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Creating A Multiple Measures Placement System. An Exercise With Ron Gordon & Armand Brunhoeber. The Concept. Although test scores may predict failure, they do not necessarily predict success.

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creating a multiple measures placement system

Creating A Multiple Measures Placement System

An Exercise


Ron Gordon & Armand Brunhoeber

the concept
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.
decision process
Decision Process
  • Involve Faculty
  • Select Questions
    • How many
    • What variety
  • Select Weight Values
    • Use negative weights?
    • How much possible total weight
select questions
Select Questions
  • Use enough questions that any one does not have undue influence
  • Must be manageable
    • Each weighted answer choice requires an additional line in the placement rule
    • Weights must be repeated in each rule segment
  • Questions must, in some way, relate to student success.
  • 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
  • (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

example continued
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
conditional weights
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?
conditional weights1
Conditional Weights
  • Young students have not had time to build skill usage experience, but their high school accomplishments are relevant
  • What older students accomplished in high school is less relevant than what they do now.
  • 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.
assigning weights
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 near 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
sample question with weights
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
preparing to build the system
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 Table
  • Create a BGQ weight Matrix
building the system
Building the System
  • Create Background questions
  • Assign BGQ to groups
  • Create branching profiles
  • Create course groups
  • Create courses and assign to groups List
  • Create majors if used
  • Create placement rules Edit1Edit2
  • 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
common errors
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
  • 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
  • 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]) = 82.45
    • Placement will be based on a score of 82
creating a multiple measures placement system1

Creating a Multiple Measures Placement System

An exercise with

Ron Gordon &

Armand Brunhoeber

Thank you for not throwing things at the presenters