E-Assessment Jargon Buster

A
Accessibility in E-Assessment
The practice of designing exams to be accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities. This might involve using assistive technologies or designing assessments that can be completed in multiple ways. See also Readspeaker. 
Angoff Value
A method used in setting assessment standards, where subject matter experts estimate the likelihood of a minimally competent candidate answering each item correctly. Read more about Angoff Values here
Anonymous Marking
A feature of many e-assessment systems that allows for the anonymous marking of student work, reducing potential bias and ensuring fairness.
Artificial Intelligence in Assessment (AIA)
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to enhance and support various aspects of e-assessment, from AI-assisted marking to personalised feedback.
Assessment Analytics
The process of gathering and analysing data about student assessments to improve learning and teaching. This can include performance data, time spent on tasks, and patterns of incorrect answers. 
Assessment Lifecycle
The entire assessment process, from setting learning objectives and creating assessments through administering and marking assessments to providing feedback and analysing results.
Assessment for Learning (AFL)
Using ongoing, formative assessments to guide teaching and learning. In an e-assessment context, this might involve quizzes that adapt to a learner’s level or systems that provide immediate, personalised feedback.
Asynchronous Assessment
Evaluations that don’t require students and instructors to be online simultaneously. Examples include online homework assignments, papers, and discussion board posts.
Authentic Assessment
An assessment requiring students to apply skills and abilities in a real-world or practical context. Rather than simply recalling facts, students might be asked to create a project, write an essay, or participate in a simulation. See also Virtual Programming Lab.
Auto-Grading
The process where the e-assessment software automatically scores and grades student responses, especially useful for multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and other objective question types. Also called auto-scoring.
Automatic Item Generation (AIG)
The use of computer algorithms or artificial intelligence (AI) to create assessment items (questions) based on pre-defined criteria and content areas, aimed at producing a large number of unique test items for scalability and security.
B
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
A policy that allows students to use their own computers, tablets, or other devices for educational purposes, including e-assessment.
Backward Design
A process of designing an educational curriculum by setting goals before choosing instructional methods and forms of assessment. In e-assessment, this could involve starting with the end-of-course exam and working backward to design course content and formative assessments.
Badges
In the context of gamified learning and assessment, badges are virtual tokens awarded to students for achieving certain goals or milestones. They serve as a form of recognition and motivation.
Benchmark Assessment
An assessment that is used to measure student performance against a set standard or benchmark. In e-assessment, these can be administered online and used to track progress over time.
Bias in Assessment
Refers to unfairness in assessment that advantages or disadvantages certain groups of students. In e-assessment, this might include designing culturally sensitive assessments or ensuring that all students have equal access to technology.
Binary Question
A type of question used in e-assessments that has only two possible answers, often “true” or “false”.
Biometric Verification
The use of unique biological traits, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, or voice recognition, to verify the identity of exam participants and ensure the integrity of the exam process.
Blended Assessment
A mix of online and traditional face-to-face assessment methods. It combines the benefits of digital assessment tools with in-person teaching and evaluation strategies.
Boolean Questions
A type of question used in online exams that requires the participant to answer in a binary manner, typically “True” or “False”.
Browser Compatibility
The ability of e-assessment software to operate effectively across different web browsers (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Safari) without losing functionality or aesthetic quality. This ensures all participants have a consistent experience regardless of their chosen browser.
Browser Lockdown
A feature used during online testing to prevent students from browsing the web or accessing other applications, thereby maintaining assessment integrity. Tools like Safe Exam Browser and Proctorio offer this functionality and are often integrated into more advanced e-assessment platforms.
C
Cheating Detection
Software or tools used in e-assessment to detect and prevent dishonest behaviour such as plagiarism, impersonation, or use of unauthorised resources. See also AI Proctoring, Live Remote Proctoring, or Plagiarism Detection.
Cloud-Based Assessment
E-assessment solutions hosted on cloud services, enabling scalable, flexible, and accessible testing environments. Cloud-based platforms often offer advantages in terms of scalability, reliability, and accessibility.
Cognitive Presence
In online learning and assessment, it refers to the extent to which learners can construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse.
Collaborative Learning
An approach to education that involves groups of students working together to solve a problem, complete a task, or create a product. In e-assessment, this may involve group assignments or projects that are assessed collectively.
Collusion
Unauthorised collaboration between students in tasks meant to be completed individually, leading to submission of joint work.
Competency-Based Assessment
An approach to assessment that focuses on the learner’s ability to perform specific tasks or skills, rather than simply recalling information.
Completion Questions
A type of assessment item where test-takers are required to provide a word, phrase, or number to “complete” a sentence or statement. This can be considered a form of constructed response question.
Computer-Based Testing (CBT)
The method of administering tests in which the responses are electronically recorded and assessed via computer. This is a broad term that covers any form of assessment where the test is delivered via a computer interface.
Constructive Alignment
A principle used in course design that aligns learning outcomes with teaching methods and assessment tasks.
Content Theft
Illegally obtaining and using proprietary assessment materials, such as test questions or answers, compromising the assessment’s integrity.
Content Validity
The extent to which a test measures all aspects of the content it is intended to cover. In e-assessment, it refers to how well the assessment content reflects the curriculum or learning objectives it aims to measure.
Continuous Assessment
An approach to assessment in which learners are evaluated on an ongoing basis, rather than at set points in time (like a midterm or final exam).
Contract Cheating
Engaging third parties to complete assessments, often for a fee, which is a severe breach of academic integrity.
Courseware
A combination of coursework and software. It includes the online learning materials and the software necessary to access and interact with those materials.
