Glossary

Action Bar

The menu, in the form of a blue bar, situated under the black Assessment Builder Bar, which appears across the top of all TAO web pages.

Adaptive Test

A Test which changes the presentation of Items based on Test-taker response. Generally achieved through the use of pre-conditions and branching. Advanced.

Assessment Builder Bar

The menu, in the form of a black bar, across the top of all TAO web pages.

Assessment Variable

Technical term for the final score assigned to a Test-taker’s performance in an Item Session or a Test Session.

Asset (Media)

A resource which serves as supporting material in test items, such as a picture or audio file, or a passage (shared stimulus). Once assets have been created or imported into TAO, they can be re-used in new items.

Asset Manager (Media Manager)

The Asset Manager is a universally shared folder which provides a space to store Assets (media), i.e. images, audio and video and (text) passages (also known as shared stimuli).

Associable Hotspot Panel

The panel on the left of the Hotspot Interaction which is being edited, from which the shapes needed for the hotspots can be chosen.

Attempt

A single candidate interaction with an Item that possibly assigns values to or updates an associated Response Variable.

Author

A person who authors material for use in TAO assessments in TAO, typically a teacher. See Item Author and Test Author.

Authoring System

A system used by authors to create and edit Items and Tests. TAO is an example of an authoring system.

Back office

The administrative interface of TAO, which manages items, tests, test-takers and so on.

Base-type

A predefined data type used to define a value set from which Item Variables are drawn.

Basic Item

An Item which contains one and only one Interaction.

Candidate Session

The time during which the Candidate or Test-taker is interacting with an Assessment Item as part of an Attempt. An Attempt may extend across more than one Candidate Session (such as when a Test-taker terminates one Candidate Session in order to answer another question first, and then starts another Candidate Session to return to the original question).

Canvas

The main area in the middle of the screen for the user to define the contents of Items, Tests, etc.

Class

A group of related Items, Tests, etc. Folders in the Library represent Classes.

Common Interactions

An Interaction type which covers many of the simple interactions that are commonly used in testing.

Common Interactions Library

The first section of the Interactions Library which appears on the left when editing an item. It contains the Common Interactions used in TAO.

Composite Item

An Item which contains more than one Interaction.

Container

An aggregate data type that can contain multiple values of unmodified Base-types, or even be empty.

Custom Interactions

An Interaction type which provides library space for miscellaneous Interactions developed by the user.

Delivery

The published version of a Test.

Delivery Execution

The event of a test-taker beginning an assessment based on a TAO delivery.

Delivery Library

The Library of existing Deliveries, situated in the panel on the left.

Delivery Library Panel

The panel on the left, where existing Deliveries are shown.

Delivery System

A system which administers and delivers assessments to Test-takers through the use of a delivery engine, or a process that coordinates both Item Delivery and response evaluation (scoring) and Feedback.

End Attempt

The possibility to exit a test item before it is complete.

Event Log

The Event Log in TAO logs all events, from a user logging in to the system, to creating a new test. The log creates an event ID, provides information on the user and their role, as well as the type and date of the event.

Examplar

In TAO Grader, this is a sample response meant to exemplify the various scores possible for the item.

Extension

The components, or building blocks, of which TAO is made. Every extension adds a new set of features.

Extensions Manager

Architecture used to view and manage installed and available extensions.

Feedback

Any material presented to the candidate as a result of an outcome variable meeting or exceeding particular conditions. This can include integrated, modal, and Test Feedback.

Formula Editor

An editor containing mathematical symbols, used to insert Math Expressions in tests.

Front Office

The test-taker screen.

Global Manager

The global manager has access to the entire platform apart from the system components such as the extension manager.

Graphic

A picture or other image upon which Graphic Interactions are based. They often form the background on which the Interaction is then placed.

Graphic Interactions

An Interaction type which covers the Graphical Interactions commonly used in testing.

Graphic Interactions Library

The third section of the Interactions Library which appears on the left when editing an Item. It contains the Graphic Interactions used in TAO.

Group

Organized collections of Test-Takers who take the same assessments throughout the duration of a course of study.

Group Library

The Library of existing Groups, which appears in the panel on the left when you select Groups from the Assessment Builder Bar.

Inline Interactions

An Interaction type which covers the text-based interactions commonly used in testing.

Inline Interactions Library

The second section of the Interactions Library which appears on the left when editing an item. It contains the Inline Interactions used in TAO.

Integrated Feedback

Feedback which is integrated into an Item. Unlike with Modal Feedback, Test-takers may update their responses while viewing Integrated Feedback.

Interaction

The part of an Item which allows the candidate to interact with an assessment, selecting or constructing a response. Although the term is mainly used for response-based interactions, it also has a secondary use: as it denotes all interactions a test-taker has with TAO, this can include interactions such as clicking on the End Attempt button to signal that he/she wishes to leave that test item.

