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Working with pretests, posttests, and end of semester tests


PLATO courses contain unit pretests, posttests, and end of semester tests, also known as Course Level Assessments (CLA). They contain a fixed set of questions and are presented in a random order. These tests range in the number of questions in each so unlike mastery tests, which need to be taken in one session, CLA tests can be saved and completed at a later time if necessary.They also do not report mastery, only completion and score. Mastery status for these activities is grayed out in edit status and reports. Any modules exempted by the pretest will be marked as exempted and are not required for Learners to complete.


Note concerning randomization in CLA's: CLA's contain questions from course modules. If there is only 1 question in the module, there is nothing to be randomized. Only if there are 2 or more questions in the modules, 1 of the 2 questions will appear first in the assessment. Geometry is a good example to show randomization.

Do CLA tests include questions on offline activities?

PLATO course CLA tests can include questions on offline activities. If Learners are not required to complete the offline activity modules, they may not be prepared for the posttests and end of semester tests. Some pretests include questions from offline activities where Learners can be exempted from. If you want to exclude offline activities from a course to ensure questions are not asked from them, create a custom resource and remove the modules that you do not want to appear in the CLA tests.

Are all online and offline modules in units covered in CLA tests?

No. Some online and offline modules in a unit or course may not be included in the tests. There are two types of offline activities: supplemental and required. See the link below for more information on offline activities:

Working with offline activities in PLATO content

How To

View which modules contribute to a CLA

The following steps pertain to both PLATO courses and custom resources that contain CLA tests. A custom resource must be in a finished status (unpublished or published) before viewing the test design, however, it does not need to be assigned. See the link below for more information on customizing resources:

Creating custom resources in PLE

  1. In the Content mini-app, locate the PLATO course CLA.
  2. Click View Test to bring up the test design window.
  3. Under Test Content Summary, a list of modules contributing questions to the CLA will be listed along with the number and percentage of questions in the test.

Print questions and passages for CLA tests

Educators can print questions and reading passages for CLA tests to assist Learners who may have trouble reading or comprehending the content.

  1. In the Content mini-app, locate the PLATO course CLA.
  2. Click View Test to bring up the test design window.
  3. Click the Print button at the top of the Test Questions section, then click Print to print the test questions.
  4. If the question has a passage, there is a blue link that is below the question number and above the question text. The blue link says, "Read passage x to answer this question." The passages are at the bottom of the Print view of the test
  5. Click the Print button in the window to print the questions and passages.

See where to find printable CLA tests and answer keys for more information.

What's Next

Can you assign a CLA test by itself?

CLA tests cannot be assigned by itself. The system will not allow you to add it to a custom resource by itself. If you create a custom resource based on an existing course, then remove all the modules from a unit leaving only the pretest and posttest, the tests would have no questions. To assign a customized version of a PLATO course containing a posttest that does contain a question, the course must also contain at least one unit that includes at least one module. 

Other Considerations

What's the average number of questions on an End of Semester Test?

There are anywhere from 30-60 questions in an EOS test. The more lessons in the course, the more questions on the test, but not to exceed 60.

How does adding/removing modules affect CLA tests?

In a standard PLATO course, the CLA tests include questions based on modules that are part of the units. Not all modules necessarily contain questions in all tests, however. In some instances, a module may be represented in the posttest, but not in the pretest or end of semester test. Typically, the end of semester test does not cover all the modules that are covered by the pretests and posttests; this is by design, to keep the test to a reasonable length.

When creating a custom resource from an existing PLATO course, removing modules will adjust dynamically by removing questions related to the removed modules. If you remove all modules that contribute, the CLA cannot be used since there are no contributing modules and so the test would contain no questions.


How to get more help

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