Criterion-Referenced Assessment
An assessment where students are measured against defined criteria, rather than against other students. It’s about what students can do and what they know, not how they compare to others.
Cut Score
The predetermined score on an assessment that differentiates between passing and failing, or between different performance levels. The Angoff method is often used to establish this score, ensuring it accurately reflects the required competency level.
D
Data Encryption
The process of converting information or data into a code, especially to prevent unauthorised access. In e-assessment, this is crucial for protecting exam content and student data during transmission and storage. Read more here
Data Privacy in E-Assessment
The critical process of securing student data in online assessments, ensuring compliance with data protection standards like ISO, GDPR (Europe) and CCPA (California). This involves safeguarding assessment responses and results, and preventing unauthorised access to personally identifiable information. Read more about data security here.
Diagnostic Assessment
An assessment method that is used to identify a learner’s knowledge and skills before the instruction begins. It helps to understand the learner’s strengths, weaknesses, and prior knowledge.
Differentiated Assessment
A method of evaluation that takes into account the different ways students learn and what they already know to ensure they can demonstrate what they’ve learned in a variety of ways.
Distance Learning (or e-learning)
A method of studying where teaching is conducted by correspondence or over the Internet, without the need for student presence in a classroom. E-assessment is a critical component of distance learning. See for example how Germany’s largest distance learning university uses e-assessment to offer anytime, anywhere exams.
Distractor
In multiple-choice questions, a distractor is a plausible but incorrect answer option. Distractors are designed to be misleading for students who have not achieved the desired learning outcomes.
Drag and Drop Questions
A type of interactive question used in e-assessments where learners are asked to move items to specific locations on a digital canvas.
Duration
Refers to the allotted time given to complete an online exam. Managing exam duration is crucial for maintaining test integrity and fairness across all test-takers.
Dynamic Feedback
Immediate, interactive feedback provided to students during or after an e-assessment. This can help in reinforcing learning, correcting misunderstandings, and guiding students towards deeper understanding.
E
E-Assessment
(or online assessment or computer-based assessment): E-assessment is the use of digital technology to create, deliver, and mark and analyse exams.
E-Learning
E-learning, short for electronic learning, refers to a method of education that utilizes digital resources to facilitate teaching and learning. 
E-Proctoring (Electronic Proctoring)
A method of supervising exams online using webcam, microphone, and access to the candidate’s computer screen to ensure the integrity of the exam. E-proctoring technologies can include live, recorded, or advanced AI-driven systems to detect cheating.
EdTech (Educational Technology)
The combined use of technology and educational theory and practice. E-assessment is a major part of EdTech.
Encryption
The process of encoding data so that only authorised parties can access it. Encryption is important in e-assessment to protect student data. Read more about data security here.
Equity
In the context of e-assessment, equity refers to ensuring that all students have a fair opportunity to demonstrate their learning, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Error Analysis
In e-assessment, this refers to the process of examining students’ incorrect answers to identify and understand their misconceptions or areas of difficulty, aiding in targeted educational interventions.
Essay
An assessment question format requiring a detailed written response. E-assessment, with typed responses, simplifies marking compared to handwritten submissions. The advent of AI further opens possibilities for automated scoring.
F
Facial Recognition in E-Assessment
This biometric technology verifies a student’s identity by comparing facial features from a digital image or video with stored data, ensuring the right person is taking the assessment.
Fairness
The principle that every student should have an equal opportunity to show their knowledge and abilities in an assessment. E-assessment systems strive to ensure fairness through consistent grading, accessibility features, and accommodations for students with disabilities.
Feedback
Information given to students about their performance that aims to guide their future learning. In e-assessment, feedback can be automated for certain types of questions, such as multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank, or manually provided by instructors for open-ended questions and essays.
Firewall
A system designed to prevent unauthorised access to or from a private network. In e-assessment, they ensure the security of assessment data and prevent cheating. Read about data security here
Flexible Assessment
An approach that allows for adjustments in how, when, or where assessments are conducted, to accommodate diverse learner needs and preferences. In e-assessment, this could involve offering students a choice in assessment types or allowing for variable timing to complete tasks.
Flipped Classroom
An instructional strategy that involves students reviewing lecture content online at home, and then working on assignments or projects in class.
Follow-Up Assessment
An evaluation that takes place after a period of learning to assess what information or skills have been retained. This can be easily administered and tracked using e-assessment technologies.
Form Validation
In e-assessment, this refers to the process of ensuring that any data entered by users (e.g., exam answers, personal information) meets certain criteria before being accepted by the system. This helps prevent errors and ensures the integrity of the data collected.
Formative Assessment
(or Informative Assessment): An ongoing evaluation method used to check student learning and provide feedback for improvement during the learning process.
Forum Discussion Assessment
An e-assessment method where students’ participation and contributions to online discussion forums are evaluated as part of their course grade.
Fraud Detection
The process of identifying whether there has been a breach of rules or ethics during an assessment, such as cheating or impersonation. In e-assessment, this may involve the use of technologies such as plagiarism detection software, proctoring tools, or keystroke analysis.
Full-Spectrum Assessment
A holistic approach to assessment that seeks to evaluate all relevant aspects of a student’s learning or performance, rather than focusing on a single test or task. In an e-assessment context, this might involve combining results from quizzes, projects, discussions, and other assessment tasks.
G
Gamification
This is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts, like e-assessment. It makes the assessment process more engaging and enjoyable for learners, encouraging active participation and enhancing the learning experience.
