Maplesoft's flexible and efficient digital placement test system used by the University of the Virgin Islands - User Case Studies - Maplesoft

User Case Study:
Maplesoft's flexible and efficient digital placement test system used by the University of the Virgin Islands

Challenge
The University of the Virgin Islands was still relying on pen and paper placement tests. They were introduced to online placement testing through the Maple T.A. Mathematics Association of America (MAA) Placement Test Suite (PTS).

Solution
The University began administering their placement tests using the Maple T.A. MAA PTS. The MAA placement tests allow for quick evaluations and are an efficient method of placing students in the correct mathematics courses. Maple T.A. also allows students to practice before the test, receiving instant feedback on their responses.

Result
Dr. Celil Ekici, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, said the school quickly noticed significant gains in terms of efficiency and flexibility in administering the tests. With tests being less time consuming, the University was able to spend more time refining and customizing the materials.


Until a few years ago, the University of the Virgin Islands had a placement test system that used paper and pen tests. The school administration particularly liked the richness of the data that paper tests provided. That is, until they were introduced to online placement testing through Maplesoft’s digital testing solution, the Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite (PTS).

PTS enables universities to place incoming students in the right mathematics courses quickly and painlessly using the renowned Mathematical Association of America (MAA) placement tests offered online exclusively through the Maple T.A. testing environment. Correct placement ensures higher success rates for students. Students are more satisfied with the education they are receiving, and instructors can focus on teaching the course instead of dealing with ill-prepared students.

The gains we have made in terms of efficiency and flexibility are enormous. More importantly, our tests are now much less time consuming, while giving us the flexibility to customize them to our own needs, and those of the students.


- Dr. Celil Ekici, Assistant Professor of Mathematics


“We are very pleased with the Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite,” said Dr. Celil Ekici, Assistant Professor of Mathematics. “We like both the content and the tool. We are very happy with the quality of the questions created by the MAA, and the technological tools provided by Maplesoft. We like the quality of the customized experience provided by the Placement Test Suite.”

Before a test can become an MAA standard or calculator-based placement test, it is first administered at select institutions. The results undergo detailed analysis, with modifications and further trials as required. MAA placement tests have high credibility as they have been either constructed by college faculty members, or piloted at various universities over the last three decades.

PTS also gives universities the ability to access the questions ahead of time, and edit them, if they so wish. They can modify the content, change questions around, as well as do detailed analysis. This level of transparency is unique to the Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite.

“One aspect of PTS that we really appreciate is that we can choose a test that is most relevant to the particular course we are trying to accurately place the students in,” said Dr. Ekici. “With other packages that we evaluated, we couldn’t see the question in advance, which was a major concern. With PTS, we can select questions that are aligned perfectly with the courses we offer. The level of customization is very high in PTS – we actually took questions from five different tests and created two, which helped us create tests very specific for our courses.”

Because of the power of Maple T.A., students can practice several times before the test, getting instant feedback on their performance. Teachers can use the system to track students’ performance, analyze data and arrive at trends. This helps them customize lessons and instructions based on the students’ performance. “The data we can obtain by using this system is very powerful,” said Dr. Ekici. “We plan to improve our analytics by creating student profiles to track their performance in key skill sets we identify. The teachers will then use the data to create customized lessons for the classroom that will take the students’ skill level into consideration.”

Dr. Ekici and the University team are pleased with how the Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite has transformed their placement testing. “The gains we have made in terms of efficiency and flexibility are enormous. More importantly, our tests are now much less time consuming, while giving us the flexibility to customize them to our own needs, and those of the students.”


Contact Maplesoft to learn how Maple T.A. can be used in your classroom.