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Creating A Multiple Measures Placement System An Exercise With Ron Gordon & Armand Brunhoeber

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The Concept Although test scores may predict failure, they do not necessarily predict success. Research shows that students’ backgrounds, environments, and personal habits may have more influence on their potential academic success than their residual academic skills. Find a way to factor that information into the placement decision at testing time.

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Decision Process Which Courses Which Tests Back Ground Questions –How many –Variety Select Weight Values –Use negative weights? –How much possible total weight

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Planning Flow Who –Discipline faculty –Testing staff –Counseling –IT –Others – Research?

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Planning Flow What –Which courses in which disciplines –What information can students provide at the time of testing? –Which questions will be used in each discipline? –How much total value should additional measures have?

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Planning Flow Why –State mandate? –Literature –Improve placement accuracy –Give students better opportunities to learn

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How Does it Work? Students answer locally developed background questions during the test session ACCUPLACER placement rules compute a weight value for the student’s answers based on locally developed weighting rules The test score, plus a percentage based on the background information is used for placement

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The Process Educate faculty and others on how the system functions Find examples of background questions and edit to fit Assign weight values to each answer choice. Write placement rules using the multiple measures editing function

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Select Questions Questions must, in some way, relate to student success. Must be information the student will have at the time of testing Must be multiple choice Should solicit behavioral, historical/experiential, and environmental information

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Limits Limit total weight so that background information does not allow students to skip a course level Limit number of questions to a manageable number –More questions adds to testing time –Placement rules can become unmanageable Answer choices must be mutually exclusive and all inclusive

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Example (If Arithmetic, plus all weighted choices is >= 75 OR Algebra, plus all weighted choices is >= 48)AND (Algebra, plus all weighted choices is < 65 OR Algebra Not Taken) AND (CLM, plus all weighted choices is <62 OR CLM Not Taken) Then Placement is Elementary Algebra

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Example, Continued If this rule had 5 questions with 4 weighted answer choices each, there would be 80 lines just for weights. With too many questions, or too many choices per question, rules can become unmanageable

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Conditional Weights High School Accomplishments Have Limited Shelf Life How Much Does it Matter That a 25-Year- old Student Had 2 years of High School Algebra? Does it Matter That The Same 25-Year-old Student Works for a Surveyor and Uses Algebra Daily?

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Example How long has it been since you were enrolled in high school or other formal educational process? –Less than 2 years or still enrolled –2 to 5 years –More than 5 but less than 7 years –7 years or more Use high school data for up to 5 years, experience for more than 5 years.

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Assigning Weights Total possible weight should not move student more than one level in either direction Set maximum possible weight so a student who scores at or above the midpoint of a placement range could move up, but one who scores below the midpoint could not. Use faculty to select BGQ and assign weight Guide them

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Multiple Measures Movement Model

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Sample Question With Weights Which choice below best describes you when you read textbooks or other complex information? –I usually need to read material several times before I understand it well-.01 –Sometimes I can understand what I read the first time, but often I must reread it.00 –I usually understand what I read if I take notes or highlight passages.+.01 –I always understand what I read the first time through+.02

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Think About Uploading to SIS Multiple measures may change placements, but not scores. SIS has no place to store multiple measures To upload multiple measures, the placement (course name) must be uploaded In ACCUPLACER, course name can be numeric

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Preparing to Build the System Assign numeric codes to course names Determine which tests will be used for each course in each discipline Create cut score TableTable Create a BGQ weight MatrixMatrix

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Building the System Create Background questionsquestions Assign BGQ to groupsgroups Create branching profilesprofiles Create course groupscourse groups Create courses and assign to groups ListcoursesList Create majors if used Create placement rules Edit1 Edit2rules Edit1Edit2 placement rule sample.pdf

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Verify Write most complex rule first Run verify function in branching profile Use several BGQ and score combinations to test the placement rule Compute weighted score for each run Try to hit cut scores to test for bad weight or answer choice selections

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Computing the Weight 1 QuestionResponse #Weight High EnglishA-.02 Grade EnglishC0 Goal Import.B.02 Understand ReadD.03 Study TimeA.01 Total Weight+.04

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Computing the Weight 2 QuestionResponse #Weight High EnglishA-.02 Grade EnglishF-.02 Goal Import.A-.01 Understand ReadD.03 Study TimeC-.01 Total Weight-.03

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Computation Score is multiplied by 1 plus the accumulated weight. –85 * (1+.04) = 88.4 –Placement will be based on a score of 88. Example 2 –85 * (1+ [-.03]) = –Placement will be based on a score of 82

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Common Errors Unequal weights between rules –E.G. A response has.01 weight in one rule and -.01 weight in the next rule Misplaced Parentheses –The multiple measures weights make the rule larger and more difficult to visualize Misuse of AND/OR Misuse of arithmetic operators Wrong answer choice in rule line

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Troubleshooting From the score report, determine what the student’s weight should be from the BGQ responses Using the weight, compute the weighted score Determine what the placement should be Examine the appropriate rule for errors

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Creating a Multiple Measures Placement System An exercise with Ron Gordon & Armand Brunhoeber Thank you for not throwing things at the presenters

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