Data Standard v2.2a introduces a limited set of changes to the Data Standard v2.0 model in the assessment domain and makes a small set of changes to the LearningObjective entity. The changes with the most impact on field implementations are described below. Those working with assessment data integrations are advised to review all changes listed in the All Individual Changes section below.
A number of issues raised by implementers concern the composite key of the Assessment entity. The composite key in the Data Standard v2.0 is composed of 4 elements: AssessmentTitle, Version, GradeLevel and Subject. This key cascades into other domain entities including ObjectiveAssessment, AssessmentItem and StudentAssessment.
This structure presents a few issues in field use:
The composite key values do not guarantee uniqueness.
An individual key field is not available for a particular assessment (e.g., a technically valid assessment can have no prescribed grade level).
The proposed v2.2a introduces a new key consisting of AssessmentIdentifier and Namespace. This key follows the "partial-key surrogate pattern" where a source system surrogate key (in this case, AssessmentIdentifier) is introduced and is scoped organizationally (in this case, by a vendor-specific Namespace). Based on implementer feedback, it appears that vendors most typically use UUIDs for the surrogate key.
The Data Standard v2.0 requires a grade level collection on the assessment entity. Assessment providers note that assessments often do not target a particular grade level, but rather can be applicable to many grade levels. In addition, some assessments may have no clear grade level indexing (e.g., an IQ test). In accordance with this, GradeLevel is made an optional collection in Assessment in the proposed v2.2a.
Assessment providers also noted that assessments can cover multiple subject areas, so AcademicSubject was made into a required collection on the Assessment.
Since learning objective metadata regarding grade level and subject behave similarly to that of the Assessment entity, the changes above were also made to the GradeLevel and AcademicSubject in the LearningObjective entity.