DLM Alternate Assessment

About the Assessment

DLM is the assessment Iowa uses to meet federal mandates for a summative alternate assessment. In prior years, Iowa has previously elected to meet this mandate by embedding the assessment in two instructional windows (fall and spring). Since DLM does not currently have a process in place for remote administration for the 2020-21 year, only the Spring window will be required. This meets the requirements in new legislation, SF2310, which states that state and federal assessments will not be waived this school year. 

For students in grades 3-11 that participate in the DLM, there will be no required assessments for the Fall 2020 Assessment Window. Fall testlets will be available and administration is encouraged for students that are receiving in-person or hybrid instruction to complete onsite. Information from the assessments can be used for consideration to determine COVID-19 Recovery Services.

The DLM Science Alternate Assessment is for students in grades 5, 8 and 10 and is a year-end spring assessment that measures student outcomes of yearlong science instruction. There are instructionally-embedded science testlets for students to take during the Fall Assessment Window, these are highly encouraged, but not required for students to complete. 

Because many Iowa schools are offering parents both brick-and-mortar and virtual options for all students for 2020-21 because of COVID-19, and because DLM does not have a valid on-line administration, testlet administration is optional through Dec. 2020. The Department of Education encourages teachers of students attending school in a typical building setting to administer testlets for three reasons: (1) support inferences about the need for Recovery Services due to school interruptions, (2) to maintain continuity, and (3) to increase the likelihood of better student performance during the Spring testing phases. The Fall DLM phases are not required for 2020-21.

Administration Phases for DLM 2020-21:

Optional: Fall Phase 1 – Sept. 14, 2020 – Oct. 30, 2020
Optional: Fall Phase 2 – Nov. 2, 2020 – Dec. 18, 2020
Required: Spring Phase 1 – Feb. 1, 2021 – March 26, 2021
Required: Spring Phase 2 – March 29, 2021 – May 21, 2021

All user accounts, students, and rosters must be completed in the DLM System no later than Sept. 14. Students’ First Contact Surveys and Personal Needs and Preferences (PNP) must be completed in the DLM System no later than Sept. 28.

The State of Iowa’s DLM Instructional Resources and Test Blueprints are located on Iowa’s Alternate Assessment Google Site.

District Assessment Preparation Steps: Aug. 17 – Oct. 1, 2020

  1. All teachers complete the required training for the assessments that they will be giving this year. Training is accessible through Iowa’s Alternate Assessment Google Site.
  2. District Data Stewards will create accounts in the DLM System for teachers and students. If you are a new district-level contact and need an account set up in the DLM System, please contact Jennifer Denne to have an account created.
  3. Teachers are required to use and maintain the State of Iowa’s DLM Instructional Resources and Test Blueprints within the student’s cumulative record. The State of Iowa’s DLM Test Blueprints outline what Essential Elements in each content area; English Language Arts, Math, and Science are to be tested and the amount of testing required during each assessment window. Students must complete all testing requirements within each assessment window or will be considered an exclusion.

Exclusions may be appealed through the Department.

Note: Paraprofessionals/Classroom Associates are not authorized to administer the DLM Alternate Assessment.

  1. The Dynamic Learning Maps blueprints and other instructional resources are located on Iowa’s Alternate Assessment Google Site as well as under “Iowa” on the Dynamic Learning Maps site.

DLM Service Desk Assistance

Teachers who experience difficulties with the DLM system will complete and forward the DLM Service Desk Template to their district alternate assessment coordinator/data steward. The DLM Service Desk Template is located on the Iowa Department of Education’s Alternate Assessment webpage. District alternate assessment coordinators/data stewards may also contact the DLM Service Desk by calling (855) 277-9751 or emailing DLM-support@ku.edu.

When contacting the DLM Service Desk or the Iowa Department of Education for assistance in administering the DLM Alternate Assessment, the only allowable student information a district may share via email is the student’s state identification number. Do not include the student name or date of birth.

Resources to support district implementation of the DLM Assessment and data management activities (e.g., enrollment of users and students and roster students to content area tests) are found within the State of Iowa’s DLM website and at the Iowa Department of Education’s Alternate Assessment webpages. A District Point of Contact Calendar will be posted on the Iowa Department of Education website that outlines timelines and activities throughout the school year.

Note: Paraprofessionals/classroom associates are not authorized to administer the DLM Alternate Assessment.

There are stringent test security requirements, and teachers must follow all test administration requirements including using only allowable accommodations or modifications, printing only the Testlet Information Packets allowed by DLM and destroying after administration and not printing, copying or sharing any test item. Testlets are administered through DLM following the test blueprint items selected by the teacher during initial completion of Steps 3 and 4.

DLM Alternate Assessment