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I forgot to mention one other factor: testing fees. We charge a modest
fee ($6) for each testing session, whether it's the initial placement or
a retest. It's not enough to cause a hardship for most students, but it
might discourage people from going back week after week after week....

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kate Jakobson
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 2:08 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Retesting for higher placement - developmental

Hi Deborah:

We use COMPASS and have had the same concerns as Alan mentioned
concerning repeated retesting.  I'm not talking about just one retest,
but repeated retesting over time.  We've recently begun a policy that
requires some kind of intervention, e.g. tutoring, practice on computer
programs, workshop attendance etc., before students are permitted to
retest. 

We have one situation in particular for students in our DEV College
Reading Skills who have satisfactorily completed the course work but do
not reach a required score on the Nelson- Denney which is used as an
exit instrument.
Those students receive an Incomplete in the course and are strongly
encouraged to meet with a tutor and also put in some practice time on
PLATO (I won't go into my feelings on that :), and by the end of the
following semester are permitted to retest on COMPASS.

I might also add, as others have, that retesting in Math and Reading is
a bit more flexible (but should still adhere to the new policy regarding
some sort of intervention) than Writing.  We also do not use COMPASS for
Writing placement but use a writing sample that is evaluated by a
committee of English instructors.

Back in the days when I had a Testing Center to run in addition to
Tutoring, I noticed that, perhaps under the stress of testing and a
busy, confusing day of orientations, etc., that students often did not
do well on their placement testing.  We found that it was very important
that the preliminary COMPASS introduction/explanation, especially for
FTIC students, made clear to the students that the results were used to
place them properly in the correct courses and that it was important to
take it seriously and to do their best (and not to blow it off).  I
found when we made an extra effort to really explain the testing and
procedures that it had a definite impact on more accurate placement
scores.

Kate

Kate Jakobson, Director
Tutoring and Student Success
Kirtland Community College
989.275.5000 x 211

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Deborah Pratt
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:57 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Retesting for higher placement - developmental

Hi all,
  We use Accuplacer to determine placement into courses, developmental
or otherwise.  In developmental courses, faculty also test/retest using
Accuplacer to see how students' scores change.  Some students who have
performed poorly in class have taken the retest and scored high enough
to be placed into the next level course.  Do any of you have a policy on
whether you allow developmental students to do this?
  Regards,
  Deborah Pratt
  Ancilla College
  Donaldson, IN 46513


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