Gaps Fill Test
An assessment method where learners are required to fill in missing words or phrases in a text passage. This can be used to test a variety of skills, from grammar and vocabulary to comprehension and knowledge of a specific topic.
Geolocation
The use of technology to determine the geographical location of a device. In the context of e-assessment, geolocation can be used to ensure that students are taking exams in permitted locations or to implement location-based restrictions for security purposes.
Gesture Recognition
Technology that allows computers to interpret human gestures as input. While more common in other fields, gesture recognition could be used in e-assessment for navigating through assessments, interacting with content, or as part of accessibility accommodations.
Grading Criteria
A set of standards or expectations that are used to evaluate and score a student’s work or performance on an e-assessment. These could be rubrics, checklists, or specific performance indicators.
Grading Rubrics
A set of criteria and standards linked to learning objectives that are used to assess a student’s performance on assignments and activities. In e-assessment, rubrics can be integrated into the platform to facilitate consistent and transparent grading for subjective assessments like essays and projects.
Group Assessment
An e-assessment method where a group of learners work together to complete an assignment or project. The assessment can be of the group as a whole or of individual contributions within the group.
Guided Feedback
In the context of e-assessment, this is the process of providing structured guidance to students based on their performance. It can include suggestions for improvement, areas of strength, and potential next steps for learning.
H
Hashing
A security technique that converts data into a fixed-size string of characters, which is typically a hash code. In e-assessment, hashing can be used to securely store and verify passwords, ensuring that even if data is intercepted, the actual passwords remain encrypted and protected.
Heterogeneous Grouping
The practice of grouping students of varied skill levels, interests, or learning profiles together for assignments or assessments.
Heuristic Evaluation
A method used in the user interface design process to evaluate a user interface (UI) design. In the context of e-assessment, heuristic evaluation can be applied to assess the usability and accessibility of online exam platforms, ensuring that they are intuitive, user-friendly, and accessible to all students.
High-Stakes Testing
This refers to assessments that have significant consequences for students, teachers, or schools, such as final exams or standardised tests. In an e-assessment context, these tests are often timed and heavily monitored to prevent cheating.
Holistic Scoring
An assessment scoring method in which a single, overall score is given based on the learner’s total performance, rather than scoring individual parts separately.
Hotspot Questions
A type of interactive question in an e-assessment where learners are asked to identify a specific area on a graphic or image.
Hybrid Assessment
An approach that combines elements of both traditional and digital assessments. This can include a mix of paper-based tests with online components, or in-person exams supplemented by online assignments and activities, allowing for a broader evaluation of student learning.
Hybrid Learning
A mix of traditional face-to-face and online learning. E-assessments in a hybrid learning model might include both in-person and online components.
I
IMS Question and Test Interoperability (QTI)
A standard developed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium that specifies how to structure, describe, and exchange questions and tests through XML coding. It allows for the compatibility and reuse of assessment materials across different e-assessment platforms.
IP Address Monitoring
A security measure in e-assessment systems that tracks the IP addresses from which students access tests. This can help in identifying suspicious activities, such as multiple users taking the test from the same IP address, which could indicate collusion or other forms of cheating.
Identification Verification
The process of confirming a test-taker’s identity to prevent impersonation and ensure the integrity of the assessment. This can include methods such as password protection, biometric verification (e.g., fingerprint or facial recognition), or live proctoring.
Immediate Feedback
Providing test-takers with instant responses to their submissions. In e-assessments, immediate feedback can help learners understand their mistakes, grasp concepts more quickly, and adjust their study strategies in real-time.
Individual Learning Plan (ILP)
A personalised plan created for a learner based on their unique learning needs and goals. The progress towards these goals can be tracked and assessed through e-assessments.
Instant Feedback
Immediate response or information given to students in an e-assessment about their performance. This might involve showing the correct answer after a question is answered or providing detailed feedback at the end of an assessment.
Instructional Scaffolding
A teaching method that involves breaking down learning into chunks and then providing a tool, or scaffold, to support learning. In e-assessment, scaffolding might take the form of hints, cues, or prompts to guide students.
Integrated Assessment
Assessments that are seamlessly integrated into the learning process, often through the use of technology. This approach aims to make assessment a part of learning rather than a separate activity, enhancing its relevance and immediacy for students.
Interactive Questions
Assessment items that require active engagement from the test-taker, such as dragging and dropping, matching, or manipulating objects on the screen. These questions can assess a range of skills, including analytical abilities and practical knowledge application, in a more dynamic way than traditional question types. Read about Question Types here
Internet-Based Testing (IBT)
Delivering assessments over the internet, allowing for a wide reach and the ability to administer tests simultaneously to test-takers in different locations. IBT systems often include features for test delivery, proctoring, and grading.
Item Analysis
A statistical process used to examine how individual questions in an e-assessment performed in terms of difficulty, discrimination, and reliability. The goal is to improve the quality of the test items and the overall test.
Item Bank
A repository of assessment questions that can be used to create various types of e-assessments. (see also Question Banks, Test Banks)
Item Response Theory (IRT)
A theory in psychometrics used to design, analyse, and score tests, questionnaires, and similar instruments. In e-assessment, IRT models can help ensure that assessments are fair, accurate, and reliable.
J
JAWS (Job Access With Speech)
A screen reader program designed for Windows users that allows visually impaired users to read the screen either with a text-to-speech output or by a Braille display. In e-assessment, ensuring compatibility with JAWS and other assistive technologies is crucial for accessibility and compliance with educational standards.
Jumbled Sentence Questions
A type of assessment item where students are required to rearrange parts of a sentence or a series of sentences into a coherent order. This format tests understanding of grammar, syntax, and logic in a more interactive and engaging way than traditional multiple-choice questions.
