Using Online Assessment and Practice to Achieve Better Retention and Placement in Precalculus and Calculus

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



In the fall of 2008 Boise State University began using an online assessment tool, ALEKS1, as an initial assignment in Precalculus and Calculus courses. This paper reports on the effectiveness of the ALEKS assessment as a self-placement tool, used in conjunction with standard placement tests and prerequisite courses. The benchmark levels of 40% and 70% of knowledge space in the ALEKS course: Preparation for Calculus for Precalculus and Calculus courses were used. The paper looks at the effectiveness of the assessment with these benchmark levels as a first student assignment, both as a tool for student success, and as an instrument for making efficient use of the university's resources. Although there are no hard answers, and although much information is anecdotal, we introduce a statistic that is pertinent to these questions and show that it indicates partial effectiveness of the ALEKS assessment.

This document is currently not available here.