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16 votes

Is there a better way to validate student learning?

You seem to already realize that this is a subtle question. When I taught Mathematics early in my career, I also forbade students to work together. Later on, teaching Computer Science, I found myself ...
  • 35.1k
15 votes

How can I design online tests and prevent cheating?

I don't think there are any published tools to generate programming assignments, though there are articles that describe such tools (such as this one from a CUNY, or this one from Croatia, so one ...
  • 31.7k
8 votes

Is there a better way to validate student learning?

I look at it as two separate tasks. Learning: The goal here is to learn new things and practice what you've learned. For my classes, these are mostly small lab style assignments. I want them to work ...
  • 3,039
7 votes
Accepted

Using questions from a code-competition website in homework and exams

Whether this is a good plan or not depends on some things, most especially the nature of your students. However, it seems a bit too unstructured. If you have a general mix of student ability it ...
  • 35.1k
7 votes

How can I design online tests and prevent cheating?

I agree with Ben I. and Buffy. I'm planning to cancel the remaining exams in the semester (assuming my university ends up moving to online instruction) and replace them with projects. Many studies ...
6 votes

Would it be beneficial to learn computer science (or other computer related stuff) from 5-6 year old material?

For many things it is possible, even advantageous, to learn from older books and materials. But it also depends on your goals. Computer Science, like any field, has some things that are fundamental ...
  • 35.1k
6 votes

How to phrase questions about spotting design issues in programs

It is true that these issues can be problematic in some cases, however, this depends on the context and the usage of the class. The "design problem" that you were hoping they would find also depends ...
6 votes

How to design a cloze test for a programming language?

I don't think that an entire Cloze test is practical, and in any case, it does not assess deep understanding well. One problem with longer Cloze examples is that they force the student not only to ...
  • 31.7k
5 votes

Is there a better way to validate student learning?

As an instructor, this is certainly a sticky problem. There are two questions at play here: What can I help you to understand during our time together? How do I know that you actually know it? ...
  • 31.7k
4 votes

Is there a better way to validate student learning?

I believe that the best tool is communication. Letting students know, beforehand, why their progress is being assessed in a particular way and how they are allowed to collaborate is a very important ...
  • 680
4 votes

Test takings strategy tragedy

Test taking is a skill that not every student has. It should be learnable with practice, but not everyone comes to the same level. This is independent of subject. Some people just freeze up, some ...
  • 35.1k
4 votes
Accepted

How to phrase questions about spotting design issues in programs

My worry here is that there is no general solution other than to improve any question when you reuse it based on the answers you saw in the past. I have to admit that, even as a very experienced Java ...
  • 35.1k
4 votes

How can I design online tests and prevent cheating?

At my University, we had the chance to modify the syllabus, if needed, to remove or decrease the weight of "traditional" written tests. While in most programming courses eliminating tests is not a ...
4 votes

Testing students on recursion - tracing by hand

No This may be a good way to test understanding of function calls, and the stack. However I don't think it helps much with recursion. As when we design we need to abstract. To do this we need to be ...
3 votes

Would it be beneficial to learn computer science (or other computer related stuff) from 5-6 year old material?

The answer to this question is highly dependent on which courses you are interested in. Courses focused on fundamentals can benefit from these older materials. Of course algorithms and discrete math ...
  • 680
3 votes

How can I design online tests and prevent cheating?

This isn't really an answer and requires long term thinking, but perhaps this is an opportunity to start to rethink how we evaluate students. I'm not a big fan of testing. Especially high stakes ...
  • 35.1k
3 votes

How to handle objections to the wording of test questions or answers?

I am not sure what you mean by a "useful test" in this context. If your goal is to create a bell curve with English speakers at the top, you could administer the verbal section of the SATs. You say ...
  • 31.7k
3 votes

How to phrase questions about spotting design issues in programs

Simple demonstration: Presenting this and asking, "What do you see?" is sure to get a variety of answers. Most might be along the line of a bird feeding baby birds. Not all will be, however. ...
3 votes

How to phrase questions about spotting design issues in programs

I would break the question into parts. You can put a short paragraph describing what the code in front of them is supposed to do. When one (or more) writes code for something, the design is ...
  • 6,227
3 votes

Is there a computer science certification program outside of academic programs?

If you do not agree with Industry based Certifications like those offered by Microsoft or other Independent online learning providers, then what you are really asking is "Is there is an ...
2 votes

Is there a better way to validate student learning?

I think that, when code is shared, one of the central questions is: After it has been seen, does the student understand what they have seen and will they be able to use this knowledge independently in ...
  • 269
2 votes

Conflicting meaning, between exam board / teaching resources, and technical meaning

You are seeing a difference between virtual memory as described to a computer user some number of years ago (this is more frequently called "swap" now), and virtual memory as understood by an ...
2 votes
Accepted

The order of questions on examinations

Exam question order is known to influence performance via confidence and self-efficacy. Put easy questions at the beginning, hard questions at the end, and group questions together if they pertain to ...
2 votes

Using questions from a code-competition website in homework and exams

I have done something similar to this. I've found codingbat to be a great resource. The exercises there are not complex and are structured in a way that later exercises build on previous ones. There ...
  • 714
2 votes

Would it be beneficial to learn computer science (or other computer related stuff) from 5-6 year old material?

Re: expensive books: There are hundreds of lecture notes floating around, ranging from awful to outstanding. Check them out too. Re: oldish material: I've used much older texts (up to 20 years old). ...
  • 604
2 votes

How can I design online tests and prevent cheating?

Maybe a better idea could be a quiz with automatically generated questions, like a code snippet and the request to determine the output for a given input, with different input values and variable ...
2 votes
Accepted

Seeking advice on mentoring without participating in exam cheating in the new chaotic environment of the pandemic

If I were to try some online sleuthing, the first question I would ask is for the course's website, if there is one, or for links to recent assignments. This has the double benefit that your primary ...
  • 31.7k
1 vote

Is there a better way to validate student learning?

"Group work" is hard to handle. One of the first courses I taught here was structured around a bunch of homework programming tasks, to be done in two-person teams. Around midterm one of the students ...
  • 604
1 vote

Is there a better way to validate student learning?

Background: As a senior in my IT company, I am often teaching fresh colleagues on-the-job, so I know where you came from. On the other hand, as teamlead, getting people to work together (i.e., tough ...
  • 1,379
1 vote

Using questions from a code-competition website in homework and exams

Those problems are usually more in the line of 2 hour work to get it done, so I'd either sample very carefully and/or simplify. For on-line exams the format of an input in a fixed format, no ...
  • 604

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