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Of course, if it was the test format that was causing the problem, then the re-take was the more valid assessment, I would think.  

We have also used COMPASS as a second-chance and that is a significant motivator (you have to keep attending and participating to be allowed to re-assess... and our classes are good enough so that if they're there, they participate ;) ) 

Susan Jones
Academic Development Specialist
Center for Academic Success 
Parkland College
Champaign, IL  61821
217-353-2056
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Webmastress,
http://www.resourceroom.net 
http://bicyclecu.blogspot.com 


>>> "William W. Ziegler" <[log in to unmask]> 11/12/2008 1:28 PM >>>
Oh, and another thing: A few years ago we looked at COMPASS re-testers. We normally make students wait for four months (used to be six) before retesting because we wanted them to get right into their developmental courses and not angle for ways around them. But some students either obtained permission or got around the restriction in some way, so we had a healthy number of repeat testers.
The findings: 15 of 46 students who repeated the COMPASS math placement test within one week gained enough to place at least one level higher in the developmental sequence. The ones most likely to gain were those who initially placed in the lowest level of developmental math. In reading: 22 of 58 students who repeated the reading test within one week gained enough to place at least one level higher in the reading sequence.
Had they become significantly more skilled readers or mathematicians in eight days or less? Not likely. They had instead become more comfortable with the test format and wise to its significance. So ask yourself: if we use COMPASS as an achievement assessment, will we see evidence of gains in the skills we want them to have acquired--or evidence of gains in COMPASS-taking skills? (The most important of which is "Whoa, looks like they think this test actually matters, so this time I'll try actually reading the questions.")

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nina O'Connell
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 1:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: COMPASS use

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kate Jakobson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 7:15:11 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Re: COMPASS use

We use COMPASS for course placement including a very low-level reading class
(for those who read at a 3rd grade level or below - yes, we're open
admission).  Students (only 1 or 2 per semester) who place into that reading
class work independently on PLATO for 3 hours/week and receive 1-1 tutoring
for 2 hours/week.  At the end of the semester they retest on COMPASS and we
hope their reading skills will have improved enough to move them up to the
next developmental reading class, Basic Reading Skills.

While obviously not an ideal situation, it's been working well for the past
two  years and all but one student out of six or so have improved their
reading skills sufficiently to move them into the next reading class.  

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 Elizabeth Dewey
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:47 AM
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: COMPASS use

Does anyone have any experience using COMPASS as a post-test or measure
of student achievement in a class?  Or can you point me to any research
about such use?

 

We are contemplating using it as a measure of achievement for students
in a learning community of developmental math and English courses.
Students are placed in the courses via COMPASS.

 

Elizabeth Dewey

Teaching/Learning Center, Delta College

University Center, MI 48710

http://www3.delta.edu/tlc/ 

 


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