Toward Better College Course Placement: A Guide to Launching a Multiple Measures Assessment System

Cullinan, Dan; Barnett, Elisabeth A.; Ratledge, Alisa; Welbeck, Rashida; Belfield, Clive; Lopez-Salazar, Andrea

Drawing on lessons from 10 Minnesota and Wisconsin colleges that piloted multiple measures systems for placing students into developmental and college-level courses, this guide from CCRC and MDRC provides recommendations for other colleges interested in implementing or testing their own multiple measures systems. Beginning with the rationale behind changing assessment practices, the guide outlines what a multiple measures assessment system is, what it takes to get started, the personnel involved, and the costs that may be incurred in the design and planning processes.

Recent evidence suggests that relying on traditional placement tests misplaces substantial numbers of students, with many going into developmental education who could have been successful in college-level courses. Multiple measures placement systems that use alternative measures alongside the traditional tests will potentially provide more accurate results and better student outcomes. Still, practitioners may be hesitant to change their current practices, skeptical about the measures used, or unsure where to start. The information in this guide addresses these concerns and provides recommendations for how to approach each step of the implementation process.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Community College Research Center
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University and MRDC
Published Here
September 5, 2018