Rethinking Placement Exams

Traditional placement exams are high stakes assessments on which students receive either a passing or failing grade. Those who fail are placed into costly remediation courses that delay progress. In contrast, DAACS provides students with detailed information and feedback on their preparation for college-level work, as well as resources for shoring it up. Students can build needed skills while enrolled in courses that lead to the completion of their degrees.

Assessing the Whole Student

Current research suggests that self-regulated learning, mindset, and motivation are better predictors of college success than traditional placement or entrance exams. DAACS assesses these and provides students with strategies to be a more successful college student.

Predictive Analytics

Data provided by DAACS has been shown to increase the efficacy of predictive analytic models. These data not only help institutions identify their most academically at-risk students, but also provide specific information as to why they are at risk. With this information, more targeted interventions can be developed that better serve students’ needs.

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What's New

Recent research, presentations, and news from the DAACS team.

SIG Writing Conference 2018

By DAACS on August 30, 2018

Developing and Validating the DAACS Writing Assessment Authors: Heidi Andrade, Jason Bryer, and Robert Yagelski Abstract This paper describes an ongoing project in which on-demand writing is used as part of a diagnostic evaluation of newly admitted college students. The authors will present preliminary evidence of the validity and reliability of human and machine scored essays and the usefulness of the feedback provided to students on their writing and their self-regulated learning.

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Distance Teaching and Learning Conference

By DAACS on August 9, 2018

Distance Teaching and Learning Conference Although the issues of placement exams impact most less selective or open enrollment colleges, the efficacy of DAACS as an alternative to traditional placement exams was conducted at two large online distance education colleges: Excelsior College and Western Governors University. DAACS is an assessment framework that provides students with a formative view of their skills in self-regulation, reading, writing, and math. For administrators, DAACS provides valuable information to inform personalized interventions and more accurate risk modeling.

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League for Innovation in the Community College

By Jason Bryer on March 18, 2018

Rethinking Placement Exams: Diagnostic Assessment and Achievement of College Skills Abstract This session will introduce a new open source formative assessment developed as an alternative to tradition placement exams that measures self-regulated learning, reading, mathematics, and writing. Results from a pilot study conducted at two large online institutions will be discussed. The Diagnostic Assessment and Achievement of College Skills (DAACS) addresses the issues with traditional placement exams and remediation programs by providing students with immediate, detailed, formative feedback.

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Northeast Education Research Association

By DAACS on October 20, 2017

Development Of The Large Scale Diagnostic Assessments Of College Skills Authors: Jason Bryer, Excelsior College; Fusun Sahin, American Institutes for Research; Heidi Andrade, Angela Lui, Diana Akhmedjanova, & David Franklin, University at Albany, SUNY The Diagnostic Assessment and Achievement of College Skills (DAACS) is a technology-based, no-stakes diagnostic assessment system on academic and non-academic skills, with fast, actionable feedback. Development and piloting of these assessments at two online colleges is underway.

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