Strategic Investment Will Expand OAT’s Solutions Portfolio and Advance ACT’s Transformation to a Learning, Measurement and Navigation Organization
SAN FRANCISCO, CA and IOWA CITY, Iowa—ACT, the non-profit learning, measurement and navigation organization known worldwide for education and workforce assessments such as the ACT® test and ACT® WorkKeys®, announced today a strategic investment in Open Assessment Technologies S.A. (OAT), the award-winning provider of open source assessment solutions and best known for its QTI®-native assessment platform, TAO®. Financial terms were not disclosed.
ACT’s investment affirms OAT’s leadership in QTI-based assessment solutions and will enable OAT to further scale and diversify its product and service offerings globally. In addition, OAT, as steward of the TAO open source community, will continue to integrate feature contributions by ACT and other leading organisations to the benefit of assessment users worldwide, providing a robust foundation for product interoperability, a key requirement for digital learning and assessment solutions across educational and corporate sectors.
“Both ACT and OAT are committed to delivering enhanced capabilities to customers more efficiently and at a lower cost compared to traditional offerings,” said Marten Roorda, ACT CEO. “The TAO platform reflects ACT’s vision of building innovation in assessment through the power of open source and open standards.”
ACT’s investment aligns with its goal to deliver digital assessments that support education and workforce skills measurement. Currently, ACT uses the TAO platform to deliver ACT WorkKeys, a comprehensive assessment program that aligns, builds and certifies the skills needed for workplace success. Tens of thousands of employers across the US and the world use WorkKeys assessments, and nearly 4.4 million credential certificates have been issued.
“We are pleased to work with ACT as we pursue a shared vision of spearheading and accelerating the adoption of open source solutions and technology standards to make interoperability a reality,” said Marc Oswald, co-founder and CEO of OAT. “The adoption of open source and open standards has become critical, because it enables the disaggregation of content and platform and improves system interoperability to support modern assessment needs and preferences.”
“At OAT we see first-hand the global demand for adaptive learning and assessment solutions that help customers eliminate proprietary data silos and empower them to retake control of their content and data, leading to a reduction in the operating resources needed—both human and financial,” Oswald added.
Since the launch of OAT in 2013, customers around the world have benefitted from having a sophisticated edtech partner who helps them transition to a digital assessment and learning environment.
By capitalizing on TAO’s QTI-native item bank, customers avoid getting their content assets trapped by proprietary data formats. And, by relying on the company’s focus on privacy and information security compliance, they increase the security of student and candidate data when delivering assessments at scale through the TAO Cloud™.
“The world’s leading digital assessment organizations have a very effective collaboration in IMS Global, focused on open standards for highly engaging and innovative assessment of learning,” said Dr. Rob Abel, chief executive of IMS Global. “The investment in OAT by ACT is further evidence of the broadening demand for innovative solutions based on open standards enabling the next generation of digital learning and assessment.”
OAT is the publisher of TAO, the leading open source, scalable, and secure assessment platform available in a suite of off-the-shelf and software-as-a-service (SaaS) product editions. In addition to providing the #1 QTI-native content development and test delivery solution for education and employment, OAT also offers value-add, enterprise services and a portfolio of support and maintenance plans to its customers.
OAT leads the Open Source community, advancing the TAO technology, co-chairing the QTI standards committee, the Standard on CAT, and initiating and then chairing the IMS Executive Board on Assessment for two consecutive years. OAT is committed to the interoperability of assessment components and leads its customers in reimagining and delivering future-proofed digital learning and assessment solutions.
TAO is a modular, customizable, and interoperable suite of open technologies for meeting the end-to-end needs of digital assessment development and delivery—from individual classroom assessments that support personalized learning to national high-stakes testing programs. The TAO platform enables customers to develop innovative types of assessment items to collect rich and meaningful data that connects assessment with learning. With over 20 million tests delivered in over 30 languages, TAO is the de facto standard for delivering assessment and learning excellence based on open technologies.
OAT maintains offices in the United States and Europe. Visit https://www.taotesting.com to learn more about OAT and its TAO assessment platform.
ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as a national leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality assessments grounded in nearly 60 years of research. ACT offers a uniquely integrated set of solutions designed to provide personalized insights that help individuals succeed from elementary school through career. To learn more, visit www.act.org.
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QTI is a registered trademark of IMS Global Learning Consortium. OAT is a Contributing Member of IMS Global. For more information go to www.imsglobal.org.
TAO, TAO Cloud, the TAO logo, and the OAT logo are trademarks of OAT in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Ed Colby, ACT Public Relations
Kristen Shue, OAT Public Relations