Teachers College, Columbia University

Implementing and Scaling Multiple Measures Assessment in the Context of COVID-19

By Susan Bickerstaff, Elizabeth M. Kopko, Erika B. Lewy, Julia Raufman & Elizabeth Zachry Rutschow
Implementing and Scaling Multiple Measures Assessment in the Context of COVID-19

State systems have played an increasingly prominent role in encouraging community colleges to implement effective developmental education reforms, and some states have begun to recommend or require multiple measures assessment for placement. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly created opportunities for state systems to facilitate institutional adoption of multiple measures assessment. In spring 2020, as large numbers of colleges across the nation moved to remote learning and work, it was often infeasible to continue offering in-person, proctored placement tests. Institutions sought out new ways to assess and place students. This brief discusses four states—Indiana, Virginia, Texas, and Washington—that supported large-scale changes to placement practices, with greater emphasis on multiple measures.

Based on interviews with system leaders and college administrators, faculty, and staff in these states, the authors of the brief present four short case studies that summarize how each state changed its placement policies and supported colleges in reaction to the pandemic. The brief addresses common multiple measures assessment implementation challenges such as facilitating buy-in; providing implementation support; combatting initiative fatigue; and establishing data-informed evaluation processes.