Cirrus Hidden Gems: The Power of Metadata 

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In this month’s Hidden Gem, we focus on the power of metadata in Cirrus. Imagine having a tool that not only helps you organise your questions, but also streamlines the entire assessment process. That’s what metadata can do for you in Cirrus. Dive in to discover how you can harness this feature to create assessments that are not just efficient but also tailored to your organisation’s specific needs.

What is Metadata?

In e-assessment, metadata serves as the DNA of your items and exams. It provides context and additional information about the items and exams you create. For example, metadata can include details such as the difficulty level, subject matter, learning objectives, and item purpose of a question. By adding metadata to your items, you can effectively categorise and organise them. In Cirrus, metadata is not just an afterthought; it’s a powerful tool that organises your questions, streamlines your assessments, and enhances user experience.

What’s more, Cirrus further offers the unique benefit of adding custom labels to both items and users. This lets you completely tailor your item metadata to the requirements of your organisations. Whether your team prefers to organise items by year, sub-topic, department or item purpose, it’s all possible in Cirrus. 

Why Should You Care About Metadata?

Tagging your data well is not just good practice; it’s a necessity. Cirrus leverages metadata to organise your questions, making it easier for you to create targeted assessments. Using metadata effectively brings several advantages:

  • Efficient categorisation: Tags and labels help you sort questions based on various criteria, such as difficulty level or subject matter, or any custom label you choose. 
  • Easy searching: Looking for a question on a specific topic? Tags and labels make it a breeze.
  • Streamlined assessments: When creating an assessment, Tags and labels act as filters, helping you select the most relevant questions.
  • Blueprints and Linear On the Fly Testing: Learning Objectives and Taxonomy, or Topics can be used for creating blueprints, allowing you to deliver randomised exams and minimise the potential for cheating.  

What Kind Of Metadata Does Cirrus Offer?

Cirrus offers a range of options for adding metadata to your items, including:

  • Learning Objectives: These are the goals you aim to achieve through your assessment. They help you align your questions with specific outcomes. Learn more about Learning Objectives in Cirrus 
  • Topics: These are broader categories that can include multiple learning objectives and can be used to set up a Simplified Blueprint. Learn more about Topics.  
  • Taxonomies: These are classifications based on the cognitive level required to answer a question. Learn more about Taxonomies
  • Item Purpose: Here, you can specify whether the item serves a formative or summative role in your assessments. 
  • Labels: These adaptable tags can be tailored to meet your organisational requirements. Cirrus’s unassuming Labels are powerhouses in disguise, and merit a closer look. 

Learn more about the various item tags available

Cirrus Labels: Completely Customisable

Library Labels

In Cirrus, library labels come in two distinct types: Personal and System Labels. Each serves a unique purpose, and here’s why you’d want to use them:

  • Personal Labels: These are your go-to tags for categorising questions or topics that matter to you. They’re displayed in blue and are unique to a specific collection. Use them to quickly locate questions for your next assessment or to organise your library.
  • System Labels: Displayed in grey, these labels are the backbone of your organisation’s assessment strategy. They are administered by system administrators and offer a unified way to categorise items across collections.
Integrating Labels with Learning Objectives

Labels don’t just exist in isolation; they can be linked to both Items and Learning Objectives. Once linked, an Item associated with a specific Learning Objective automatically inherits the corresponding label. This feature is a game-changer for library filtering and assessment question selection. 

Capitalising on Labels during Assessment Creation

The power of labels extends into the assessment creation phase. Throughout the ‘question selection’ and ‘form creation’ stages, labels are visible and searchable. Use them to:

  • Refine your search: Quickly find questions that meet specific criteria.
  • Create cohesive assessments: Ensure that all questions align with your learning objectives

User Labels

Cirrus also provides the functionality of applying custom labels at the user level, letting you streamline the process of scheduling and candidate selection. 

  • Efficient candidate identification: User Labels let you quickly identify candidates based on specific criteria, such as skill level, department, or location.
  • Streamlined scheduling: User Labels simplify the scheduling process by allowing you to filter candidates who meet specific requirements, making it easier to assign them to the appropriate assessments.
  • Customised reporting: Generate reports based on user labels to gain insights into performance trends within specific groups.

Learn more about Labels in Cirrus

Learn more about Library Labels

Learn more about User Labels

Getting Started with Metadata

The best part? This feature is available to all our users. You don’t need to enable anything, just start tagging your items and enjoy the benefits!

Metadata, particularly labels, in Cirrus is not just a feature; it’s an asset. It empowers you to create more effective assessments, offering a streamlined experience that is tailored to your organisational needs. So, why wait? Start leveraging the power of metadata in Cirrus today.

Would you like advice on the best way to set up Cirrus labels and tags for your organisation? Please contact your Cirrus Success Managers

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Mathijs Urbanus
Mathijs heads up Cirrus' Customer Support Team. With his technical expertise and experience helping our diverse customers get the most out of Cirrus, he knows the platform like no other.
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