I've been mulling this over for several hours, and have looked at a tangentially related question here. That question was about making a task more challenging for a "more confident" learner. I have what I call "hacker versions" of programming tasks in code, such as producing a GUI version of RPSLS rather than the CLI style we do initially in class. There were no extra points.
Here, I was wondering can I/ should I have a "simplified" assignment that would be "easier" and be weighted "downwards".
The class have previously completed a use case (table and diagram) for accessing a course on Coursera, so they had to identify a range of use-cases, including identifying 'extend' and 'include' cases.
I teach a course (introductory) in software architecture at roughly the level of first year in third level. The outline for the assessment (1 of 8 summative assessments) states "Derive a test case from a provided use case". Examples in class were the "classic" ATM test-case, as well as a vending machine and an e-payment site.
At the same time, in another module (code) we used the doctest module (Python) with the testmod() function to check test cases in the docstring.
I created a simple use-case diagram for submitting an assignment on Moodle. There are a number of test cases that this prompts. I am/was considering another (perhaps simpler) use case based around the type of code we did in class and this prompts several types of exceptions and even an alternate flow. I wrote some code here as an example of what I am considering.
The test-case template would have to be completed by the learner to show that they have considered all the possible problems that can arise... for example, a negative int should raise a ValueError, using two strings should raise a TypeError and so on.
I did a sample test-table in class based on a area_circle(rad) function, and so I was thinking this might be an option for the "less confident" (as described on CS50 pset2 referenced in the first link) but as I think about it more, if the learner completes this then they achieve the learning outcome, and I should NOT have it weighted to be of less worth than one which could be considered more difficult.
Now, after all this, I am inclined towards giving both options to the class, with no differentiation between points, but I still wonder:
1) Should I offer both options?
2) Is there ever a case for creating an assessment with "less worth" to allow a learner achieve some marks, or if the "lesser" task demonstrates that they meet a learning outcome, is this unfair?
Has anyone done something like this (easier version with less points)
I know I could have been more succinct in my question, but appreciate any feedback you can give. Thank you.