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David Foster Releases Book on Innovative SmartItem Technology

Posted by Caveon

February 6, 2020

Caveon Test Security announces the release of CEO David Foster’s latest book, SmartItem™: Stop Test Fraud, Improve Fairness, and Upgrade the Way You Test. The book introduces the Caveon SmartItem, a revolutionary innovation in item and test design that improves fairness, prevents test fraud, improves learning, and makes exam development more efficient and cost-effective. The book dives into the theory, benefits, and practical implications of the SmartItem, while also detailing exhaustive research and live case studies. 

Foster, a renowned psychologist, testing professional, and recognized leader in the measurement industry, states that “The SmartItem is a testing technology with proven benefits. Foremost among them are preventing the theft of test content and most forms of cheating. Who wouldn’t be excited about that?” This book explains SmartItem technology in a clear and simple way.

The book’s publication comes hot on the heels of Caveon’s release of SmartItem technology. The SmartItem is not a new type of item, but rather a technology that enhances and improves current item formats and the tests that contain them. It is the product of a patented method of item design that Dr. Foster believes could change the world of testing as we know it. 

“As an industry, we need to challenge the status quo and consider disruptive ways of doing things,” Foster said. “We should always look to leverage technology innovations and harness them quickly in order to address many of the issues negatively affecting the measurement industry.”

One such case study examines SailPoint, the first certification program ever to utilize the SmartItem on live exams. Arthur Altman, the Program Manager in the Global Education Services business at SailPoint Technologies Holdings, oversees the SailPoint Certified Identity Professional Program. Altman is responsible for the launch of the first-ever certification exams at SailPoint in 2018. In explaining his decision to embrace SmartItem technology, Arthur states, “SmartItems are invulnerable to cheating and theft, relieving SailPoint of the same security concerns that have plagued every other IT certification program for the past three decades.”

Foster believes the book arms measurement leaders with an important resource to improve the security, fairness, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of their exams. The book is available for sale and download here.



David Foster is responsible for a number of innovations during his career, including the first large-scale global use of computerized adaptive testing, the effective use of simulations in tests, the Discrete Option Multiple Choice (for which Caveon owns the US Patent), and the introduction of online proctoring. David holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Brigham Young University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Psychobiology at Florida State University. He is credited with introducing computerized adaptive testing and simulation-based performance testing as part of Novell’s pioneering IT certification program in the early 1990s. With other industry colleagues he founded Caveon in 2003, the industry’s first test security company.

Dr. Foster serves as Caveon’s CEO and Chairman, roles in which he applies a scientific approach to the problems of testing, mingling a healthy skepticism of current best practices with research-based objective appraisal of new solutions. 

David has also served on numerous boards and committees in the accreditation, testing, and measurement industries. He is a past President of the Association of Test Publishers (ATP), has served on the certification accreditation committee and Board of Directors for the American National Standards Institute, as well as participated in the council and board of directors of the International Test Commission. He has also sat on technical advisory boards and committees for various testing programs and companies.


About Caveon

For more than 18 years, Caveon Test Security has driven the discussion and practice of exam security in the testing industry. Today, as the recognized leader in the field, we have expanded our offerings to encompass innovative solutions and technologies that provide comprehensive protection: Solutions designed to detect, deter, and even prevent test fraud.

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