Terms Relating to Scoring Assessments


Scoring items and calculating test results in TAO is a complex process. The scoring process is described both in the section on Scoring in the User Guide, as well as in the course How does Scoring work in TAO? in the Training Center. What the results of an assessment run in TAO look like is described in the section on Results in the User Guide, and in the course Interpreting Results Tables in the Training Center.

As noted before, the developers of technology in the assessment industry have a differing vantage point from the assessment professionals and classroom teachers who use it, and nowhere on the TAO interface is this more apparent than in the area of processing assessment results. The terminology used in this area has a distinct technical ring to it: terms are often motivated by their role in the programming of TAO rather than its use as an assessment tool.

In our assessment scenario, Melanie has finished the test. In other words, she has submitted her answers to the multiple choice questions about capital cities. Now they need to be marked.

A good way of beginning to get to grips with the terminology used in this part of TAO is to remember that tests are processed on two different levels: firstly, on the level of the individual items in the test, and secondly, on the level of the test as a whole. Before we look at these two processes, though, it is useful to have a look at some of the general concepts which are common to both levels. There are four essential concepts which form the backbone of this area of TAO, and these are: Variables, Declarations, Processing and Outcomes.

The following lessons cover each of these four concepts in turn, along with the specific terms they are used in on the TAO platform.