Learning Sciences Institute Australia

Effective teacher-based assessment adjustments for students with disability


About the project and an invitation to schools, teachers and students. This project is working with teachers in secondary schools to see how they develop adjustments in classroom assessments to allow students with disabilities to do as well as possible.

Teachers are required by law to provide such adjustments to give students opportunity to demonstrate their learning, while at the same time meeting course requirements for student outcomes.

There is little research or practical guidance on how to create assessment adjustments in classroom assessment. Too often, schools and teachers rely on the very limited types of accommodations available to students on standardized tests and examinations, when many more options are available. This is not necessary in classroom assessments that teachers develop, where it is not even necessary for students to all do the same assessment task, as long as the same curriculum learning focus is maintained. However, a central concern of many teachers, and students and their parents, is how to create assessments and assessment adjustments that are fair for all.

This project has a specific student focus. We are studying secondary school students taking subjects such as English, Maths and Science, Health and Physical Education, or the Arts. The nature of the disabilities of the students in our study does not prevent them from studying the curriculum at their school Year level. Adjustments may be needed in how students are taught, how they can access curriculum materials, and how they are assessed, the focus of our study.

Data collection for the project is being collected through an innovative online research site. The site not only provides the mechanism for easy data collection from teachers, students and parents, but it also provides resources and discussion forums for participants in the study.
The project has received approval from many system authorities in many states. After developing all our resources and data collection tools, we have completed a pilot with a school in 2017. In 2018 we are collecting data from all Australian schools, teachers and students who would like to participate. If you are interested in being involved in this project, please email acap@acu.edu.au.


  • Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant, $310,900


  • 2015-2018