Test Centre – Academic Upgrading ACCUPLACER Pilot

Retention Project 2009 – 2011:
Joint Academic Upgrading/Test Centre
Assessment Pilot
Lynne Eagan, Academic Upgrading
Cindy Thuswaldner, Academic Upgrading
Jeff Agate, Test Centre
Purpose of Pilot
Update promotional criteria and assessment
methods for AU - Communication courses.
• Review language skills and proficiency levels
for course promotion.
• Adopt new assessment tools
– Use of current assessment technologies
– Align assessment tools with post-secondary
admission practice
The Academic Upgrading Program
• Poor English and Math skills are known barriers
to post-secondary success.
• The AU – Comm courses develop English skills
necessary for success in all post-secondary
• The tools used to assess English skills in AU –
Comm now line up with assessment tools (i.e.,
Accuplacer) currently used for admission to
Implementation Process
Step 1:
Gain consensus among faculty on the Performance
Level Descriptors necessary for promotion between
the 5 courses of AU Comm.
 Reading
 Writing
Implementation Process
Step 2:
Identify suitable Accuplacer tests.
 8 language skills tests available
A hybrid of Accuplacer tests and professorscored writing samples were adopted for
promotion criteria.
Implementation Process
Step 3:
Identification of corresponding test scores for
the Performance Level Descriptors necessary
for promotion between each course.
 Collaborative process
 Accuplacer service
Implementation Process
Step 4:
Scheduling and implementation
 Custom AU Comm Accuplacer site.
 Automatic scoring with placement
recommendations .
 Results delivered to professors by next
• Increased student retention – no longer a barrier.
• Promotion assessment more relevant because it
mirrors the college admission process
• Un-timed - reduces examinee stress
• Fewer students getting “stuck”
• Re-test period shortened from 90 to 30 days
• Current and culturally unbiased assessment
• Reflects Algonquin’s commitment to use of
current technology
• Data is readily available for analysis
• 173 AU – Comm students have completed
• Increase in number of students promoted
from course to course
• Speeding up of the promotional process –
student success is accelerated

similar documents