ERIC Number: ED454907
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Explaining Student Course Outcomes by Analyzing Placement Test Scores, Student Background Data, and Instructor Effects.
Armstrong, William B.
This study examined the predictive validity of placement test scores with course grade and retention in English and mathematics classes. An increase in the use of testing to determine student eligibility for community college courses has prompted debate and litigation over the equity, access, and legal implications of these practices. In California, this has resulted in state regulations requiring that community colleges provide predictive validity evidence of test-score based inferences and course prerequisites. In addition, companion measures which supplement placement test score must be used for placement. However, for both theoretical and technical reasons, the predictive validity coefficients between placement test scores and final grades or retention in a course generally demonstrate a weak relationship. This investigation produced a model to explain variance in course outcomes using test score, student background data, and instructor differences. The model produced suggested that student dispositional characteristics explained the highest proportion of variance in the dependent variables. Including the instructor in the model added significantly to the explanatory power, suggesting that grading variation makes accurate placement more problematic. This investigation underscored the importance of academic standards as something imposed on the student by the college and not determined by the entering abilities of students. Contains 28 references. (JA)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California