MATHEMATICS, SIMULATION AND MODELLING
Maplesoft-MAA Placement Test Suite
15 December 2008
Maplesoft has released the latest version of the Maplesoft-MAA Placement Test Suite. The Placement Test Suite is a collection of placement tests developed by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). These tests are administered through Maple TA, a web-based system from Maplesoft, which automatically assesses student responses and performance. The Maplesoft-MAA Placement Test Suite 4.0 contains many new features to reduce unwanted student collaboration, improve student experience, and further simplify the administration of placement tests.
In addition to the standard and calculator-based tests, the Placement Test Suite now also includes algorithmically-generated tests. These tests are provided in multiple forms to allow for repeated testing of the same student population and eliminate the risk of answer sharing by students. Each question now contains one or more parameters whose values are randomly chosen according to the constraints specified in the question template. Every student is presented with a randomised version of the same problem, so answers cannot be shared. The algorithmic tests are based on the original algorithms used to create the parallel forms of the standard placement tests. All algorithmic questions have been reviewed and approved by the MAA.
Other improvements to the product include options for more customisation in messages to students, enhancements to the Gradebook, and increased flexibility in user registration and roster management.
Developed in association with the MAA, a large professional society that focuses on undergraduate mathematics, the Placement Test Suite dramatically enhances the ability of colleges and universities to assess students’ knowledge of maths. Since tests are taken online, it is an 'anytime-anywhere' system, providing convenient access for students and saving valuable time for institutions. Universities can place students in the right courses quickly, easily, and at a fraction of the cost normally associated with traditional placement methods.