Tuesday, February 14, 2006

MAA Placement tests in MapleTA

Back in July, Maplesoft and the MAA (Mathematical Association of America) announced a plan to create Placement Tests using Maplesoft's MapleTA online test software. Today they have released the first version.

http://www.maplesoft.com/products/placement/

Placement tests help to establish which courses a student needs and online delivery will make the process more efficient.

The MAA is not the only provider and had previously discontinued its Placement Test program. It clearly feels confident enough that the online delivery makes it worthwhile again that it has signed a five year agreement with Maplesoft and has mapped out the plan for the product well into that time:

  • CPTS v 1.0. Consists of four parallel forms of each of six tests: Arithmetic and Skills, Basic Algebra, Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Trigonometry and Elementary Functions, and Calculus Readiness.

  • CPTS v 2.0. will consist of the six tests included in Version 1.0; added to these tests will be parallel forms of each of four calculator-based tests that use a “pop-up” calculator. The calculator-based versions of Arithmetic and Skills , Basic Algebra , Algebra , and Calculus Readiness are the ones included in Version 2.0 that were not a part of Version 1.0.

  • CPTS v 3.0. will consist of placement tests that include some items for which students supply the responses; that is, these items will not be multiple-choice ones.

  • CPTS v 4.0. will consist of the placement tests of Version 3.0 and will be administered in a computer-sequenced environment.

  • CPTS v 5.0. will be a full-fledged Computer Adaptive Testing System.

Since the details of the agreement are not public, it is not clear who is taking the risk, but with prices claimed to be as little as $2, the margins are tight in finding customers but once signed up, customers will take little effort to support.

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