Just-in-Time Assessment
An assessment strategy that involves providing real-time feedback to learners so they can adjust their learning strategies and teachers can adjust their instruction methods.
K
K-12 Assessments
Refers to the variety of evaluations and tests administered at primary and secondary education levels, from kindergarten through 12th grade. In e-assessment contexts, K-12 assessments may include standardised tests, formative assessments, and summative assessments delivered digitally.
Keyboard Navigation
The ability to navigate through a software application or web page using keyboard shortcuts or tab keys, rather than a mouse. This feature is essential in e-assessment platforms to ensure accessibility for users with disabilities or those who prefer using keyboard controls.
Keystroke Analysis
A form of biometric verification that analyses the way a user types, including their typing speed and rhythm. In e-assessments, keystroke analysis can be used as a security measure to verify the identity of test-takers and prevent impersonation.
Kiosk Mode
A secure browsing mode where the e-assessment application or web browser locks down the exam environment, restricting access to other applications, websites, or system functions. This helps maintain the integrity of the exam by preventing cheating and ensuring that students remain focused on the assessment.
Knowledge Check
A short quiz or assessment used to quickly gauge a student’s understanding of a particular topic or concept. Knowledge checks are often used in e-learning environments before or after a learning module to provide immediate feedback and personalise the learning experience based on the student’s proficiency.
L
Latency
In the context of e-assessment, latency refers to the delay between a user’s action and the system’s response. Low latency is crucial for online exams to ensure that the interface is responsive and that there is no delay in student interactions, which could affect the exam’s timing and student performance.
Learner-Centred Assessment
An approach to assessment that places the focus of instruction on the needs and experiences of students. In an e-assessment context, this could involve providing personalised feedback, offering students choices in how they demonstrate learning, or assessing skills that are relevant to the learner.
Learning Analytics
The measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for the purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs. In an e-assessment context, learning analytics might be used to identify patterns in student performance or to personalise instruction and assessment.
Learning Management System (LMS)
A software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation, and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs. E-assessments are often delivered through an LMS.
Learning Objective
A statement that describes what learners should know or be able to do at the end of a course or lesson.
Likert Scale
A psychometric scale commonly involved in research that employs questionnaires. It is used to gauge attitudes, values, or levels of agreement with specific statements. In e-assessment, Likert scale questions might be used in surveys or to assess soft skills and attitudes.
Linear On The Fly Testing (LOFT)
A method of computer-based testing that generates a unique test for each examinee from a large pool of items. The goal of LOFT is to reduce the possibility of cheating while maintaining the comparability of scores. Learn more about LOFT here.
Lockdown Browser
A custom web browser that locks down the testing environment within an LMS. When using a lockdown browser, students are unable to navigate away from the exam, open new tabs, or access other applications, which helps prevent cheating during online exams. Read more about exam security measures here.
Log Files
In e-assessment systems, log files record data on user interactions, system access, and other transactions. These logs are crucial for monitoring system performance, analysing user behavior, and investigating security incidents.
Longitudinal Assessment
The process of evaluating learners over a long period of time to track their progress and development. E-assessments can be used to collect longitudinal data by administering similar assessments at different points in time.
Low-Stakes Testing
These are assessments that do not significantly impact a student’s final grade or course standing. 
M
MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions)
A popular assessment format that presents test-takers with a question or statement and several answer choices, from which they must select the correct or best answer. MCQs are widely used in e-assessment due to their ease of auto-grading and ability to cover a wide range of content.
MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)
An online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. E-assessments in MOOCs often need to be automatically graded due to the large number of students.
Machine Learning
The use of algorithms and statistical models by computer systems to improve their performance on a specific task with data, without explicit instructions. In e-assessment, machine learning can be used for automated grading of open-ended questions, and analysis of learning patterns.
Manual Grading
The process of evaluating student responses by human graders rather than automated systems. In e-assessment, essays, open-ended responses, and other complex answer types often require manual grading to assess the depth of understanding and critical thinking.
Marking Scheme
A detailed guide used by educators to grade student responses to assessment tasks. Marking schemes outline the criteria for awarding marks and provide consistency in grading. In e-assessment, marking schemes can be built into the system for automated grading or used by graders for manual evaluation.
Mastery Learning
An instructional strategy in which students must achieve a certain level of mastery in prerequisite knowledge before moving forward to learn subsequent information.
Matching Questions
A type of question in an e-assessment where learners are asked to match items from one list to items in another list.
Metadata
In e-assessment, items (questions) are tagged with specific attributes, such as difficulty level or skill measured. This tagging is crucial for creating balanced exams, ensuring a fair and comprehensive evaluation of student abilities. Read more metedata here.
Microcredential
Short, focused credentials designed to provide in-demand skills, know-how and experience. Stackable microcredentials can also provide a pathway to a certificate or full degree. Read more here
Microlearning
A method that offers short, focused units of learning designed to meet a specific outcome. In the context of e-assessment, micro-assessments might follow microlearning segments to reinforce and check for understanding.
Moderated Marking
This process involves multiple assessors grading the same student work to guarantee fairness and consistency. E-assessment platforms facilitate this through collaboration tools, enabling assessors to easily share, discuss, and compare their evaluations online.
Multimedia Questions
E-assessment questions that incorporate multiple types of media, such as text, images, audio, and video. These questions can provide a more interactive and engaging assessment experience.
