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What to Look for in a Digital Assessment Platform

A more reliable, responsive, and flexible alternative to pencil and paper testing, a digital assessment platform can drive innovation in education. However, with plenty of options in the market, it’s difficult to identify which platforms will make a positive systemwide impact — and which are full of empty slogans.

As your school or district moves toward digitalization, you must assess and standardize factors that impact how well your systems and the data within them work together. Ensuring that your new EdTech follows industry specifications is the first step to leveraging a digital assessment platform to deliver the best results in education.

Below serves as a checklist for key factors when considering a new investment for a digital assessment platform for your school or district.

The findings are based on Question & Test Interoperability® (QTI®), Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®), and other specifications as established by IMS Global. These serve as industry standards for digital assessment and provide a single framework for integrating Ed Tech into your school system.

Accessibility

Investing in accessibility in your school or district has multifaceted benefits. Designing digital assessments for accessibility at the foundation of your tech stack increases your potential number of users and enables scale. In addition, accessibility ensures that students of all abilities can use your new platform with ease and receive optimal outcomes.

A digital assessment platform that’s built for accessibility delivers on the following factors:

  • Consistent assessment interface across the experience
  • Flexible options for navigation
  • Logical sections for headings and titles
  • Contrasting text and color use
  • Descriptive text with test items and visual elements

Whether you use third-party or original content within your digital assessment platform, control and full customization ability are key to a personalized and accessible testing experience for all students.

Security

Safety and security systems are vital to educational institutions. They guarantee not only student privacy but data security of all parties operating within the school or district. To ensure your digital assessment investment is optimized for security, check that it’s LTI® certified. The new version of LTI® leverages the IMS Security framework to “align LTI® with industry-best security.”

Here are the functions of an LTI® compliant application:

  • Control the sharing of personal data with an “off” function.
  • Personal data sharing is only allowed when backed by safeguards to guarantee continued data privacy.
  • Ability to review the privacy controls at any time.

When your digital assessment tool or platform follows the LTI® interoperability standard, students and staff can use various educational tools, including cloud-based applications, with the highest level of security in data, location, and role.

Integration

Accessibility and security are at the crux of choosing a digital assessment platform that meets your school’s or district’s needs. However, if the new technology does not seamlessly integrate with your existing systems, your investment will quickly fall flat.

Below are the integration capabilities that you must consider before investing in a digital assessment platform.

Adaptive Testing Capability. Testing and learning can be united in assessment once you establish interoperability between your systems. With Computer Adaptive Testing specification set by IMS Global standards, you can create assessments that adapt to individual students’ learning levels and create a clear picture of what’s happening in the classroom.

Learning Management System (LMS) Integration. When your digital assessment platform has the ability to integrate with your existing learning applications, you gain the ability to review test results or scoring in real time. In addition, all changes that are created in your assessment platform, like content and authoring, are reflected in the LMS — and vice versa.

By ensuring that your digital assessment application is built on open interoperability standards, you gain the ability to integrate with any existing system within your organization, like an LMS or SMS, through the LTI® framework. Integration enables the breakdown of data silos to create an open, data-driven Ed Tech ecosystem.

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Accessibility, security and ease of integration are key to your digital assessment platform investment. With those factors at the foundation, digital assessment not only enables a more personalized and accommodating experience for students, but when founded on a standard format for data exchange, optimizes every part of learning, testing, scoring, analysis, and school operations.