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Peer Review

CSU English Success Website



Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.25 stars
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Dec 11, 2013 by English Editorial Board
Overview: The California State University English Success Website offers a variety of college preparatory English resources and a personalized advising tool for college English. It is designed to prepare high school students for enrolling in for-credit English courses.
Type of Material: Quiz/Test
Recommended Uses: This resource can be accessed by students considering their preparation for college so they are better prepared as they plan high school courses. The site is useful for preparing students for the English Preparation Test (EPT) and informing parents, teachers, and other stakeholders about CSU. In addition, the site offers resources for high school teachers preparing students for the EPT.
Technical Requirements: A Web browser and general familiarity with navigating websites.
Identify Major Learning Goals: This site is designed to help high school students, parents, teachers, and counselors become familiar with with the English Placement Test required by all California State Universities. The site provides users with a general overview of the testing requirements and free on-line test preparation material drawn from old tests. Students can learn why it is important to take the EPT seriously and how they can prepare themselves to do well on it.
Target Student Population: High school attendees and some community college students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Students will perform better if they have completed the courses in English required for high-school graduation.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: The site fulfills its mission by providing students with an engaging introductory material for the EPT, including video, interactive media, and test preparation advice. Perhaps most useful to students considering attending a California State University are the test preparation materials and practice tests, which are easily accessed via the "Exam Prep" link. The material is applicable to most college entrance expectations, not just to the CSU system. There are numerous resources for teachers to help students prepare for the examination.
Concerns: Because the site attempts to appeal to a very broad demographic, the more narrow focus of test preparation could potentially get lost in the shuffle.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: A very effective site for orienting students, parents, teachers, and counselors to the English Placement Test. The preparation materials and practice tests provide students with concrete ways to prepare for the test. The material is applicable to most college entrance expectations, so it is also useful for students not planning to attend to a CSU school.
Concerns: Students may not take the test seriously and may not follow up with the recommendations of the practice tests.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: Despite attempting to appeal to a broad audience and targeting multiple purposes, the site is well organized and easy to navigate. The pages are well organized, and in-depth information is provided to teachers.
Concerns: Access to sections requires a significant amount of reading text and clicking, which students may not do.

Other Issues and Comments: This site is a particularly welcome in light of the fact that students' access to test preparation material is often a function of family income. This site not only prepares students for the EPT but also provides users with a general sense of the test's purpose within the California State University system.