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Curriculum-Based Assessments and Implications for UDL Implementation


Tracey Hall, Ge Vue, and Missy Mengel


National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (NCAC)




Curriculum-based assessments (CBA) are defined as any set of measurement procedures that use direct observation and recording of a student’s performance in a local curriculum as a basis for gathering information to make instructional decisions (Deno, 1987). Two types of curriculum-based models, accuracy-based and criterion-based, are defined. Included is a table, allowing the reader to make comparisons between curriculum-based assessments, precision teaching, and curriculum-based measurement. Implications for access to the general curriculum and evidence of effectiveness are explored. Next, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is discussed as a theoretical framework to guide the design and development of learning environments that represent materials in flexible ways and offers a variety of options for learners to comprehend information, demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and be motivated to learn. The foundational principles of UDL (engagement, action and expression, and representation) are covered to address the ways in which curriculum-based assessments are suited to and complementary with UDL principles. Lastly, links are provided to learn more about UDL and curriculum-based assessments.

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Hall, T., Vue, G., & Mengel, M. (2003). Curriculum based assessments and implications for UDL implementation. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. (Links updated 2014). Retrieved [insert date] from

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