Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-041913-095912

Document Typethesis
Author NameWhorton, Skyler
TitleCan a computer adaptive assessment system determine, better than traditional methods, whether students know mathematics skills?
DepartmentComputer Science
  • Neil T. Heffernan, Advisor
  • Joseph Beck, Reader
  • Keywords
  • intelligent tutoring system
  • computer adaptive test
  • item response theory
  • assessment
  • education
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2013-04-19
    Availability unrestricted


    Schools use commercial systems specifically for mathematics benchmarking and longitudinal assessment. However these systems are expensive and their results often fail to indicate a clear path for teachers to differentiate instruction based on studentsí individual strengths and weaknesses in specific skills. ASSISTments is a web-based Intelligent Tutoring System used by educators to drive real-time, formative assessment in their classrooms. The software is used primarily by mathematics teachers to deliver homework, classwork and exams to their students. We have developed a computer adaptive test called PLACEments as an extension of ASSISTments to allow teachers to perform individual student assessment and by extension school-wide benchmarking. PLACEments uses a form of graph-based knowledge representation by which the exam results identify the specific mathematics skills that each student lacks. The system additionally provides differentiated practice determined by the studentsí performance on the adaptive test. In this project, we describe the design and implementation of PLACEments as a skill assessment method and evaluate it in comparison with a fixed-item benchmark.

  • Final.pdf

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