[LON-CAPA-users] LON-CAPA for placement tests

Todd Ruskell lon-capa-users@mail.lon-capa.org
Wed, 1 Mar 2006 12:40:19 -0700

Hi Mark,

We haven't done placement tests, but last fall some of our Physics 100 tests 
were given 100% online.  They actually had to do it in two waves, because we 
couldn't scare up 400+ computers at one sitting.  But we did have something 
like 250 students sitting in front of a computer taking the exam at the same 
time.  The guys on our Physics 100 team might chip in here, but it actually 
worked out quite well.  The students primarily used our two access servers, 
and there was only 1 load issue with them using our 2 access server and 1 
library server setup.

We can't say 100% for certain, but we are pretty sure it was actually the 
faculty that caused our single load problem.  During one of the exams one of 
the faculty thought it would be nice to check on students' progress, since 
they were scattered across campus, and kept loading/refreshing CHRT while 
logged into the library server.  While he was doing that, the load on the 
library server went through the roof, to the point that even the students on 
the access servers had some trouble.  Once he stopped doing that, all seemed 
to eventually return to "normal".  During the other two exams, when he didn't  
use CHRT, we had no problems at all.

I would expect getting scores out to be fairly straightforward, even if you 
need to use a spreadsheet.  Would students be allowed to use a calculator?  
If not, proctoring a true online test needs to be much more careful so that 
students don't fire up the calculators that are almost always present on a 
computer.  I suspect registering users would probably be the largest hangup.

My 2cents.


On Wednesday 01 March 2006 08:06 am, lucasm@ohiou.edu wrote:
> Hi,
> Some networking here has produced a mild interest in seeing if we can
> effectively use LON-CAPA to deliver math placement tests to students
> during orientation in the summer.
> In principle, this seems fine. As always the devil will be in the details
> (registering users, load spikes, getting scores out, security,...)
> Has anyone done anything like this? Does anyone have advice they want to
> impart about potential pitfalls or really good features for this?
> Thanks!
> Mark
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>- Mark Lucas					email: lucasm@ohiou.edu
> 252D Clippinger Lab  				phone: (740)597-2984
> Department of Physics and Astronomy             fax:   (740)593-0433
> Ohio University
> Athens, OH 45701
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Dr. Todd Ruskell
Lecturer, Department of Physics              Office:  Meyer Hall 326
Colorado School of Mines                     Phone: 303-384-2080
1523 Illinois Street                         Fax: 303-273-3919
Golden, CO 80401