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ERIC Number: ED413359
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 76
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Indicators of the Effectiveness of Developmental Course Placement Systems in College.
Sawyer, Richard
Course placement systems in the first year of college include both an assessment component (to estimate students' probability of success in standard courses) and an instructional component (in which underprepared students are taught the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the standard courses). The effectiveness of a placement system depends on students' eventual success in the standard courses, usually defined in terms of completing these courses with satisfactory grades. This paper illustrates how statistical theory can be used to model the effectiveness of aspects of a course placement system. The illustration is based on data from 268 students who enrolled in different first-year mathematics courses at a midwestern university. First, students' preferences for different course grades were estimated separately under the assumption that they had or had not taken remedial courses. Students expressed their preferences in terms of "value functions." The actual outcomes for students who received remedial instruction before enrolling in a course were then compared with their predicted outcomes had they not done so. An analogous comparison is also made between students' expected value assumptions under the two assumptions. Remedial instruction increased students' probability of success in standard courses. Its principal effect was to decrease the proportion of students who received "W"s and "F"s slightly, and to increase the proportion of students who received "D"s, "C"s, and "B"s. This benefit was not large enough, however, to offset the "disutility" associated with taking remedial courses as expressed by students' value functions. Appendixes discuss statistical issues and logistic regression results and present the value function questionnaire. (Contains 8 tables, 10 figures, and 39 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).