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IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

  • 1.  IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-08-2021 07:52:00
    Edited by Karen Gaines 08-08-2021 07:53:05
    • Do you use multiple measures to place students?  If so, what measures do you use and why did your college choose them?  
    • If your college started using multiple measures as a response to the pandemic, will you continue to use them after the pandemic?  What are the reasons for continuing pandemic-caused placement methods in a post-pandemic world?


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    John Hansen
    Dean of STEMM Division
    Iowa Central CC
    Fort Dodge IA
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  • 2.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-08-2021 11:55:00
    John,

    At Corning we use multiple measures.  We started using them about a year before the pandemic.  With all of the changes the pandemic created, we're not sure if our placement methods are effective.  We will continue to use them after the pandemic.

    We use high school GPA to place students out of developmental level classes.  A GPA of 85% or higher places a student in intermediate algebra.  For us, this is a credit bearing class but does not meet graduation requirements.  To place students above intermediate algebra we use high school math grades, regents exam scores (a cap-stone NY state exam for most math classes), and ACT and SAT scores.  There is a shelf life for all of these scores, maybe 4 years (would need to look that up).  If a student does not have any of the above information (more than 4 years out of high school, home schooled, etc) or if the student wants to try to place into a higher level class, we offer a placement test that we created in-house using an OER system.

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    George Hurlburt
    Professor
    Corning CC
    Corning NY
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  • 3.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-09-2021 14:33:00
    George,
    Thank you for the response.  From my conversations with other institutions, the standard placement protocols had to be adjusted/changed due to the pandemic.  I do have one question, you say your institution uses multiple measures, but from the sounds of it, it seems like you have one type of measure (GPA) to filter students through, or out of, developmental math and then others to help determine the next level of math course.  Have you thought about using some sort of rubric where you measure the student on each of these placement tools, and then from these multiple measures, place the student?  I am curious since this is a topic of discussion, not just at our institution, but within our state.  The reason I ask is because each of the measures you mentioned are not measuring the same thing about the student - GPA is not the same as ACT/SAT or an in-house assessment.
    Again, thanks for your quick reply to the question and I look forward to your additional responses.
    John

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    John Hansen
    Dean of STEMM Division
    Iowa Central CC
    Fort Dodge IA
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  • 4.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-09-2021 15:04:00
    John,
    I think we kind of do what your mentioning.
    For example, there are 4 ways a student can place into Calc 1:
    1) score at least 85 on the Algebra II regents and have a high school pre-calc average of at least 80%
    2) score at least 650 on the math portion of the SAT
    3) score at least 28 on the math portion of the ACT
    4) take the internal placement exam and place into Calc 1
    We choose the highest of the 4 options.  So, for example, if the high school pre-calc average was only 75%, but the student scored 680 on the SAT, that student would be placed in Calc 1.

    We have similar systems for placing a student in Pre-calc and other courses.

    We are an open enrollment college and many of our students don't take the SAT or ACT as they are not required for admission.  So, in reality, most of our placement is based on high school grades.

    Moving students out of developmental classes (into math1230 / math1215 / ect -- see pictures) based only on high school GPA was not something the math dept. approved.  It was implemented by our former Provost.  We had a system for placing those students similar to the one described above.

    I've added images of what was approved by the department.  I hope this helps.


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    George Hurlburt
    Professor
    Corning CC
    Corning NY
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  • 5.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-09-2021 16:20:00
    George,
    Thank you for the clarification.  At my college, we are also an open enrollment institution and, therefore, do not use ACT/SAT for admissions.  I do know more and more colleges are not requiring ACT/SAT for admissions so it will be interesting to see how they will modify their placement to reflect not having access to these two scores.  
    Thanks for starting this conversation.  At the least, I am hopeful others get to thinking about their placement mechanisms at their institutions and respond to this discussion.
    John

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    John Hansen
    Dean of STEMM Division
    Iowa Central CC
    Fort Dodge IA
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  • 6.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-11-2021 18:20:00
    We're just starting to use multiple measures at our college, and do something similar to what George's college does. However, I see a lot of research on this topic as Editor of the Math AMATYC Educator, and high school GPA is far and away the best indicator of student success in a course. Even self-reported GPA is better than placement exams at placing students. (One figure I saw was that students were 98% honest about their GPA, which surprised me a bit.)

    I'm hopeful that it will get students into the classes they need faster without getting them in over their heads. Time will tell, I guess.

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    Johanna Debrecht
    Assistant Professor
    Red Rocks CC / Northern VA CC
    Lakewood CO
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  • 7.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-09-2021 19:47:00
    Prior to the pandemic we used Accuplacer and SAT/ACT test scores. Right before the pandemic, we instituted using high school gpa and grade in algebra II. If students disagreed with the placement, then they could take the placement test. However, because of the pandemic this change couldn't be implemented. Instead, the college created a self placement process. The math department created pages for each of the math classes that described the course outcomes and content, and posted videos where we told the students what skills they would need to succeed in each of the course. For the 2021 fall semester, we created an assessment survey for students where they could input their high school gpa if applicable, their SAT score if applicable, their ACT math score if applicable, their GED score if applicable, and the grade they received in algebra II in high school if applicable. The survey would then tell the students what class they should sign up to take. Not sure what we will be doing for spring semester placement once we return to campus. We need to do some research to see how successful students were with this self placement. Anecdotally, we do not think students were successful, but we need to look at the data. I believe we will keep the videos, and possible the self assessment survey, but then officially use their high school gpa, but our administration likes the self placement. 

