IT to Deliver, Score, and Record Tests

ISO 23988:2007, Information Technology – A Code of Practice for the Use of Information Technology (IT) in the Delivery of Assessments

Growth in the power and capabilities of Information Technology (IT) has led to its increasing use to deliver, score, and record responses of tests and assessments in a wide range of educational and other contexts.

Suitably used, IT delivery offers advantages of speed and efficiency, better feedback, and improvements in validity and reliability. However, its increased use has raised issues about the security and fairness of IT-delivered assessments, as well as, resulted in a wide range of practices.

ISO 23988 provides a means of showing that:

  • the delivery and scoring of an assessment are fair and do not disadvantage some groups of candidates, e.g., those who are not IT literate;
  • a summative assessment has been conducted under secure conditions and is the authentic work of the candidate; and
  • the validity of the assessment is not compromised by IT delivery.

In addition, ISO 23988 may help:

  • provide evidence of the security of the assessment (which can be presented to regulatory and funding organizations);
  • establish a consistent approach to the regulations for delivery (of benefit to assessment centers who deal with more than one assessment distributer); and
  • give an assurance of quality to purchasers of “off-the-shelf” assessment software.

ISO 23988 gives recommendations on the use of IT to deliver assessments and to record and score responses. Its scope is defined in terms of three dimensions: the types of assessment to which it applies, the stages of the assessment “life cycle” to which it applies, and its focus on specific IT aspects.