ACT to Contribute to TAO Open Source Community and Collaborate with OAT on Industry Standards
SAN FRANCISCO, CA and IOWA CITY, IA – (March 15, 2016) – ACT, a leading US provider of college and career readiness assessments and home of the ACT® test, America’s most popular college readiness assessment, has selected Open Assessment Technologies Corp. (OAT) as a preferred supplier for online test delivery technologies.
OAT is an international leader and innovator providing open source assessment solutions, including TAO® and TAO Cloud™ online test delivery infrastructure for K-12, higher education, and corporate environments. OAT’s technology is designed to provide scalable and secure online platforms that can deliver complex technology-enhanced assessments while offering the flexibility and cost-savings of open source software.
“The TAO platform reflects ACT’s vision of building innovation in assessment through the power of open source and open standards,” said Patricia Steinbrech, ACT’s chief information officer. “Both ACT and OAT are committed to delivering enhanced capabilities to customers, more efficiently and at a lower cost.”
There is a strong movement in the US and around the world toward digital assessments to advance both education reform and workforce skills. The adoption of open source and open standards such as QTI® has become critical, as it enables the disaggregation of content and platforms, and improves system interoperability to support the wide variety of 21st Century assessment needs and preferences.
Responding to these market needs, ACT through its collaboration with OAT will become an important contributor to the TAO Open Source community, further strengthening the appeal of innovative open source assessment solutions in education and workforce credentialing. Under this collaboration, the organizations will increase their shared work on both existing and new industry standards, including IMS Global QTI and Caliper™.
“The world’s leading e-assessment organizations have had a very effective collaboration in IMS Global focused on open standards for highly effective and innovative assessment of learning,” said Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive of IMS Global. “The collaboration of ACT and OAT will accelerate the progress and availability of innovative open source solutions based on open standards enabling the next generation of assessment.”
The TAO platform has achieved strong momentum in the assessment market through large-scale U.S. deployments by the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), as well as high-profile international adoption of TAO in countries such as France, Italy, and Switzerland.
“Open Source creates a direct path to innovation for our customers while improving interoperability through the disaggregation of content and technology platforms,” said Marc Oswald, CEO of OAT. “ACT’s reputation as a thought leader with educators, practitioners, and policymakers will help OAT make the case for the central role assessment and Open Source technology can play in enabling teaching strategies that are personalized for individual learners.”
TAO is a modular, customizable, and interoperable suite of technologies for meeting the end-to-end needs of online assessment development and delivery—ranging in scale of individual classroom assessments that support personalized learning to national high-stakes testing programs. The TAO platform enables new kinds of assessment items that can illuminate richer forms of data than is possible with traditional paper and pencil tests. As an Open Source provider, OAT is committed to making those new item types interoperable with other systems.
OAT is the publisher of TAO, the leading open source assessment platform for Education and Public Sector Employment. With offices in Silicon Valley and Luxembourg, OAT is working with educators and assessment professionals around the globe to develop a highly scalable, robust and secure platform that is available free of licensing and test delivery fees. OAT leads the Open Source community to advance the TAO technology and roadmap, co-chairs the QTI standards committee, and chairs the IMS Executive Board on Assessment. For more information and to download the TAO platform, please visit www.taotesting.com.
ACT is a mission-driven nonprofit organization whose mission is “helping people achieve education and workplace success.” ACT offers comprehensive assessment, research, information and program management services to support education and workforce development. With more than 50 years of data and research bolstering its efforts, ACT is committed to improving college and career readiness. For more information, please visit www.act.org.
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