54 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

This answer assumes that the course's goal is to teach programming (as opposed to teaching advanced algorithms or numerics etc. to which the programming would only be an end). In that case I'd hold: ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
51 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

Of course not, and I have trouble believing that anyone would truly entertain the other position in any serious way. The closest analog in another field would be if you were to present an essay in a ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 33.1k
30 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

Following further with @Ben I.'s answer, I think the real problem is often not giving feedback about whether the program builds to the student in an inspectable and rapid manner, while also allowing ...
ti7's user avatar
  • 401
18 votes

How can I automate the grading of programming assignments?

The degree of automation that you can achieve depends on how you want to grade. The most valuable type of grading (to a student) does not only cover whether the code works or not, but also offers ...
tucuxi's user avatar
  • 321
18 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

I think giving a zero for a non-compiling program can be reasonable and expected behavior in many circumstances. It's pretty close to what I do now (more below). The Original Academia SE Question Note ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
16 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

I enforced this exact policy ("doesn't compile = failure") For several years I was the assessor on a postgraduate course on C++ (Financial computing with C++) given at the mathematics ...
oliversm's user avatar
  • 261
13 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

As a blanket policy, I would say that automatically assigning a grade of zero for any submission that doesn't compile is completely unreasonable. Aside from the reasons that Ben I. has already listed, ...
reirab's user avatar
  • 231
11 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

I imagine this debate arises from two basic truisms: 1) the fact that nearly all programming languages have simple frame works that allow empty programs to be built in just a few lines; and 2) that ...
codingCat's user avatar
  • 499
10 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

It is an important but quite simple-to-answer question once you adopt a certain mindset. First, we need to ask ourselves: if the only thing that supposedly matters is whether the code compiles or not, ...
NOT CSEducator's user avatar
9 votes

How can I automate the grading of programming assignments?

Yikes, that doesn't sound like a fun way to grade. Sounds about like what I do with students that are competing in ACSL competitions. But that's only 6 or 7 students, 4 times a year. I can't imagine ...
Ryan Nutt's user avatar
  • 3,029
9 votes
Accepted

How can I discourage poor design while using automatic grading of submissions?

I am a strong advocate for code interviews. I make principles of style into about 50% of a lab grade (though I do permit kids to go back and refactor after an interview for full credit.) For some ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 33.1k
9 votes

What autograding software do folks use for Java code?

For simple stuff I've used CodingBat. They've got an authoring system buried on the site. It's not terribly difficult to create your own questions, although the instructions are pretty wordy. When ...
Ryan Nutt's user avatar
  • 3,029
9 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

My policy when correcting assignments for a similar course was close to this but also addresses some of the criticisms: Students are aware that they shall submit compiling code. They are sufficiently ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 594
7 votes

How can I automate the grading of programming assignments?

The key to efficient grading of assignments is to build easily gradable assignments in the first place. This does not imply easier problems, but, as unit testing makes code testable, this kind of ...
Todd Whittaker's user avatar
7 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

As a former IT Lecturer, In My point of view, as the first step in practical examination students can be given a "Written-test" where they can write the Algorithm & pseudo code/logic of ...
Ashish P Kumar's user avatar
7 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

I never understood why to otherwise highly intelligent people this is even a question. Like: Is an empty file to you literally the same as a 99.9% correct code with that missing semicolon or whatever ?...
csstudent1418's user avatar
7 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

Former student perspective here. A lot of people mentioned that in a commercial or professional enviornment, code that doesn't compile would be worthless. I would pose the following counter argument ...
Squary94's user avatar
  • 179
6 votes

What autograding software do folks use for Java code?

I would recommend repl.it classroom It allows creation of a course and assignments within that course. Assignments can be auto-graded using unit testing (JUnit) or by providing inputs and comparing ...
Todd Whittaker's user avatar
6 votes

How can I discourage poor design while using automatic grading of submissions?

Harvard's grading policy for CS50 is worth looking into. There are four components for the grade on problem sets (each of which involves submitting code). The overall grade is calculated as scope * (...
Miles's user avatar
  • 1,266
5 votes

How can I discourage poor design while using automatic grading of submissions?

First let me say that I think it is a good idea to automate as much as possible, and that there are tools that will help this. The mystery test However my experience with professionals is that there ...
ctrl-alt-delor's user avatar
5 votes

Suggestions for encouraging good Coding Practices?

We use the Eclipse plugin Checkstyle. The plugin is configured with a set of rules (defaults styles are available with the plugin), and then generates a set of warnings for any violations of these ...
Jonathan Corley's user avatar
5 votes

What autograding software do folks use for Java code?

I use VPL (Virtual Programming Lab) for Moodle. In my case, it is just used for the introductory PHP classes (since HTML and DB interactions aren't possible), but it supports a wide range of languages,...
rcpinto's user avatar
  • 268
4 votes

What autograding software do folks use for Java code?

The textbook I use (Horstmann's Java for Everyone) has an autograder that the author has written. He has posted many of the exercises from his textbooks. You can find it at: Cay Horstmann's CodeCheck ...
Stephen Gilbert's user avatar
4 votes

How can I discourage poor design while using automatic grading of submissions?

Adding static code analysis can be useful in determining if students have "over-engineered" the solution. While dynamic testing can show that the program produces the correct output, there are many ...
Ray's user avatar
  • 1,031
4 votes

Automatic grading of test-cases

Have you thought about having a solution that you create and test the students test cases against your solution? Then you have a stable platform for running the student defined tests. Also run test ...
Fritz Sieker's user avatar
  • 1,183
4 votes

How can I automate the grading of programming assignments?

(I am submitting 2 answers, because they are very different takes on the same problem, and merging them together would be of little value) This is a full-automation setup I have used in a C++ data-...
tucuxi's user avatar
  • 321
4 votes

Any auto grading site that supports all-testcases-in-one-file (and/or in github)?

At the TU Delft we've developed WebLab, which is used in various CS related courses. It has support for programming assignments, for which students code their solutions in a web-editor, and run their ...
Elmervc's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

I think zeroes for anything other than completely missing work are a sign of teacher laziness. The professional way to do this is to have a rubric. One element of the rubric can be "code compiles....
jimboweb's user avatar
  • 149
4 votes

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

No. Some of the answers suggest that one would never get credit for a non-compiling piece of code when working in industry. I don't think this is true. People get "credit" for: power point ...
BugFinder's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Should a student be allowed to try to answer a question only a few times?

I used to think about a similar setup in my earlier years of teaching CS, but now I'm about 15 years in, and I don't see the benefits. I'm trying to imagine a work environment in which intermediate ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 33.1k

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