A Glossary of Terms

TABLE A.1: Glossary of (Technical) Terms used in this Book
Term Description
Adaptive Testing (see Computer-Adaptive Testing)
Assessment Component Depending on the intended use, the Project Files created with the CBA ItemBuilder can contain either instruction pages or single items, questions, so-called units, stages or complete tests. For simplification, this book will therefore refer to Assessment Components, meaning Project Files with a particular Task used as entry point.
CBA Presentation Size CBA ItemBuilder projects are always created for a specific resolution. The CBA Presentation Size for new projects is defined as a property of the started CBA ItemBuilder instance and can be changed in the menu via the entry ‘Utilities > Open preferences’ (see section 3.2.2). The CBA Presentation Size for existing projects is defined in the Global Properties (see section 3.6.2).
Class In the context of the CBA ItemBuilder, the term Class is used for the assignment of hit or miss conditions of the Scoring to groups or variables (see section 5.1).
Command (see Runtime Command)
Computer-Adaptive Testing Computer-based adaptive testing (CAT) is a psychometric technique in which the selection of administered items from an item bank is designed to increase measurement efficiency by taking into account previously observed answers (see sections 2.7.4 and 6.7.2).
Component For creating items with the CBA ItemBuilder, all objects that can be added to an item from the Palette are called Components (see section 3.7). Components that can be added to a currently selected Component in the Drawing Area of the Page Editor, are listed in the Palette. Only Containers can have nested Components.
Component Edit The list of all Components that are nested in the the current selected Component are listed in the so-called Component Edit view (see section 3.1.2).
Conditional Link Link which can refer to different pages (including the current pages) via conditions and can execute optional operators when called (see section 4.3).
Container Containers are Components that can contain other Components (see section 2.11.4). Components that belong to a common container might share properties. For instance, the radio buttons (components of type RadioButton, see section 3.9.2) that belong together are nested in a specific container, called RadioButtonGroup.
Context Menu Menu (see section 3.1) that can be called to configure components in the Page Editor and to call commands in the Project View, Component Edit and in the Embedded HTML Exlorer using the right mouse button (secondary click).
Dialog Pages whose Frame component is configured to be displayed as a popup or dialog (see section 3.15). Dialogs can either be displayed as an additional page while continuing to interact with the main page, or dialogs are displayed as Modular Dialogs which are displayed exclusively and do not allow interaction with the underlying page.
Domain Specific Language (DSL) The syntax components used for designing the dynamic parts of assessment components and for scoring tasks are not defined in any specific programming language. Instead, the CBA ItemBuilder uses its own syntax for the domain of computer-based assessment, which can be referred to as a domain-specific language (DSL). Based on this syntax, a configuration is then generated, which can be processed at runtime in a programming language (e.g. JavaScript).
Entry Point Each Project File that is edited with the CBA ItemBuilder and then used to configure test deliveries must define entry points. These entry points are defined as Tasks and also include the scoring definition (see Task).
Event (see either Log-Event or FSM-Event)
Execution Environment The CBA ItemBuilder creates Assessment Components that can be used in assessments as test assemblies in so-called Test Deliveries (see chapter 7).
Finite-State Machine (FSM) Finite-state machines are used as logic layer inside the CBA ItemBuilder to allow complex item behavior and advanced interactivity (see section 4.4). This layer can be used to modify the visual presentation or behavior of items in a very flexible way, using FSM Events, FSM Variables and FSM Operators. Many of the advanced functions of the IB can be constructed by using one or multiple (nested) finite-state machines.
Frame Assessment components are designed with the CBA ItemBuilder using pages of different types. Each page needs a root component, which is used to define page properties (such as size). Components of type Frame serve as root element for pages (see section 3.5.1).
FSM Event Finite-state machines (FSM) process so-called FSM events (see section 4.4.3) using deterministic rules (see section 4.4.4). The FSM events can be triggered automatically by time intervals, by timers or by user interactions. Many components therefore allow one or more FSM events to be assigned to them (see section 4.4.3). FSM events can be used during the administration of assessment components. After administration, user interactions and internal state changes are stored in Log events in the Log data, and can be analyzed (see section 2.8), for instance, to extract Process Indicators.
FSM Operators If a rule is defined for the current state of a Finite-State Machine (FSM) that matches a FSM event that has just been triggered, then the FSM will process that rule and change to the new state if so defined as FSM Transition. As part of the rule, operators can be defined that are executed to make changes to variables or components. The CBA ItemBuilder provides a set of FSM Operators that can be used to perform actions in transitions (see section 4.4.6).
FSM Rules The possible transitions between states of Finite-State Machines (FSM) are defined using rules (see section 4.4.4). Rules are triggered by FSM events and can contain conditions (see section 4.4.5).
