The co-chairs of the Fairness and Equity in Assessment Task Force have developed a glossary of terms. This glossary will modify and expand as the Task Force work evolves.


Assessment tool: Any tool used to evaluate, measure, or otherwise assess an individual, group of individuals, or program. Includes, but is not limited to, rubrics, tests, batteries, scales, and more. (UF Fairness and Equity in Assessment Task Force, 2021)

Authentic assessment: Authentic tasks replicate real-world challenges and standards of performance that experts or professionals typically face in the field. (Oxford Research Encyclopedia, line 1, 2019)

Direct assessment: The examination and assessment of actual samples of student work. These include but are not limited to papers, theses, dissertations, projects, performances, and exams.

Fairness and equity in assessment: The process of measurement (e.g., through surveys, batteries, scales, rubrics, tests) such that the interpretations and uses of scores are based on the construct, indicator, or learning outcomes being measured and not the characteristics of the examinee (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, or disability). Fairness and equity in assessment ensure that no examinees are disadvantaged based on these characteristics. (UF Fairness and Equity in Assessment Task Force, 2021)

Validity and validation: “Validity refers to the degree to which evidence and theory support the interpretations of test scores entailed by proposed uses of tests. Validity is, therefore, the most fundamental consideration in developing and evaluating tests. The process of validation involves accumulating evidence to provide a sound scientific basis for the proposed score interpretations. It is the interpretations of test scores required by proposed uses that are evaluated, not the test Itself. When test scores are used or interpreted in more than one way, each intended interpretation must be validated.” (Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, p. 9)

Reliability: refers to “the consistency of scores across replications of a testing procedure.” (Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, p. 33)