How do you place students into calculus courses?
August 29, 2011 11:30 AM Subscribe
Attention math teachers: what processes does your college/university use for placement into Calculus courses?
posted by leahwrenn to education (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I teach at a mid-sized open-admissions research university in the US; total student body is about 6000 (about 1100 first-year students).
Currently, we use Accuplacer to place students anywhere from developmental arithmetic into Calculus I, but we have no method to accurately place students into Calc I vs Calc II vs Calc III (should we be so lucky) except if they've gotten adequate scores on an AP test. Many of our students who start in Calc I have already taken Calculus in high school; some of them probably should re-take it at the college level, but probably some shouldn't. (And I'm not sure how good a job Accuplacer does at placing students, either. I don't think we have the data.)
Placing students into Calculus should be a reasonably solved problem. What do folks use? I've heard of the MAA-sponsered one that uses MapleTA; is it any good? (We're not a Maple campus, particularly.) An out-of-the-box solution would be easier than having to roll my own. Computer-administered/graded placement tests would be ideal, but ideally not multiple-choice. (although that may be the option.)