The Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite 6 incorporates the results of current research into calculus assessment. The new Calculus Concepts Readiness Test determines if a student has a good understanding of the mathematical concepts needed to succeed in a calculus course. Further enhancements include tools to integrate the Placement Test Suite into course management systems, and performance improvements when dealing with large student populations.
Calculus Concepts Readiness Test
The new Calculus Concepts Readiness Test evaluates a student’s understanding of functions to determine if that student is ready for calculus. This test was created in response to modern research, which has shown that the ability to respond correctly to a diverse set of function-focused tasks is tightly linked to reasoning abilities that are essential for success in calculus. Mathematics faculty members who reviewed the Calculus Concepts Readiness Test were impressed with the depth to which the questions probe understanding of functional dynamics, and pilot testing indicated that the test has high predictive validity of success in a first calculus course.
- Questions are designed to determine a student’s understanding of key concepts needed in calculus. The questions probe a student’s understanding of a function as a general process that accepts input and produces output. The questions also evaluate a student’s awareness of the changing value of a function’s output and its rate change as the independent variable is varied through an interval in the domain.
- Pilot testing was completed in 2009 and 2010 and involved 9 institutions.
- The items on the test were subjected to extensive item analysis during test construction and during the pilot testing by members of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and experienced college mathematics teachers.
- The Calculus Concepts Readiness Test gives institutions another option for calculus placement testing. Institutions can choose the test from the Placement Test Suite that is most closely aligned with the requirements of their particular course.
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Built on Maple T.A. 6
Maple T.A. MAA Placement Test Suite 6 is built on Maple T.A. 6, the latest release from Maplesoft. New features in Maple T.A. 6 are also available to Placement Test Suite 6 customers.
- Maple T.A. 6 includes support for Moodle™, a popular open source course management system. Institutions can integrate the Placement Test Suite tests and results directly into their Moodle infrastructure. A new web services application programming interface (API) provides tools to allow an institution to integrate Maple T.A. with virtually any course management system, including custom-built solutions. For Blackboard users, the Maple T.A. Connector for Blackboard® Software has been updated to work with Maple T.A. 6.
- Improvements to memory management and database performance significantly reduce the time required for various Maple T.A. operations, especially in cases where large amounts of class data are involved.
- The question management model has been enhanced to provide more flexible and efficient tools for organizing question content.
For more information on these and other new features, see What’s New in Maple T.A. 6.