N
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
A field of artificial intelligence that involves the interaction between computers and humans through natural language. In the context of e-assessment, NLP can be used for automatically grading short answer or essay-type questions. Read all about NLP and Essay Grading in our ebook.
Needs Assessment
A process of identifying and addressing the needs, gaps, or deficiencies that exist within an educational context. In an e-assessment, a needs assessment might be carried out to identify areas where students are struggling and need additional support or resources.
Negative Marking
A system of marking where points are deducted for incorrect answers. This is often used in multiple-choice e-assessments to discourage guessing.
Network Security
Measures taken to protect data during transmission and storage, preventing unauthorised access, misuse, or modification. For e-assessment platforms, ensuring robust network security is essential to protect student information and exam content.
Norm-Referenced Assessment
An assessment that compares an individual’s performance or achievements to a group norm. This type of assessment is often used in standardised tests and can be facilitated in an e-assessment environment.
Normalisation
The process of adjusting scores from different versions of a test to ensure consistency and fairness in grading. Normalisation is especially important in e-assessments where different forms or sets of questions might be used to prevent cheating.
Novice User
In the context of e-assessment, a novice user is a student or educator who is new to the e-assessment platform or technology. Designing e-assessment systems to be intuitive and providing adequate support and resources for novice users are important for facilitating access and reducing anxiety.
Numerical Questions
Questions in an e-assessment that require a numerical answer. In e-assessment, these questions are well-suited to autoscoring, offering significant timesaving in marking. More advanced e-assessment platforms may support complex mathematical questions with parameterisation.
O
OER (Open Educational Resources)
Freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets used for teaching, learning, and assessing, as well as for research purposes. OERs can be integrated into e-assessment platforms to provide rich, accessible content for learners.
OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination)
A method of assessing clinical skills in health sciences education through a series of stations where students demonstrate their competence in specific tasks. While traditionally in-person, digital technologies are increasingly used to facilitate aspects of OSCEs online.
Objective Questions
Questions in an e-assessment where the correct answer is predetermined and there is no room for subjective judgement in scoring. Multiple-choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank questions are all examples of objective questions. All these questions are good candidates for autoscoring.
On-Demand Assessment
An e-assessment that is available for the learner to take at any time, rather than at a set test time.
One-on-One Assessment
A method of assessment where the instructor evaluates a single student at a time.
Online Proctoring
A service that allows exams to be taken from any location while ensuring the integrity of the exam. Online proctoring can include live monitoring by a proctor, recording test-takers via webcam, and using software to detect suspicious behavior or unauthorised access to resources. (see also Proctoring Software)
Open Book Exam
A type of assessment where students are allowed to use a certain set of resources during the test. In an e-assessment environment, guidelines about what resources can be used need to be carefully specified.
Open-Ended Questions
In e-assessment, these are questions that allow students to provide their own responses, rather than selecting from predetermined options. They can be used to assess higher-order thinking skills, such as synthesis or evaluation.
Operational Validity
The extent to which the results of an assessment accurately reflect the performance of the test-taker in the domain being tested, under real-world conditions. Ensuring operational validity is critical for the credibility of e-assessments.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
The technology used to convert different types of documents, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files or images captured by a digital camera, into editable and searchable data. In e-assessment, OCR might be used to digitise handwritten or printed responses for digital grading or analysis.
Originality Checking
The process of comparing a student’s submitted work against a database of previously submitted work, academic publications, and internet sources to detect plagiarism. This is an important feature of many e-assessment systems to ensure academic integrity.
Outcome-Based Assessment
An assessment method that focuses on the end result of the learning process, such as what the learner can do or the skills they have gained, rather than the content they have learned.
Outlier Detection
In the context of e-assessments, outlier detection is a data analysis method used to identify test scores that are significantly different from the rest. It can be used to detect potential cheating or to identify students who may need extra support or challenge.
P
Pacing
The speed at which instruction and learning take place. In an e-assessment, the pacing might be controlled by the system (as in a timed test) or it might be controlled by the student.
Peer Assessment
An arrangement in which individuals consider the amount, level, value, worth, quality, or success of the products or outcomes of learning of peers of similar status.
Performance-Based Assessment
An assessment that requires students to perform a task rather than select an answer from a ready-made list. It can be used in an e-assessment context to assess skills like problem-solving or critical thinking.
Personalised Learning
An educational approach that aims to customise learning for each student’s strengths, needs, skills, and interests. E-assessments can be used to gather data on student performance and to provide personalised feedback.
Plagiarism
Submitting someone else’s work or ideas as one’s own, without proper attribution, in written assignments or projects.
Plagiarism Detection
The process of locating instances of plagiarism within a work or document. In an e-assessment, automated plagiarism detection tools may be used to ensure academic integrity. Examples include Turnitin and Proctorio Originality Verification
Portfolio Assessment
A type of assessment that involves the systematic collection and evaluation of student work over time. E-portfolios, which are digital collections of student work, can be used in e-assessment to evaluate student learning.
Post-Assessment
An assessment given after the instruction has taken place. In an e-assessment context, post-assessments are typically used to determine what students have learned and to measure the effectiveness of the instruction.
Predictive Analysis
The use of data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. This could be used in e-assessment to predict student performance or to personalise learning.
Prerequisite Skills or Knowledge
Skills or knowledge that a student must have before they can learn something new. E-assessments can be used to check for prerequisite skills or knowledge before new instruction begins.
Privacy Compliance
Adherence to laws and regulations that protect individuals’ privacy rights. In an e-assessment context, this could include things like protecting student data and following appropriate consent procedures.
