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A multinational, multi-institutional study of assessment of programming skills of first-year CS students

McCracken, Michael, Almstrum, Vicki, Diaz, Danny, Guzdial, Mark, Hagan, Dianne, Kolikant, Yifat Ben-David, Laxer, Cary, Thomas, Lynda, Utting, Ian, Wilusz, Tadeusz and others. (2001) A multinational, multi-institutional study of assessment of programming skills of first-year CS students. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 33 (4). pp. 125-140. ISSN 0097-8418. (doi:10.1145/572133.572137) (KAR id:13514)


In computer science, an expected outcome of a student's education is programming skill. This working group investigated the programming competency students have as they complete their first one or two courses in computer science. In order to explore options for assessing students, the working group developed a trial assessment of whether students can program. The underlying goal of this work was to initiate dialog in the Computer Science community on how to develop these types of assessments. Several universities participated in our trial assessment and the disappointing results suggest that many students do not know how to program at the conclusion of their introductory courses. For a combined sample of 216 students from four universities, the average score was 22.89 out of 110 points on the general evaluation criteria developed for this study. From this trial assessment we developed a framework of expectations for first-year courses and suggestions for further work to develop more comprehensive assessments.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1145/572133.572137
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Mark Wheadon
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2008 17:58 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2023 11:29 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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