PLACEments is an adaptive assessment system within the ASSISTments platform that provides prerequisite training to students based on measures of their current knowledge. The PLACEments system was released as a preference within ASSISTments in 2013. This assessment tool helps to gauge a student’s knowledge by comparing their current skill level to a complex skill graph. Based on detected deficiencies, the system provides the appropriate remediation exercises to promote learning gains.

The Data Driven system allows teachers to assign additional practice on skills based on a student’s performance, typically providing questions, worked examples, and tutoring strategies for questions similar to those with which the student struggles. This feature, while intelligent, does not make the idea of prerequisites apparent to teachers hoping to individualize education.

Sample question from the skill builder provided as remediation to a students incorrect response on the PLACEments Test.

How does it work?

When assigning a PLACEments Test, the teacher can choose the skills and depth of prerequisite remediation that students will be tested on. For each skill the teacher chooses, an exemplary item is placed on the PLACEments Test. If the student answers the item incorrectly, he or she may then be asked to answer items that exemplify the prerequisite skills. Based on the student’s performance, the assessment provides the teacher with a clear picture of the skills that each student lacks, allowing them to better individualize their approach. PLACEments assists teachers in this process, by providing each student with the appropriate remediation exercises for the skills on which they struggled.

Structure of the randomized controlled trial to test PLACEments