Growth in the power and capabilities of information technology (IT) has led to the increasing use of IT 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, but its increased use has raised issues about the security and fairness of IT-delivered assessments, as well as resulting in a wide range of different practices.
ISO/IEC 23988:2007 provides a means of
- showing that the delivery and scoring of the assessment are fair and do not disadvantage some groups of candidates, for example those who are not IT literate;
- showing that a summative assessment has been conducted under secure conditions and is the authentic work of the candidate;
- showing that the validity of the assessment is not compromised by IT delivery;
- providing evidence of the security of the assessment, which can be presented to regulatory and funding organizations (including regulatory bodies in education and training, in industry or in financial services);
- establishing a consistent approach to the regulations for delivery, which should be of benefit to assessment centres who deal with more than one assessment distributer;
- giving an assurance of quality to purchasers of off-the-shelf assessment software.
ISO/IEC 23988:2007 gives recommendations on the use of IT to deliver assessments to candidates and to record and score their 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 specifically IT aspects.