Interaction Properties Panel

The panel which appears on the right when an Interaction is being edited, where it is possible to define certain properties pertaining to this Interaction.

Interactions Library

The panel which appears on the left when editing an item contains the Interactions Library. It contains the all the available Interactions used in TAO.

Item

The smallest exchangeable object in an assessment. An Item is more than a ‘Question’ in that it also contains the contextual instructions, the processing to be applied to the Test-taker’s response(s), and any Feedback (including hints and solutions). May also be called Assessment Item.

Item Attempt

In TAO Grader, an Item Attempt is the set of responses given by a test-taker to all the interactions of an item.

Item Author

A person who authors and manages items and media to be used in TAO, typically a teacher.

Item Outcome

One of a list of values which are computed during Response Processing, based on a test-taker’s response to an item.

Item Properties

Item Properties define attributes, or characteristics, pertaining to Items.

Item Scoring Group

In TAO Grader, this is a logical grouping of items for the purpose of defining scorer eligibility.

Item Scoring Rubric (Assessment criteria, marking scheme)

In TAO Grader, an Item Scoring Rubric is either a set of Traits, an item rubric bloc showing the scorer’s view, or both.

Item Scoring Rules

See Response Processing.

Item Session

The accumulation of all Test-taker Attempts at a particular Item.

Item Session Control Panel

The Item Session Control Panel contains settings for items in a particular test such as the time allowed for that item. See Test Settings for the properties which can be set in this panel.

Item Variable (Item Outcome Variable)

A variable which records Test-taker responses and any outcomes assigned during response processing during an Item Session. As a special kind of Assessment Variable, Item Variables are also used to define Item Templates.

Items Library

The Library of existing Items, which appears in the panel on the left when you select Items from the Assessment Builder Bar.

Library (Library Panel)

The panel on the left represents the various Libraries. There are Libraries for existing Items, Tests, Deliveries, etc, as well as for possible Interaction types.

List Style

The possible answers will be presented to the Test-taker in the form of a list.

Material

All static text, image, or media objects which are intended for the Test-taker rather than for being interpreted by a processing system. Interactions are not considered to be material.

Math Expression

Math expressions can be entered using MathML or Latex Math.

Media Formats

For maximum compatibility across browsers, mp4 or mpeg formats should be used for video (ACC codec for audio + H264 for video codec), and mp3 or ogg should be used for audio.

Metadata

Information described in the properties of Interactions, Items, Tests, or Deliveries, including everything except their content.

Modal Feedback

Feedback which is not integrated into an Item’s body during presentation to the Test-taker.

Multiple Response

A Response Variable that serves as a container for multiple values taken from a value set defined by a base-type. These are processed as an unordered list, and may be empty.

Ordered Response

A Response Variable which is a Container for multiple values taken from a value set defined by a Base-type. These are processed as an ordered list (sequence) of values, but may be empty.

Outcome

The result of an Assessment Test or Item. These are represented by one or more Outcome Variables.

Outcome Declaration

A declaration of the contents of the Outcome Variable attached to an item or test. An Outcome Declaration defines the characteristics of the Outcome Variable, such as its name, type, cardinality. It can also define properties relating to the scoring method which is to be applied to process the input.

Outcome Processing

The process which tallies the values of Outcome Variables which are attached to an item to create other Outcome Variables attached to a test, in order to produce Test Outcomes. It also computes test variables for use in branching and precondition rules, as well as feedback display conditions.

Outcome Variable

Variables which store outcomes. Their properties are defined by outcome declarations. Values are set either from a default given within the declaration or by a response rule encountered during Response Processing (for Item outcomes) or Outcome Processing (for Test Outcomes).

(Shared stimulus)

Passage Editor

The passage editor is an editor that can be used to create passages which are intended for use in reading assessments.

Pattern

Patterns can be set using regular expressions in the QTI creator. If the Test-taker’s Response does not match the Pattern, an error is shown. The Response cannot be submitted until the input is corrected in line with the pattern.

Pre-formatted Text

Indicates that the text to be entered by the Test-taker is pre-formatted and should be rendered in a way consistent with the definition of pre in XHTML.

Proctor

A teacher or administrator given permission to follow the progress of test-takers sitting a test. A proctor can stop a test.

Proctor Administrator

A teacher or administrator given permission to follow the progress of test-takers sitting a test. A proctor administrator can stop and restart a test.

Proctoring Screen

The screen from which the proctor administrates tests.

Properties

Properties define attributes, or characteristics, pertaining to Interactions, Items, Tests, or Deliveries.

Properties Panel

The panel in which it is possible to define certain properties pertaining to the Interaction, Item, Test, Delivery etc, which is being edited. Usually this is on the right.

Radio Button

A test type whereby the Test-taker is only permitted to select one answer. If an additional answer is clicked, the selection will move to this choice, leaving the first one unselected.

Resource Manager

A method by which to manage and select media files for use in Interactions.

Response

Data provided by the Test-taker through interaction with an Item or Item Part. Associated values are represented as Response Variables.

Response Declaration

A declaration of the contents of the Response Variable attached to an item. The Response Declaration defines characteristics of the Response Variable such as its name, type, and cardinality. It can also define properties used in the scoring of the response, such as Correct response and Score map.

Response Processing

The process by which Response Variable values are scored and Item Outcome values are assigned.

Response Properties Panel

The panel on the right of the Interaction being edited, where it is possible to define the properties pertaining to the Response to this Interaction.

Response Variable

Variables bound to an Item which record the candidate’s Responses. Their properties are defined by Response declarations.

Results

Results in TAO are the output from a Delivery, and contain the test details for each Test-taker sitting a particular assessment.

Results Table

The Results are displayed in a Results Table containing the test results associated with a given delivery, including information on each student who took the test.

Scoring Engine

The part of the assessment system that processes Test-taker Responses and scores them based on Response Processing rules.

Scoring Project

In TAO Grader, the set of parameters which allow the scoring platform to process incoming item attempts, including what to score (deliveries allow linking items attempts to a given scoring project), who should score it (which users are enrolled in the scoring project, along with their roles (scorer, reviewer or supervisor), and how should it be scored (scoring workflow, response-to-scorer assignment strategy, etc).

Scoring Strategy (Scoring workflow)

The strategy defined for the scoring of an item scoring group. This can be simple (scored by one scorer) or read-behind (scored by a scorer and reviewed by a second scorer).

Scoring Strategy User

In TAO Grader, any user that can be given a task in a scoring project. Typically, a scorer, but in more advanced strategies this could be a reviewer or reconciliator.

Scoring Task

In TAO Grader, a link between an item attempt, a user, and an action. Typical actions are scoring an item attempt or reconciling scores with discrepancies.

Section

A section of a Test, which can be managed independently. Settings for item selection and ordering are defined at section level. Item session control and tools (by categories) defined here propagate to the item level.

Shared Stimulus (Passage)

A stimulus is a piece of information which sets the context for a question or a series of questions. A Shared Stimulus is one that is shared between multiple Items.

Single Response

A Response Variable which takes a single value from the value set defined by a Base-type.

Test (Assessment)

An organized collection of Items which are used to measure performance of a Candidate with respect to that person’s level of mastery of a given subject. Assessments contain all instructions required for navigation through a sequence of Items. They also calculate the final score earned by the Test-taker.

Test Author

A person who authors tests, and the management of tests in TAO, typically a teacher. This is an additional role which needs to be allocated in combination with the Item Author role to be able to select items and assemble tests.

Test Center

An educational institution registered to deliver TAO assessments.

Test Center Administrator

Monitors the test sessions and manages the proctors of a test center – in other words can create, remove and authorize proctors for deliveries, as well as proctor deliveries.

Test Center Library

The Library of existing Test Centers which appears in the panel on the left when you select Test Centers from the Assessment Builder Bar.

Test Center Manager

Manages a test center, including registering deliveries and test-takers with the center, and assigning a Test Center Administrator to oversee the test sessions.

Test Feedback

Feedback presented to a Test-taker, based on final score values.

Test Library (Test Library Panel)

The Library of existing Tests, which appears in the panel on the left when you select Tests from the Assessment Builder Bar.

Test Outcome (Test Outcome Variable, Test Variable)

One of a list of values which represent the results of an Assessment.  Values are computed during Outcome Processing.

Test Part

Part of a Test, which can be managed independently. The navigation mode (linear or non-linear) is defined at the test part level.

Test Session

The Interaction of a Candidate with a Test and the Items it contains.

Test-taker (Candidate)

A person who participates in a Test, assessment or exam by answering questions.

Test-taker Library

The Library of existing Test-takers, which appears in the panel on the left when you select Test-takers from the Assessment Builder Bar.

Test-taker Scoring Group

In TAO Grader, the logical grouping of test-takers for the purpose of defining scorer eligibility (test-taker to scorer assignment), for example by classroom.

Test-Taker Tools

A set of accommodation/accessibility tools designed to aid the Test-taker in various ways when taking tests.

Text Block

A framework with which a block-related interaction can be created.

Text Editing Toolbar

The bar which appears above an item during authoring. It enables the item author to insert italics or underline text, or add a math expression or table, for example. See Interaction Authoring Tools for the tools available.

Text-to-speech

The text-to-speech functionality allows test-takers to hear the test questions, or parts of them, read aloud.

Time Dependent Item

An Item which records the accumulated elapsed time for a Candidate Session in a Response Variable, used during Response Processing.

Time Independent Item

An Item which does not use the accumulated elapsed time during Response Processing.

Tooltip

An option in the Text Editing Toolbar where an item author can add a hint, for example, for a particular interaction.

Trait

In TAO Grader, a Trait is a dimension on which to score an item, such as grammar and spelling in items containing text. It includes scoring instructions and is a sub-component of Item Scoring Rubrics.