Proctoring Software
Software used to monitor test takers during an online exam to ensure they’re following rules and not cheating. Read more about Live & AI proctoring in Cirrus.
Professional Development
The skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement. E-assessment in professional development contexts often focuses on assessing specific job-related skills or competencies.
Progress Monitoring
The process of regularly assessing students to determine how well instruction is meeting their needs and to guide instructional decisions. E-assessments can be used to collect progress monitoring data.
Psychometrics
The science of measuring mental capacities and processes. In the context of e-assessment, psychometrics is often used to create assessments that are valid, reliable, and fair.
Q
Qualitative Data
Data that is not numerical and often involves descriptions, observations, or interpretations. In an e-assessment context, this might include written responses to open-ended questions, comments on a discussion board, or reflections on a learning experience.
Quality Assurance (QA)
A way of preventing mistakes or defects in e-assessments and avoiding problems when delivering solutions or services to users. QA ensures the e-assessment system is functioning correctly and provides accurate results.
Quantitative Data
Data that can be measured or counted and expressed in numbers. In e-assessment, this might include scores on quizzes or exams, time spent on tasks, or the number of attempts to complete a task.
Question Bank
A collection of questions that can be used to create quizzes and exams in e-assessment. A question bank may include a variety of question types, such as multiple-choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions. (see also Test Bank)
Quiz
A type of e-assessment that often focuses on measuring knowledge or recall. Quizzes can be used as a formative assessment to check understanding during instruction, or as a summative assessment to evaluate learning at the end of instruction.
R
Randomisation
The process of making something random; in various contexts, this involves, for example, generating a random permutation of a sequence or selecting a random sample of data. In e-assessment, questions or answer choices might be randomised to prevent cheating or to ensure fairness. Read more here
Raw Score
The score obtained on an assessment based on the number of questions answered correctly. Raw scores are often converted to scale scores or percentiles for easier interpretation.
Readability
The ease with which a reader can understand written text. In e-assessment, readability is important to ensure that students can understand the questions and tasks.
Real-Time Feedback
Immediate feedback provided to students during or immediately after an assessment. Real-time feedback in e-assessment can help students understand their mistakes, learn the correct answers, and adjust their learning strategies accordingly. Read more about how this university is implementing this
Regression Analysis
A statistical method for investigating the relationship between variables. In e-assessment, regression analysis could be used to explore the relationship between test scores and other variables, such as study habits or prior knowledge.
Reliability
A measure of the consistency of an assessment. In e-assessment, reliability might refer to the consistency of scores across different administrations of the test, or to the consistency of scoring when a test includes subjective elements such as essay questions.
Remote Assessment
The process of conducting assessments at a distance, without the need for students to be physically present in a traditional exam setting. E-assessment facilitates remote assessments through online platforms, allowing students to take exams from anywhere with an internet connection.
Remote Proctoring
The process of invigilating an online test or examination from a remote location. This is often done using a combination of video, audio, and other technologies to monitor the test-taker’s environment and behavior. Read more here
Resitting
The practice of allowing students to take a test more than once. In an e-assessment context, retesting might be used to allow students to improve their scores or to measure learning gains over time. (see also Retesting)
Response Bias
A type of bias that can affect the validity of an assessment. In e-assessment, response bias might occur if students are more likely to choose certain response options, if they tend to agree with all statements, or if they provide dishonest answers.
Response Time
The amount of time a student takes to respond to a question or task in an e-assessment. Response time data can be used to understand student thinking or strategy use, or to detect potential cheating.
Responsive Design
An approach to web design that makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes. In e-assessment, a responsive design ensures that students can complete the assessment on any device.
Retesting
The practice of allowing students to take a test more than once. In an e-assessment context, retesting might be used to allow students to improve their scores or to measure learning gains over time. (see also Resitting)
Reusability
The ability to use assessment content, such as questions or entire exams, across different courses or contexts without significant modification. E-assessment platforms often support reusability by allowing educators to save and share question banks or assessment templates.
Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
A method of restricting system access to authorised users based on their roles within an organisation. In e-assessment systems, RBAC ensures that only individuals with the appropriate permissions can create content, administer tests, or view student data, enhancing security and privacy. Learn more here
Rubric
A set of criteria used for assessing a specific type of work or performance. In an e-assessment context, a rubric can be used to provide clear guidelines for grading and can help ensure consistency and fairness in scoring.
S
Scalability
The ability of an e-assessment system to handle a growing amount of work or its potential to be enlarged to accommodate that growth. Scalability is crucial for large-scale testing scenarios, ensuring that the system performs reliably as the number of users increases.
Security
In the context of e-assessment, security refers to measures and protocols implemented to protect the integrity of the exam content, safeguard student data, and prevent unauthorised access or cheating. This includes encryption, secure login procedures, and proctoring technologies. Read more here
Self-Assessment
A process by which students evaluate their own work or performance. E-assessment tools can facilitate self-assessment by providing immediate feedback, rubrics, and reflection prompts to guide students in evaluating their understanding and skills.
Short Answer Questions
A type of open-ended question that requires a brief text response. E-assessment platforms often include functionality for grading short answer questions, which may involve keyword recognition for partial or full credit.
Simulation-Based Assessment
An assessment method that uses simulations to replicate real-world scenarios or tasks, allowing students to demonstrate their abilities in a controlled but realistic environment. In e-assessment, simulations are particularly useful for practical fields like medicine, engineering, and flight training.
Single Sign-On (SSO)
An authentication process that allows users to access multiple applications or platforms with one set of login credentials. SSO simplifies access to e-assessment tools, learning management systems, and other educational technologies. Read more here
Standards-Based Assessment
Assessment aligned with predefined standards or learning objectives. E-assessment systems can be designed to ensure that all questions and tasks directly measure students’ achievement of specific educational standards.
