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Why do some activities not report scores?


There are some activities in Courseware content that report scores and some that just report mastery and/or completion status.


Dynamic vs. Non-dynamic mastery tests

Mastery tests give mastery status if the score is 80% or higher, but not all tests report a score. There are two types of mastery tests in Courseware content:

Non-dynamic tests: Those that do report a score, such as those in the Writing Process and Practice titles, in the Grammar and Mechanics modules, give the same number of questions each time; these are non-dynamic tests. For example, Splitting Fused Run-ons: Mastery Test presents ten questions. Even if the Learner answers the first three questions incorrectly and is, at that point, no longer able to answer eight correctly to achieve mastery, the remaining seven questions are presented.

Dynamic tests: Mastery tests from some content titles, such as Essential Reading Skills, however, are dynamic, which means they adapt to the Learner's responses. These tests do not always give the maximum number of questions; instead, they will end sooner if 80% is either achieved or no longer achievable. These tests show mastery if 80% or better was achieved, but do not show a score. For example, in Essential Reading Skills, Pronouns: Mastery Test, the maximum number of questions presented is five; mastery requires four questions are answered correctly. The test will end early if the student answers the first four correctly or two incorrectly out of the first four. Mastery is still based on achieving 80% or better, but the score is not fully determined, so no score is reported, by design.

What's Next

Which titles report mastery test scores?

Courseware content titles using non-dynamic tests and give a percentage score as well as mastery include:

(WPP = Writing Process and Practice)

Advanced WPP Chemistry Series Fundamental Projects for the Real World *
Algebra 1 and 2 Computer Application and Technology Health Reading Explorations
Art History and Appreciation Consumer Math Intermediate WPP Worldview Social Studies (all titles)
Basic Skills for the Real World * Earth Science with Assessments Life Science with Assessments  
Beginning Reading for the Real World * Essential WPP Math Expeditions *  
Biology Series Foundational Mathematics Physical Science with Assessments  

* The test is combined in a single activity along with the lesson and the practice sections.

In addition, the applications in some content titles also provide percentage scores since they reflect the percentage answered correctly out of a fixed number of questions asked. Not all application activities in Courseware content is designed with this feature.

Which titles do not report mastery test scores?

PLATO content titles using dynamic tests and do not report scores include:

Advanced Reading Strategies Fundamental Reading Strategies Miscellaneous Math Resource
Business Basics Geometry 1 and 2 Technology Fundamentals (Applied Physical Science)
Communication Skills Informational Reading Trigonometry
Data Skill for Today Intermediate Reading Strategies Workplace Writing
Essential Reading Skills \Miscellaneous Language Arts Resource  

Some content titles do not use mastery tests, including:

  • Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension - reports score and completion on vocabulary builder and practice activities, but no mastery reported.
  • Math Problem Solving - reports mastery and completion but no score.

Titles for application activities that do/don't report scores

Plato titles that use application, drill or practice activities that report scores are:

(WPP = Writing Process and Practice)

Advanced WPP (Grammar/Mechanics only) Data Skills for Today Fundamental WPP (Grammar/Mechanics only) Trigonometry
Algebra 1 and 2 Essentials Reading Skills Intermediate Reading Strategies Workplace Writing
Applied Physical Science Essential WPP (Grammar/Mechanics only) Intermediate WPP (Grammar/Mechanics only) Vocabulary & Reading Comprehension (vocabulary builders and practices)
Business Basics Foundational Mathematics (practices) Geometry 1  
Communication Skills Fundamental Reading Strategies Geometry 2 (drills)  

If you are using application scores as part of your grading system, use alternate criteria (such as module mastery) for content that do not report application scores.
The content that use application, drill or practice activities but do not report scores are:

Advanced Reading Strategies (problem solving activities) Earth and Space Science
Biology Series Life Science
Chemistry Series Physical Science

There are other content that do not use separate applications, drills or practice activities:

Beginning Reading for the Real World Projects for the Real World
Essential Reading Skills Reading Explorations
Math Expeditions Worldview Social Studies (all titles)
Math Problem Solving  

Other Considerations

Why do some mastery tests in Courseware report a score, whereas others do not?

Courses and other learning paths use content from one or more Plato titles, so the mastery tests may behave differently from one module to the next. For example, some English courses draw from both Writing Process and Practice titles (score reported) and Reading Strategies titles (no score reported). 

To see which Plato Titles contribute to the content of a particular Course, see the Instructor Materials.

Even if the dynamic test ends early, why isn't the score reported?

Since the system does not know or need to know how the Learner would have answered the remaining questions, it is not valid to report an exact percentage score; rather, mastery can be interpreted as a range of 80-100%; non-mastery indicates a range of 0-79%.

Here is an example of how this works:

  • Learner A gets the first three questions correct, one incorrect, and another correct, which earns mastery.
  • Learner B answers the first four questions correctly in a row, which also earns mastery; a fifth question is not asked.

Rather than reporting Learner A with a score of 80% (4/5) and Learner B with a score of 100% (4/4), the system treats the two results the same (mastered), since Learner B could have gotten a fifth question correct or incorrect, resulting in either 80% or 100%. Likewise, if Learner C answers the first two questions incorrectly and Learner D gets three right, then two wrong, both are simply given non-mastery for the test.

How can a grade be assigned for a dynamic mastery test?

  • When a Learner masters a dynamic test that does not give a score, treat it as a pass/fail grade rather than a percentage score. Each test indicates that the Learner has mastered an objective.
  • If you want to derive numerical grades on the results of mastery tests the Learner has taken over a given period of time, you can use the Learning Modules category in the Grade Report. This shows the percentage of modules that have been mastered, exempt, or completed (if mastery is not reported).

For detailed information about the Grade Report, please refer to the tutorial and Curriculum Reports Reference Guide:

Curriculum Reports Reference Guide


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