Differentiated Assessments for Advanced Courses that Reveal Issues with Prerequisite Skills: A Design Investigation

Greg L. Nelson, Filip Strömbäck, Ari Korhonen, Marjahan Begum, Ben Blamey, Karen H. Jin, Violetta Lonati, Bonnie MacKellar, Mattia Monga

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review


Computing learners may not master basic concepts, or forget them between courses or from infrequent use. Learners also often struggle with advanced computing courses, perhaps from weakness with prerequisite concepts. One underlying challenge for researchers and instructors is determining the reason why a learner gets an advanced question wrong. Was the wrong answer because the learner lacked prerequisite skills, has not mastered the advanced skill, or some combination of the two? We contribute a design investigation into how to create differentiated questions which diagnose prerequisite and advanced skills at the same time. We focused on tracing and related skills as prerequisites, and on advanced object-oriented programming, concurrency, algorithm and data structures as the advanced skills. We conducted an inductive qualitative analysis of existing assessment questions from instructors and from a concept inventory with a validity argument (the Basic Data Structures Inventory). We found dependencies on a variety of prerequisite knowledge and mixed potential for diagnosing difficulties with prerequisites. Inspired by this analysis, we developed examples of differentiated assessments and reflected on design principles for creating/modifying assessments to better assess both advanced and prerequisite skills. Our example differentiated assessment questions and methods help enable research into how prerequisites skills affect learning of advanced concepts. They also may help instructors better understand and help learners with varying prerequisite knowledge, which may improve equity of learning outcomes. Our work also raises theoretical questions about what assessments really assess and how separate advanced topics and prerequisite skills are.
TitelITiCSE-WGR '20: Proceedings of the Working Group Reports on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
RedaktørerMichail Giannakos, Guttorm Sindre, Andrew Luxton-Reilly, Monica Divitini
Antal sider55
UdgivelsesstedNew York
ForlagAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Trykt)9781450382939
StatusUdgivet - 2020
Begivenhed25th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. ITiSE 2020 [Virtual Format] - Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norge
Varighed: 17 jun. 202018 jun. 2020
Konferencens nummer: 25


Konference25th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. ITiSE 2020 [Virtual Format]
LokationNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
NavnAnnual Conference on Innovation & Technology in Computer Science Education