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    Kathryn Kozak
    Instructor
    Coconino CC
    Flagstaff AZ
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  • 8.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-10-2021 08:52:00
    Kathryn,
    Thank you for the post.  It would be nice to see how successful the students were using your placement mechanism. I think the pandemic made us change a lot of how we assess students for placement.
    John

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    John Hansen
    Dean of STEMM Division
    Iowa Central CC
    Fort Dodge IA
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  • 9.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-10-2021 18:49:00
    We started instituting multiple measures five years ago. Our initial implementation was viewed with skepticism so we started slow and required the placement test first, with high school transcript or standardized tests serving as a "bump" into first level credit courses for those that tested into developmental math. The evidence from the first attempt proved successful, allowing us to switch the roles, high school transcript information first, then placement tests for higher placement. Our big aha with the second phase was that HS GPAs on the lower end that placed into developmental, did not turn out great. For example a student with a cumulative HS GPA of 2.4 was placed into Elementary Algebra. They earned passing grades at a lower rate than those placed with our placement test. The third iteration eliminated the lower GPAs from consideration and moved those students directly to the placement test. Along the way we added the GED because of our strong ties to the local ABE organization. Concepts we considered along the way: how far back will we go on transcripts? Better predictor of success, cumulative GPA or Alg. 2 math grade? Process, how do we retrieve, evaluate and complete date entry when students aren't testing? Is self reporting an option? Then the pandemic hit and our major shift was moving our placement test option to an online, non-proctored test. Fall 2020 metrics showed our HS cumulative GPA is still our best predictor of success and the non-proctored tool is better than our old standardized test (currently only places to Math Topics course, a QR-ish course, or Intermediate Algebra). Next steps: continue to track placement versus course success, discuss challenges of 2020-21 school year's effect on HS cumulative GPA as a predictor.
    As a definition note:  a cumulative HS GPA is viewed as a summative measure that encompasses a history of metrics, thus a multiple measure, one that predicts student success based on cognitive and non-cognitive skills, more than it does specific math skills. It is a single metric, yes, but it represents a sum of many academic efforts on the student's part.

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    Jeff Thies
    Pima CC
    Tucson AZ
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  • 10.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-12-2021 08:50:00
    Jeff,
    Thank you for all this information.  It sounds like your college/department put a lot of thought into this process, and used the data to refine the process it matured. I am sure your experience will give some guidance to others as more and more colleges are adopting multiple measures.
    John

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    John Hansen
    Dean of STEMM Division
    Iowa Central CC
    Fort Dodge IA
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  • 11.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-18-2021 19:43:00
    In May of 2019, our Math Department at Harrisburg Area Community College was task with implementing a new Multiple Measure for placement as well as implementing Pathways. At the same time, we also decided to go away from Accuplacer and now use ALEKS PPL.  Pandemic hit and clearly caused a lot of problems.  For our multiple measures, we decided a student needed to meet just one of the bulleted items below for placement in to College Level courses that require a developmental prerequisite.  We are still in discussion about using possibly more than one, but because of the pandemic, we have not be able to collet any data just yet.  
    As for the ALEKS PPL, we also had to switch to an unproctored version of the test.  As you can figure out, not good.  As of this Fall, we will still be mainly using remote classes so data collection is still not possible.  This thread is great.  I'm listening to what successes and failures others are having.

    • Math SAT 530 or higher
    • Math ACT 21 or higher
    • Math GED 175 or higher
    • Accuplacer NGAA score 250 or higher                                        
    • Accuplacer NGQS score 270 or higher
    • High School GPA 3.0 or higher (HGPA = 3.0 or above            
    High School Algebra II grade of A or B (HSMA = 3 or 4)

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    Dan Fahringer
    Associate Professor
    Harrisburg Area CC
    Harrisburg PA
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  • 12.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-19-2021 08:44:00
    Dan,
    Thank you for the post.  We too use ALEKS PPL for placement and when the pandemic started, we moved away from proctored placement due to budget issues (using a proctoring service was not in the budget).  From our initial data, we are finding the students' scores did not necessarily reflect their actual knowledge of the content when compared to previous years when we had proctored assessments.  
    Again, thanks for your post.
    John

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    John Hansen
    Dean of STEMM Division
    Iowa Central CC
    Fort Dodge IA
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  • 13.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-20-2021 12:22:00
    Hi John,

    We've used multiple placement measures for a long time. We have had high school transcript placement in place for over 20 years. We also use Smarter Balanced scores which are a state high school test. We used to use Compass placement test as another option years ago. We did not find it very effective at placing students in precollege level courses (we have had math pathways for STEM/non-STEM majors for over 10 years) so I helped lead development of our own placement tests using MyLabs that aligned with our learning outcomes. We are currently in process of shifting our placement tests to WaMap (MyOpenMath outside Washington state) OER platform for our tests so there is no cost to the college or students. I provided links below for reference about my college's placement options and also a study Dr. Lardner, my VPAA, assisted with includes some statistics for our placement design.

    https://placeandtest.highline.edu/placement/
    https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/to-fix-inequities-south-king-county-report-recommends-community-colleges-stop-requiring-remedial-classes/

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    Katherine Skelton
    Mathematics Instructor
    Highline College
    Des Moines, WA
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  • 14.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Multiple Measures Focus

    Posted 08-20-2021 17:28:00
    Katherine,
    Thank you for the post.  I am sure a lot of people will find your placement process interesting.  I am looking forward to reading the articles you included.
    John

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    John Hansen
    Dean of STEMM Division
    Iowa Central CC
    Fort Dodge IA
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