Statistical Analysis
The process of collecting and analysing data to identify patterns and trends. In e-assessment, statistical analysis can be used to evaluate the reliability and validity of assessment items, analyse student performance, and inform improvements to the assessment process.
Summative Assessment
An assessment that is used to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional period, typically summarising the development and achievements over the course. In e-assessment, summative assessments might include final exams, projects, or portfolios submitted and graded online.
Synchronous Assessment
An online assessment conducted in real-time, where all students are required to take the exam at the same time. This approach mirrors traditional exam settings and can include live proctoring to ensure academic integrity.
T
Tagging
The process of assigning metadata or keywords to questions and content within an e-assessment platform. Tagging helps organise and categorise assessment items, making it easier to retrieve and align them with specific learning objectives or standards.
Technology-Enhanced Items
Questions or tasks in an e-assessment that utilize technology to provide a more interactive assessment experience. These could include drag-and-drop items, simulation tasks, or multimedia presentations.
Test Bank
A collection of exam questions used by educators to construct tests and quizzes. Test banks in e-assessment platforms often support various question types, including multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay questions, and can be customised to fit different learning objectives and difficulty levels.
Test Blueprint
A plan that outlines the content that will be covered by a test, including the number of questions related to each topic or skill area. This can be used in e-assessment to ensure that the test provides a balanced measure of all intended learning outcomes. Read more here
Test Security
Measures used to ensure the confidentiality of test questions and the integrity of the testing process. In an e-assessment context, this could involve password protection, encryption, or remote proctoring. Read more here
Test-Retest Reliability
A measure of the consistency of an assessment over time. In e-assessment, this might involve administering the same test to the same group of students at two different times and comparing the score.
Third-Party Integration
The ability of an e-assessment system to connect with other software or systems. This could include integration with a learning management system, a gradebook, or other educational technology tools.
Threshold Score
A predetermined score on an assessment that a learner must achieve to demonstrate competency or mastery. This can be used in e-assessment to determine whether students pass or fail, or to assign grades.
Time Limit
A feature in e-assessment that restricts the amount of time students have to complete an exam. Time limits help simulate exam conditions, manage the assessment schedule, and ensure that all students complete the test under equitable conditions.
Time-On-Task
The amount of time a student spends actively engaged in learning. In an e-assessment, this could be tracked automatically by the system.
Tracking
Monitoring and recording user interactions within an e-assessment platform, including login times, page views, question attempts, and submissions. Tracking data can be used to analyse student behaviour, assess engagement, and identify potential technical issues.
True/False Questions
A type of objective question used in e-assessments where the learner has to determine if a statement is true or false.
Turnitin
A widely used online service that checks for originality in student assignments by comparing submissions against a vast database of academic papers, websites, and other sources. Turnitin is commonly integrated into e-assessment platforms to prevent plagiarism and ensure academic integrity. Read more here
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
A method of confirming a user’s claimed identity by utilising a combination of two different factors, typically something the user knows (like a password) and something the user has (like a cell phone where a confirmation code can be sent). This can be used in e-assessment to enhance security and ensure that the person taking the test is the intended student.
U
Unique Identifier
A string of characters that is used to uniquely identify a specific record. In e-assessment, students might be assigned unique identifiers to protect their privacy, or to link their assessment results with other data.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
A framework to improve and optimise teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. In e-assessment, UDL principles guide the development of assessments that are accessible and fair for all students, including those with disabilities.
Unsupervised exams
Exams taken without real-time monitoring or proctoring. In e-assessment, unsupervised exams rely on honour codes, plagiarism detection software, and other integrity measures to uphold academic standards.
Uptime
The degree to which an e-assessment platform is operational and accessible to users. High uptime or availability is crucial during exam periods to ensure that all test-takers can access their exams without issues.
User Analytics
The collection and analysis of data on how users interact with e-assessment platforms, including patterns of use, performance statistics, and feedback. User analytics can inform improvements to the platform, enhance learning outcomes, and personalise the assessment experience.
User Experience (UX)
A person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. In e-assessment, a positive user experience could include elements like clear instructions, a logical sequence of questions, immediate feedback, and easy-to-use navigation controls.
User Interface (UI)
The space where interactions between humans and machines occur. The goal of this interaction is to allow effective operation and control of the machine from the human end, while the machine simultaneously feeds back information that aids the operators’ decision-making process. In e-assessment, a well-designed UI can make the assessment process smoother and more intuitive for students.
V
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A secured private network connection built on top of a public network, such as the internet. VPNs can be used in e-assessment to secure connections between the test-taker and the assessment platform, ensuring the privacy and integrity of the assessment data.
Validity
In the context of e-assessment, validity refers to the degree to which an assessment accurately measures what it purports to measure. Validity is crucial for ensuring that the results of an e-assessment are meaningful and applicable.
Variable Scoring
In the context of e-assessment, validity refers to the degree to which an assessment accurately measures what it purports to measure. Validity is crucial for ensuring that the results of an e-assessment are meaningful and applicable.
Version Control
In e-assessment development, version control is the management of changes to documents, computer programs, large websites, and other collections of information. Version control is essential for maintaining the integrity and consistency of assessment materials over time.
Versioning
The creation and management of multiple releases of a product, all of which have the same general function but are improved, upgraded or customised. In e-assessment, different versions of the same assessment can be created to deter cheating or to provide different difficulty levels. Read more here
Video-Based Assessment
An e-assessment approach that requires examinees to respond to prompts or questions based on a video clip. These are often used to assess interpretative, predictive, and evaluative skills.
