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Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM)


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The DLM™ assessment measures the academic progress of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in the subject areas of ELA and Mathematics at grades 3-11, Science at grades 4 and 8-11, and in Social Studies at grades 4, 8, and 10.  This is an online assessment delivered via the computer; however, some students may need their teacher to present the items to them.  The teacher will then enter the student’s response into the online platform.

The DLM system is designed to map a student’s learning throughout the year. The system will also use items and tasks that are embedded in day-to-day instruction. Instruction for these students is based upon the Wisconsin Essential Elements and aligns with the Wisconsin Academic Standards. This gives teachers the opportunity to see what students know during the year when teachers still have time to change instruction to better support student learning

What is a Learning Map?

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A learning map is a network of sequenced learning targets. Often, we think of learning as one skill building on another single skill. A dynamic learning map, by comparison, shows a learning landscape in which multiple skills are related to many other skills. Dynamic learning maps not only show the relationships between skills but also show multiple learning pathways. Instead of assuming that all children learn a skill in the same way, allowing for multiple pathways recognizes that there are alternate ways to learn the same skill. By using dynamic learning maps as the basis for assessments, the DLM system will give teachers a clearer view of each student's knowledge. 

Student Eligibility Criteria

When determining whether a student who is eligible for special education services should participate in the alternate assessment, the student’s IEP team must determine whether the student meets the following criteria.

Participation Criteria:

  1. The student has a most significant cognitive disability.
  2. The student is instructed using the alternate achievement standards across all content areas.
  3. Parents have been notified of:
    • The differences between the alternate achievement standards and academic content standards for the grade in which the child is enrolled, and
    • That the student’s achievement will be measured based on alternate achievement standards, and
    • How the student’s participation in alternate standards and assessment(s) may delay or otherwise affect the student from completing the requirements for a regular high school diploma.

The IEP team agrees that all three of the criteria describe the student, then the student must participate in the alternate assessment.

IEP Teams utilize the Participation Guidelines for Alternate Assessment (Form I-7-A) and the Individualized Education Program: Participation in Statewide Assessments Form (Dynamic Learning Maps Form I-7 DLM) to document their decisions.

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Quick Contacts

Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM)

(855) 277-9751


DPI Contacts:

Special Populations
(608) 267-1288
Data and Student Demographics
(608) 266-9798
Test Security
(608) 267-1069