Initial Results from the ALEKS Math Placement Implementation

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November 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014
1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
508 Rider Building or
Adobe Connect

Presented by Tanya Furman, Associate Vice President and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education; Janet Schulenberg, Associate Director for Advising Technology and Curriculum, Division of Undergraduate Studies; and Andrew Watters, Analysis and Planning consultant, Office of Undergraduate Education

In 2013/14, Penn State began implementation of ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces), a mathematics placement test, which replaces the internally developed and housed system used since 2002. ALEKS is an online adaptive program that provides both placement testing and remediation. The assessment program is designed to probe for students’ areas of strength and weakness. Areas needing strengthening are immediately revealed to students and they are immediately provided the opportunity to use ALEKS online learning modules to practice the needed content and to re-test after completing an amount of review determined by the Math Department. Each student has a maximum of two remediation opportunities. Since the placement tests are individualized for each student, the placement results are much finer-grained than the earlier model and purport to more accurately point students to courses where they are likely to be successful. In this presentation, Dr. Furman and Dr. Schulenberg will focus on ALEKS’s impact on student enrollment in calculus-sequence MATH courses, early indicators of its effects, and plans for continued research. Advisers, faculty, and others concerned with student success in mathematics should not miss this presentation.

You are invited to attend, either in person or via Adobe Connect Pro. Adobe Connect Pro is simple to use. Penn State provides the service University-wide, and participants shouldn’t need to install or purchase anything. After you’ve registered, you will receive instructions on how to connect to the webinar. To register for this free event, please call the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment at (814) 863-8721, or email Please indicate whether you plan to attend in person or via Adobe Connect Pro.

The Institutional Research Interest Group is a community of practice whose goal is to help strengthen Penn State’s capacity to use data for informed planning and decision making. More information is available at Participation in Penn State’s IR Interest Group is open to any interested faculty members, staff, administrators, or students.