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Assessing Process and Product - A Practical Lab Exam for an Introductory Programming Course

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2 Author(s)
Bennedsen, J. ; IT Univ. West, Aarhus ; Caspersen, M.E.

The final assessment of a course must reflect its goals, and contents. An important goal of our introductory programming course is that the students learn a systematic approach for the development of computer programs. Having the programming process as learning objective naturally raises the question how to include this in assessments. Traditional assessments (e.g. oral, written, or multiple choice) are unsuitable to test the programming process. We describe and evaluate a practical lab examination that assesses the students' programming process as well as the developed programs. The evaluation is performed in two ways: By analyzing the results of two lab examinations (with more than 500 students) and by semi-structured individual interviews with representatives of the involved persons (students, TAs, lecturer, and examiner). The result of the evaluation is encouraging and indicates the value of alignment and strong conformity between goal, content and assessment of the introductory programming course

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 36th Annual

Date of Conference:

27-31 Oct. 2006