Many of you may already be using or are familiar with NROC - the National Repository of Online Courses - which provides free access to online high school, AP, and college level courses. They recently launched a site, called EdReady.org, designed to help students measure college math readiness and prepare for placement exams, such as COMPASS, or the ACT and SAT, using NROC’s vast library of free, online video and interactive lessons. What’s especially interesting about EdReady: it highlights a student’s weak areas, proposes a personalized study plan complete with links to recommended lessons, and highlights target scores needed to meet the math proficiency requirements of particular schools, so that students can avoid dreaded math remediation courses. And, like NROC, EdReady is free.
A recent, hour-long webinar, which can be viewed here, outlines how the site works:
Get Started: To create a free account, a student just needs a name and valid email address. This enables the site to store the study plan a student is working on. Students can also sign up as guests without creating an account, but the system won’t store your data.
Explore schools. Students can select their schools of interest and view such information as basic stats, costs, and number of students. Direct links to school websites are also provided.
Prepare for the ACT/SAT and placement exams for specific schools. Students can get a better idea of how well they will do on COMPASS or Accuplacer assessments by taking an EdReady diagnostic test. The test assesses a student’s performance on a range of math topics that comprise “college readiness,” and highlights strengths and weaknesses. Students are provided with a breakdown of topics in which they are not ready, need review, or have mastered.
The site also generates a score that can be matched against an individual school’s specific proficiency requirements. For example, say a student scores a 50 on the EdReady diagnostic test. EdReady will show the student the schools where that score would be good enough to not require remediation. If the student wants to go to a school that requires a proficiency score of 80, the site will generate a study plan to help the student achieve that score.
EdReady has a database of proficiency scores that includes every accredited institution in the country – community colleges and four-year institutions – representing about 2,500 schools nationally.
Follow a personalized study plan. The site shows the topics the student should focus on and gives an estimate of the hours of study required.
Students can click right into the recommended resources, provided through NROC. Every math topic has a video lesson, worked examples, chalkboard-style lessons on how to solve problems, and practice and review problems. Answers are provided as the student works. The system continues to update as the student progresses through and masters the material. Additional features include the ability to email study plans and print them for your records; and an online, printable textbook with more practice and review exercises.
How accurate are EdReady scores? According to the webinar, the scores generated should be accurate enough to predict a student’s success on college placement exams. As the system is used, if scores are not matching up with the ability to take credit-bearing courses, adjustments will be made where necessary.
Overall, EdReady seems like a great tool for students to explore their options and take a proactive approach to meeting math expectations at different schools -- before being faced with placement tests.