Accessible assessment strategies 

Accessible pedagogical practices can be used to enhance course design, teaching strategies, and assessment strategies. The recommendations below are informed by various frameworks and guidelines, including Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Universal Instructional Design (UID), and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2

These recommendations are ordered according to how one might plan and implement assessment strategies. 





Consider if you can design an assessment where students choose their preferred format (such as a choice between submitting a short paper, an infographic, or recording a video). 

Assuming that the learning outcomes being assessed are not related to a particular method of communication, integrating format options on one/some assessments can enhance engagement and reduce barriers caused by construct-irrelevant factors.

Design timed assessments (such as final exams) so that students can complete them in less than the allotted time. 

Students who encounter obstacles when reading, writing, processing information, or recalling information from memory will be able to demonstrate their learning without undue anxiety due to time pressure. 

Give students opportunities to receive feedback on their learning.

Giving all students feedback on their learning—how they are progressing and where they can improve—allows them to engage in more strategic, self-directed learning. Without feedback, some students may have difficulty understanding what they need to improve upon.

Use rubrics and provide them to students in advance.

Rubrics ensure that all students know how their learning is being assessed and supports self-assessment of students’ own work. They also help to make grading consistent and more equitable between and among those who are doing the assessments.

When a student in your course requires an accommodation to complete tests, quizzes, midterms, or final exams, ensure that a copy is submitted to Student Accessibility and Achievement in a timely manner.

Student Accessibility and Achievement will ensure the conditions are appropriate for students to complete the assessment according to their accommodation plan. 

Back to top 

Read more: