What is TAO?
TAO is an Open Source e-Testing platform that empowers you to build, deliver, and share innovative and engaging assessments online – in any language or subject matter.
TAO (“Computer-Based Testing” or Testing Assisté par Ordinateur in French), was created by the University of Luxembourg and is now maintained primarily by Open Assessment Technologies (OAT).
TAO is the first commercial-grade Open Source assessment development software on the market. It is QTI and LTI standards-based, and operates under audit-proof transparency. Developers can access the source code in order to create and administer their own tests, opening the user to a wide range of potential customizations. Complete ownership of test design has never been this easy; without the restrictions and high costs of proprietary testing, all assessments can easily be displayed with the educational institution’s signature details. Furthermore, TAO is fully compatible with just about all of your favorite commercial add-ons.
As well as the traditional Open-Source e-Testing platform, OAT is in the process of releasing a series of stand-alone and add-on assessment products for Enterprise customers which reflect the needs of different sectors of the assessment community. The TAO Product Suite will include:
- TAO Studio, our authoring tool
- TAO Roster, our student registration module
- TAO Advance, our delivery component
- TAO Grader, our scoring solution
- TAO Insights, our reporting terminal
The following two specialist assessment products are already available:
TAO Advance is a cloud-hosted assessment delivery platform tested with users of ages 6 and above and designed with a responsive design for various devices, the WCAG compliant interface supports the QTI standard and is extendable for custom interactions and adaptable test delivery. The TAO User Guide will guide you through the processes involved in delivering assessments with TAO Advance, with sections on the following topics:
- Preparing Test Sessions (how to get ready to prepare your tests for delivery and register the candidates who are going to sit them). See here for an overview.
- Delivering Tests (includes information on test centers and proctoring, as well as delivering tests using LTIs). See here for an overview.
- Taking Tests (includes everything the test-taker needs to know, for example what tools are available). See here for an overview.
- Processing Completed Tests (everything you need to know about the scoring process, and what to do with the results). See here for an overview.
TAO Grader is a cloud-hosted online scoring solution that enables human marking of open responses for large-scale assessment programs and small-scale classrooms. TAO Grader integrates with the scoring and data storage capabilities of TAO Studio, Advance, and Insights, facilitating the end-to-end assessment cycle to close the feedback loop between teaching, learning, and assessment.
The TAO User Guide will guide you through the processes involved in manual scoring using TAO Grader, with sections on the following topics:
- Linking TAO Advance to TAO Grader (showing how the communication between the TAO Advance and TAO Grader works). See here for an overview.
- Setting up TAO Grader (how to configure the manual scoring platform, including importing scorers, accessing TAO deliveries and setting up scoring projects). See here for an overview.
- How to score an item in TAO Grader (showing how the manual scoring process is carried out, including how to navigate the platform and how to score responses). See here for an overview.
The images below show two typical test questions which can be constructed in TAO – one is a gap-fill exercise and the other a matching exercise.
Follow the link to try out the demo version of TAO: demo.taotesting.com.