FSM Variables The CBA ItemBuilder adds variables to the capabilities of (nested) Finite-State Machines (FSM). Variable values can be used with the help of Value Maps and Map-Based Value Displays (see section 4.2.5) to change the appearance of pages. FSM variables can also be used in scoring conditions (see section 5.3.5) and in conditions of FSM Rules (see section 4.4.5).
GIF Graphics Interchange Format is an 8-bit-per-pixel bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987 and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability (see section 3.10.1 for supported file formats of the CBA ItemBuilder).
Global Properties Settings that apply to a particular project are defined in the Global Properteis (see section 3.6.2).
HTML5/JavaScript Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) in version 5, as defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the scripting languages JavaScript that is used browsers to support interactive content.
Hit-Condition (see Scoring Condition)
Item A part of a test assembly corresponding to a question or task in an assessment. Items can be presented each on a single page or multiple items are placed on one page, depending on the task design and the implemented navigation (see section 2.4).
Item Size (see CBA Presentation Size)
JPEG JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a commonly used method of compression for photographic images (see section 3.10.1 for supported file formats of the CBA ItemBuilder).
Link The connection of pages in the CBA ItemBuilder is done via links. A link can be triggered by clicking on different components. Links can also be integrated into components of type HTMLTextField or TextFiel. Links that always lead to the same page (see section 3.11) are distinguished from Conditional Links (see 4.3).
Main Menu Main menu of the CBA ItemBuilder at the top of the program window (see section 3.1.1). This menu must be distinguished from the context menus of the CBA ItemBuilder (see Context Menu).
Miss-Condition (see Scoring Condition)
Mock Cases Click patterns used to check scoring and data storage (see section 8.4.2).
Mock Items For the interpretation of log data from computerized assessment, access to tools is necessary so that the meaning of log events can be clearly interpreted and contextualized. If the release of the original items is not possible, it is possible to create so-called Mock Items, which do not contain any protected item content, but are similar enough in structure to the original items that they can be used to interpret the log data (see section 1.6).
Modal Dialog (see Dialog)
Log-Events Interactions between test-takers and an assessment platform can be stored in the form of log data, which consists of a variety of events of different types (Log-Events, see section 1.6). Together with the task content, process indicators can be derived from the analysis of log data (see section 2.8).
Minimal Example Small, fully executable example illustrating a particular functionality (see section 8.1).
Navigation The term navigation is used to describe how test-takers can move between different elements (between-item navigation), or within an element (such as an item or a units (within-item navigation). Different response elements (for example buttons) can be used to trigger navigation between pages within-items. Likewise, FSM operators or Commands can be used to trigger between-item navigation.
Operators (see FSM Operators or Scoring Operators)
Panel Components of type ‘Panel’ are used to group components and to display background images or frames, for example. Typical pages of type Simple Page need at least one additional component of type Panel within the root element (Frame, see section 3.5).
Page Each CBA ItemBuilder project can consist of one or multiple pages. Pages are of a particular page type. Pages typically contain a Frame and a Panel, as well as additional Components (either visual elements such as texts, images or response elements, such as CheckBoxes or Buttons) or Containers (for instance, additional Panels or RadiouButtonGroups).
Page Type Each page is of a particular type, and several page types are available in the CBA ItemBuilder. The available components and containers which can be used to add content to a page depent on the page type. Pages of different type have to be used to implement specific parts of an complex computer-based item. The type of a page, for example, Simple Page, WebBrowserPages or TaskBarPages is defined when the page added to the project and it is impossible to change the page type.
Palette The Palette is the part of the CBA ItemBuilder user interface that gives access to components that can be added to the currently selected part in the visual designer.
PNG Portable Network Graphics, a bitmapped image format that employs lossless data compression (see section 3.10.1 for supported file formats).
Preview The CBA ItemBuilder is the authoring tool to create elements for computer-based assessments. These elements can be used in browser-based test deliveries. In order to see how the items will be rendered in the browser environment, the CBA ItemBuilder allows to preview the elements (Tasks, Projects or Pages) by automatically generating the required HTML pages and opening the pages a web-browser.
Preferences Default settings for the CBA ItemBuilder are defined in the CBA ItemBuilder Preferences (see section 3.2.2).
Project File Item authors can build and edit Project Files within the CBA ItemBuilder. A Project File can contain assessment components (i.e., either a single item, several units, or even a complete test). The decision about how many separate project files are used to computerize a particular test material is up to the item author. Project files create with the CBA ItemBuilder are ZIP archives. However, very large files with many items in single IB project are not suggested, because the size of the ZIP files might become too large.
