Achievement & Assessment Institute
Accessible Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Systems

ATLAS promotes learning by creating accessible and academically rigorous technology-based learning and assessment systems. The center serves students with disabilities, struggling learners, and teachers through several projects focused on improving student outcomes. 

The center’s primary assessment system, Dynamic Learning Maps® (DLM®), is designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. DLM assessments are available in English language arts, mathematics, and science and are administered in 18 states. ATLAS also develops and delivers customized alternate assessments in social studies for individual states.

I-SMART (Innovations in Science Map, Assessment, and Report Technologies) is a four-year research project that seeks to bring rigorous science assessments to students with significant cognitive disabilities and other struggling learners. I-SMART’s goal is to narrow the gap between the Next Generation Science Standards and existing learning models in order to increase science achievement.

5E-Model Professional Development in Science Education for Special Educators (5E-SESE) is a development and innovation project to help teachers develop necessary knowledge and skills to provide effective inquiry-based science instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The 5E-SESE system includes professional development modules and instructional coaching.

ATLAS’s learning map models, assessment design, and teacher resources are informed by the center’s research projects and by innovations in psychometrics that support the measurement of map-based learning. ATLAS fosters partnerships with diverse organizations that share our focus and commitment.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today