Viewing Window
A defined period during which students are allowed to access and view their e-assessment tasks or results. Viewing windows help manage the assessment process and ensure that students access materials in a controlled and fair manner.
Vignette
A short, descriptive piece of writing or a brief scene from a movie that provides context for a question or task in an assessment. Vignettes can be used in e-assessment to assess skills such as problem-solving or decision-making in complex, real-world situations.
Virtual Classroom
A digital replica of a traditional classroom or training room where students and teachers interact in real-time, often within a VLE. E-assessments are typically built into these systems to gauge student understanding and performance.
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
An online system for the delivery of educational materials, which includes tools for e-assessment. The VLE supports teaching and learning by providing various tools such as course materials, quizzes, tests, and other forms of assessments.
Virtual Proctoring
The use of software to monitor online exams. Virtual proctoring may include live monitoring by a proctor, recording test-takers through their webcams, screen sharing to observe actions on the computer, and the use of AI to detect possible cheating behaviours.
Visual Learning
A learning style in which learners gain knowledge most efficiently when information is presented visually, such as in diagrams, illustrations, charts, or videos. E-assessment can utilise visual elements to cater to visual learners and enhance understanding.
Voice Recognition
Technology that can recognise spoken words, converting them to text. In e-assessment, voice recognition can be used to facilitate oral assessments, or to provide an alternative input method for written responses.
Vulnerability Scanning
The process of identifying security weaknesses in a computer system or network. In the context of e-assessment platforms, vulnerability scanning is crucial for detecting potential security threats and ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the system and its data.
W
Weighted Score
A score where some components are given more importance, or weight, than others. In e-assessment, some sections or questions might be weighted more heavily based on their importance or difficulty.
Whiteboard
In a virtual context, a digital workspace where users can write, draw, and collaborate in real-time. Whiteboards might be used in e-assessments to allow students to show their work or thought processes.
Wi-Fi Proctoring
A method of online exam proctoring that uses Wi-Fi connection information to monitor the location and movement of test-takers during an exam. This can help ensure that students are completing the exam in a permitted location and are not using unauthorised devices.
Wildcard Characters
Special characters used in search queries and certain types of e-assessment questions to represent one or more characters. This can be useful in creating flexible answer formats for questions where multiple variations of an answer are acceptable.
Wireframe
A visual guide representing the skeletal framework of a website or application, used to plan the layout and functionality. In e-assessment, wireframes might be used in the design process of an assessment platform or tool.
Written Assessment
An assessment that requires students to write responses. In an e-assessment context, this could include short answer questions, essays, or written reports.
X
X-API (Experience API, also known as Tin Can API)
A specification for learning technology that makes it possible to collect data about the wide range of experiences a person has within online and offline training activities. In e-assessment, x-API could be used to track data about student performance across multiple platforms.
X.509 Certificates
A standard defining the format of public key certificates. X.509 certificates are used in various internet protocols, including TLS/SSL, to provide secure communications. For e-assessment platforms, using X.509 certificates ensures secure connections between the users’ devices and the assessment servers, protecting data in transit from eavesdropping or tampering.
XML (eXtensible Markup Language)
A markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. In e-assessment, XML can be used to create, exchange, and store test content and student responses.
XSS (Cross-Site Scripting)
 A security vulnerability typically found in web applications. It allows attackers to inject malicious scripts into content viewed by other users. For e-assessment platforms, preventing XSS attacks is crucial to protect the integrity of the examination process and safeguard user data.
Xerte
An open-source project that provides a full suite of online tools for e-learning content development. Xerte is widely used for developing interactive e-assessments.
Y
Year-End Assessment
An assessment that takes place at the end of the academic year. In an e-assessment context, this could be a comprehensive online exam or project that covers all the material learned throughout the year.
Yield Analysis
In the context of e-assessment, yield analysis refers to the examination of question effectiveness over time or across different student populations. It involves analysing data to determine how well each question discriminates between high and low performers, contributes to overall test reliability, and aligns with learning objectives. This analysis can inform decisions about question revisions, removals, or the development of new questions.
YubiKey
A hardware authentication device manufactured by Yubico that supports one-time passwords, public-key encryption and authentication, and the Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) and FIDO2 protocols developed by the FIDO Alliance. It can be used in e-assessment for two-factor authentication to improve the security of the assessment process.
Z
Z-Score
A statistical measurement that describes a value’s relationship to the mean of a group of values. In e-assessment, z-scores can be used in item analysis to identify questions that may be too easy or too difficult.
Zero-Day Vulnerability
A software vulnerability that is unknown to those who would be interested in mitigating the vulnerability, including the vendor of the software. In the realm of e-assessment platforms, maintaining awareness and protection against zero-day vulnerabilities is crucial to safeguarding the system and user data against new threats.
Zero-Tolerance Policy
A policy that allows no exception to the rule it lays down. In an e-assessment context, this could refer to a policy on academic misconduct, such as cheating or plagiarism in online exams.
Zip Grade
A tool that allows for quick and easy grading of multiple-choice tests using a smartphone or tablet camera to scan and score answer sheets. While primarily used for paper-based assessments, the concept represents the broader trend of integrating digital tools into assessment practices to streamline grading and feedback processes.
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
The difference between what a learner can do without help and what he or she can achieve with guidance and encouragement from a skilled partner. In e-assessment, understanding a student’s ZPD can help in developing appropriate assessments and learning interventions.