Properties / Properties view The components added to an item are configured using additional properties. Properties of the currently selected component can be edited in the so-called Properties view.
Process Indicator Specific information that, extracted from individual log events (raw log data), provides knowledge about a particular behavior as a person variable (see section 2.8.
RAP (depraved) The technical platform used to generate HTML content in older CBA ItemBuilder versions (RAP = Remote Application Platform).
React A JavaScript library used by the current CBA Item Builder as part of the generated HTML content.
Resources Resources used within CBA ItemBuilder projects are included in the project files, for example, pictures, audio files and video files.
Regular Expression A sequence of characters that define a search or validation pattern (RegExpr, see section 6.1). The CBA ItemBuilder uses “Unicode Technical Standard#18 Unicode Regular Expressions” (http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr18/) to score text responses (see section 6.1.2) and as Input Validation Pattern to restrict the characters that can be entered in text entry items (see section 6.1.3).
Raw Variables For the definition of result variables, a distinction can be made between variables that contain the raw response (as entered by the test-taker) and result variables that store the scored response (see Scoring Variables)). In the CBA ItemBuilder Raw Variables and Scoring Variables can be defined. For storing input text (and numeric variables) the result_text() operator can be used (see section 5.3.10).
Rules (see FSM Rules)
Runtime Command Command that can be assigned as action to components such as Buttons, and that is processed by the runtime environment (e.g. to switch to the next task, see 3.12).
Scoring Scoring refers to the automatic analysis of test-taker’s response with respect to pre-defined (scoring) rules. Item authors can precisely define scoring patterns for each possible response. Scoring patterns are organized within Task (see section 5.1 for details).
Scoring Condition The scoring of CBA ItemBuilder Tasks is structured using conditions, which can be defined in CBA ItemBuilder as Hit- (or Miss-) Conditions. For categorical variables, a Scoring Condition assigned to a Class (i.e. variable) is a possible categorical value. Scoring operators can be used to define when exactly a Class should be assigned this value (see section 5.3). This procedure also allows the definition of missing values (see section 2.5.2).
Scoring Operators For the definition of scoring conditions, operators can be used to form logical expressions or to evaluate the state of components, the visited pages or occurred states, etc. (see section 5.3).
Scoring Variables In the scoring definition, the information about which selection or input should be counted as correct (Full Credit) or partial (Partial Credit) can already be taken into account. In this case it is possible to speak of Scoring Variables.
String A string is a data type used in programming that is comprised of a set of characters that can contain text, spaces and numbers.
TAO The TAO Framework is an open-source project which provides a very general and open architecture for computer-assisted test development and delivery. Assessment components created with the CBA ItemBuilder can be used with TAO using the PCI interface (see section 7.4).
Task Within CBA ItemBuilder projects, Tasks are self-contained item packages defined by the item author. Tasks are used to provide entry points into CBA ItemBuilder project files that can be used for test assemblies.
Task-Editor Part of the CBA ItemBuilder that allows to define Tasks (see section 3.6 and to define Hit-/Miss-Conditions for Scoring).
Template Pages can be exported as templates for later use. Using this functionality, page duplication and efficient workflows for creating assessment components can be realized with the CBA ItemBuilder (see section 6.8.7).
Test Assembly The assembly of items into tests or test parts is called test assembly. This can be done to create booklets, rotations or multi-stage tests before test delivery (once), or during testing on the fly or depending on previously observed responses (see Computer-Adaptive Testing).
Test Delivery The collection of data in computer-based assessment is referred to as test-delivery. Assessment components created with the CBA ItemBuilder can be used for different forms of delivery, e.g. stand-alone offline or online (see chapter 7).
Toolbar Important functions of the CBA ItemBuiler are permanently accessible via small icons directly below the Main Menu via the Toolbar (see section 3.1.1).
Trace-Event (see either Log-Event)
Transitions (see FSM Rules)
Variables (see FSM Variables, Raw Variables, or Scoring Variables)
Weight Decimal number that can be defined when scoring (usually \(1\)). If a weight is used, then one result can be scored per task (the hit or miss condition with the highest weight). The use of Classes is then not possible (included to maintain compatibility with previous CBA ItemBuilder projects).
WYSIWYG “What you see is what you get” – content (text and graphics) displayed onscreen during editing appears in a form closely corresponding to its appearance when printed or displayed as a finished product.
X-Page Expression used for pages that can be displayed in addition to other pages. The X-Page layout distinguishes between X-Pages and regular pages (such as simple pages). The definition of a page as X-Page is done when the page is created (see 3.4).
X-Page-Layout Arrangement of pages using a regular page and an X-Page simultaneously and side by side. Can be defined for a Task (see 3.6.2).