Effective Personalized Assessment for STEM Education

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Adaptive Testing: Effective Personalized Assessment for STEM Education


One of the biggest challenges for educators is how to meet the individual needs of each student while facing the inevitable constraints of time, money, and resources. This challenge is especially critical in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, where new content relies heavily on the concepts that have come before. If a student fails to learn one idea properly, it will have a large impact on their future learning, but with large classes and many concepts to teach, how can an instructor ensure that their students understand?

Technological advances mean that adaptive testing and automated assessment are now available to help instructors manage part of this challenge. The resulting personalized learning experience means that each student gets the help they need where they need it, at the moment they need it. For instructors, it means they get more refined insights into where their class, and even their individual students, are having problems.

It is important to note that adaptive testing can only be effective if the assessment questions truly evaluate student understanding. If a question can't accurately determine understanding, then the adaptive aspects of the test will be unreliable, and not always meet the needs of the students. For STEM courses, standard question types such as multiple choice and numeric response are simply insufficient to make this determination. Maple T.A. is a web-based testing and assessment system designed especially to meet the needs of STEM education. It allows you to truly assess understanding of math-based concepts and offers extensive adaptive testing facilities, so you can provide an individualized learning experience for your students.

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