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Alternative Assessments

The terms alternative assessments and alternate assessments are used to refer to two different but related categories. Types of assessment other than traditional paper-and-pencil tests are often called alternative assessments. While traditional tests are composed of items in various formats (e.g., multiple choice, true-false, or short answer), alternative assessments take a variety of forms and are in some cases closer to authentic work in the disciplines. Good alternative assessments provide sufficient structure to ensure that important learning targets are assessed; however, they also provide important flexibility and support for students to show what they know and can do. The term alternate assessments is used for assessments employed in place of standardized achievement tests to assess the same or modified learning outcomes for students with disabilities. ...

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