Investigating Methods of Evaluation for Formative Assessment in a First-Year Course in Computing Science

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Janice Regan, School of Computing Science

Description: When learning a programming language, it is necessary to learn one set of tools before one can add the next. This means that falling behind in the course makes understanding of later topics much more difficult. This study investigated the effectiveness of “low-stakes” in-class quizzes in a first-year course. Data collected were student surveys, student achievement, and instructor observation.

Questions addressed: What do students perceive as the usefulness of the quizzes in both the lecture sessions and lab sessions? Do students understand quizzed concepts/procedures better after a quiz? Are students more likely to ask questions about the ideas and methods that are quizzed when reviewing for exams or doing assignments? Do regular weekly quizzes improve the marks on exams and assignments?

Support provided: Development of proposal, RA to develop survey tool and help analyze data.