Using Placement Tests to Improve SLOs and Retention - Course Technology Computing Conference


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Using Placement Tests to Improve SLOs and Retention - Course Technology Computing Conference

Presenter: Rachelle Hall & Beth Berry, Glendale Community College

The importance of student retention and improvement of student learning outcomes in an introductory survey of computer systems course cannot be over emphasized. GCC has been struggling with this issue for years and by incorporating SAM technology into our courses, we were able to address our challenges and develop an action plan. The development of new strategies require data collection. Using a program such as SAM allows us to obtain the data we require. This presentation will demonstrate how we use SAM to define what and where our focus needs to be in order to offer a path to success for our students. Our “D-F-W” rate was close to 30% after our curriculum was changed to articulate to the state universities. This curriculum change added many higher-level tasks to the course, and data showed the students who were unable to conquer these tasks were those who received the D, F or W grade. Those struggling either stopped coming to class once it reached this level of difficulty or simply could not keep up with the content. Using the data we were able to develop a placement test in conjunction with SAM which students take the first week of the class. Should a student not achieve a base entry level score, they can be enrolled in a lower-level computer course. These students are monitored throughout the course to measure their success and retention. Once they complete the competencies in the lower-level course, they are able to proceed into the higher-level survey course with the skill set to succeed. The goals of this presentation are to demonstrate how using technology assessment tools, such as SAM, can give you the information to determine where and how changes need to be made to enable student success in your course. For GCC, it was placement tests for our entering computer students to ensure they were taking the courses they needed to succeed. Although many institutions stray from placement tests for entering computer course students, we now embrace them as a tool to aid in student success.

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Using Placement Tests to Improve SLOs and Retention - Course Technology Computing Conference

  1. 1. Using Placement Tests to Improve SLOs and Retention Rachelle Hall and Beth Berry
  2. 2. Presenters Rachelle Hall • Faculty – Business and Information Technology • Director – Assessment and Program Review • CIS105 Coordinator • SAM user/administrator for 11 years • Technology Power User Beth Berry • Faculty – Business and Information Technology – Accounting and Computer Application courses • Supervisor – BPC programs and courses • SAM administration / user for 10 years
  3. 3. Glendale Community College – Glendale Community College, Glendale AZ – Enrollment – 19,993 – FTSE – 11,581 – LMS is Canvas – Use SAM for all Office application courses
  4. 4. Socrative 1. Click Student Login 2. Join Room #77098
  5. 5. GCC Courses • CIS105 – Survey of Computer Information Systems – Applications and Concepts – Enrollment – approximately 1,200 per semester • BPC110 – Business Personal Computers – Applications only – Enrollment – approximately 200 per semester • All office application courses – Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint – Enrollment – approximately 500 per semester
  6. 6. Grade Distribution
  7. 7. Our Plan • Placement Survey in SAM – Minimum level of proficiency to succeed in CIS105 and BPC110 – Set the competencies of Intro to Computers (BPC101) • If student scored C or below, were recommended to change courses for success • Monitoring students for success patterns • Study will go through Spring of 2014 • Recommendations to President in Summer of 2014 Goal is to have mandatory placement test prior to enrollment
  8. 8. Student Benefits • Students succeed! • Eliminates the frustration that leads to failure in or withdrawal from the more advanced course • Increased student learning – Instruction is targeted to students at this skill level – More opportunities to collaborate with peers • Students obtain solid computing skills necessary for success in transfer courses • Time and Financial benefits – Students are not spending time or money on a class they will not pass
  9. 9. Instructor Benefits • Quick and easy set up for multiple sections • Students are properly placed for success • Class is more homogenous – Class flow is not interrupted – Content is covered on schedule • Skill level is more consistent throughout the class – More collaborative opportunities between students – More opportunities for the teaching of advanced skills and “fun” stuff. This allows more time for enhanced and engaged learning
  10. 10. Questions? 623-845-3231 623-845-3391