasks are listed with links to resources.


  1. Review the About DLM Required Test Administrator Training section. Page 3 of this manual
  2. Review any additional guidelines provided by the individual state or district about expectations for DLM required training. Page 24 of this manual
  3. Make sure to have an Educator Portal account. This is a necessary step before gaining access to Moodle. See TEST ADMINISTRATION MANUAL
  4. Wait at least one week after receiving an Educator Portal account, then log in to Moodle. Gain Access and Log In to Moodle on page 11
  5. Complete the required training course, including facilitated training sessions, self-directed modules, and post-tests according to your state's requirements. This step should be completed at least two weeks before the first test administration window of the year. Complete a Module (self- directed on page 14 and Take a Post-Test on page 16
  6. View progress and results. Monitor the Completion of Required Test Administrator Training on page 22


For questions regarding the online testing system or for additional assistance, please contact the Help Desk at 1-855-277-9751 (toll-free) or DLM-support@ku.edu.

  • The Help Desk is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time.
  • During your state's spring testing window, the Help Desk is open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time.
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Frequently Asked Questions

1.    What are the DLM System Technology Specifications?
The DLM system technology requirements will ensure quality and performance for the alternate assessment.
A PDF of the DLM System Technology Specifications is available here.
-     See more at: http://dynamiclearningmaps.org/assessment/faq.html#q2
2.    Essential Elements
What are DLM Essential Elements?
The DLM Essential Elements are specific statements of knowledge and skills linked to the grade-level
expectations identified in the Common Core State Standards. The purpose of the DLM EEs is to build a
bridge from the content in the Common Core State Standards to academic expectations for students
with the most significant cognitive disabilities. 
-See more at:  http://dynamiclearningmaps.org/moreinfo/essential_elements/index.html 
3.  Professional Development for Dynamic Learning Maps
Library of Beginning Level Books Easy-to-read book collection created to provide students with significant cognitive disabilities access to the Exemplar Text content listed in Appendix B of the Common Core State Standards at a complexity level that will help them develop reading skills.
DLM™ Professional Development (external link)
  • Virtual community of practice provides a place for teachers to access information and ask questions about the
  • Dynamic Learning Maps and related professional development. Webinars will focus on specific topics important to the instruction of students that take an alternate assessment. For example how will students with limited or no hand movement complete the writing portion of the assessment?
  • Online Self-directed Learning Modules To help educators understand the Common Core State Standards and their application to students with significant cognitive disabilities, the Dynamic Learning Maps™ consortium has created and will continue to create self-directed learning modules. Each of the interactive modules is short (30-45 minutes on average) and focuses on a single topic.
  • Facilitated Modules for Groups. Facilitated training modules are videos with breaks built in to them. A facilitator could play the video and then stop it when directed in order to facilitate activities and discussion.
Special Education Assessment Listserv
The Special Education Assessment Listserv is used to send out information about standard, assessments, and professional development for students with disabilities. This listserv has information about the general and the general assessment with and without accommodation for students with disabilities as well as information about the alternate assessment for students with disabilities.
To sign up, send this information:
Subject line: KAA Listserv
Body of message: Email address, First Name, Last Name, USD Number, USD Name, Work Phone Number
Send to this address:
You should get a confirmation email within 10 days.
General Alternate Assessment/DLM Information
Information for Parents of Students with Disabilities (PDF)
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DLM Support Links

Introduction video:


After your testing coordinator has uploaded you and your students into the KITE system you will be able to:
Complete the First Content Survey for each student taking the DLM.
Complete the PNP for each student taking the DLM.
Choose the Essential Elements for each student taking the DLM. Number of elements chosen is dependent on grade level. The majority need (5).

Blueprints for tested ELA and Math are found at:

Complete list of Essential Elements can be found at:

A list of other professional development modules for instruction can be found at:

These can be used for PDC points if accompanied by the printed certificates.

View Initial Precursor Items Video:

View Instructional Tools Interface video for testing coordinators:

Writing Information


Testlet information page:
    • There will be testlets for all Essential Elements.


Using the KITE app from iTunes

1.  Once you have your students essential elements entered into the DLM/KITE system, you are ready to download the KITE app from iTunes.  This is a good alternative if your tech guy has not installed the KITE software on your computer and it is a free app:) 

2.  A hint to use the app:  You will need to turn on guided access in order to use this app.  You will need to go into:  Settings; accessibility; and turn "guided access" on.

3.  Then go to the app and open it and triple click the home button which will start guided access for you.  

4.  This screen is where you will type in your student's username and password.  If you would like to go into the app and see an example of the types of questions that your student will be asked you may use the following sample user name and password:

username:  demo.sue.29
password:  wall3

5.  Then you will click on the practice tests and the essential elements that you would like to view.  This was very beneficial to see what the testing format will be for each grade level. 

Test Updates:


For additional help contact:





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