What is MAP?
The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) are nationally normed computer adaptive tests that can be used in a variety of ways. Because they are nationally normed, one can compare a student’s results with those of other students in the United States. They are also a valuable tool for instruction. MAP results can be used to help teachers and students evaluate each student’s achievement, set personal goals for improvement and monitor progress.
MAP has been developed by NWEA, a non-profit educational association that is nationally known and respected for its research, as well as the MAP. Features of MAP assessments include:
- Alignment to Ohio Academic Standards, which for math and English/language arts are the Common Core
- Computer adaptive administration, which permits optimal precision of assessment results without making students take excessively long tests
- Immediate score reports
- The ability to re-assess so that a student’s progress can be tracked
What is a computer adaptive test (CAT) and what are the benefits to using it?
A CAT is set up to allow the computer to tailor the test to each student. This is how it works:
- The first question the computer will provide is one of average difficulty.
- If the student answers it correctly, the computer will select a harder question next time.
- If the student answers it incorrectly, the computer will select an easier question next time.
- This process of selecting the next question based on the previous answers continues throughout the testing session.
The benefits of this approach include:
- Students do not waste their time trying to answer many questions that are way too easy or too difficult for them. This improves a student’s ability to stay focused, rather than quitting due to boredom or frustration.
- The bulk of questions a student answers are in the vicinity of his/her achievement level. This makes the resulting score much more reliable and accurate.
- The ability to cheat is removed, since each student is answering different questions.
- The pool of questions the computer can select from is enormous and covers a wider range of achievement levels than you would find on a typical paper/pencil test. This results in solid measurement, no matter what a student’s achievement level may be.
Where can I find out more about this test?