Security tips for defensible assessments

Posted by Joan Phaup

Validity and reliability, fairness and cut scores are key concerns when it comes to the legal defensibility of assessments. Security is another important element, since cheating and security breaches can throw the validity and fairness of a test into question.

Our white paper, Defensible Assessments: What You Need to Know, aims to help readers determine what defensibility means, to inform them about standards and best practices and to describe how to ensure and evaluate defensibility.

Here are few quick security tips from the paper, which you are welcome to download with our compliments:

  1. Assign role-based security rights so that access to item banks is limited
  2. Determine the topic and assessment folders that authors may access and define how they are allowed to use them. For instance, should a person be able only to view content or should they also be allowed to edit it?
  3. Ensure that the right people are taking a test by requiring participants to log in with a username and password
  4. Set limits on the number of attempts according to the stakes of the assessment
  5. Establish specific dates and times for taking a test
  6. Organize participants into groups and hierarchical subgroups — each with designated default test centers — for simple and secure assessment scheduling
  7. Maintain up-to-date information about participants to avoid confusion in test scheduling and the processing of test results

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