CSERC: Automated Assessment

Vreda Pieterse, University of Pretoria

Honoring the theory that expertise is a consequence of deliberate practice, we propose the application of automatic assessment of programming exercises to enable instructors to provide adequate practice opportunities for students to start developing expert status in programming. A brief introduction to the theory of assessment serves as foundation for the evaluation of occurrences of automatic assessment reported in the literature. We gathered success factors and identified concerns related to automatic assessment through the analysis of experiences others have reported when designing and using automated assessment of programming assignments.
Vreda Pieterse explained the design of our own assessment software and discussed our experience of using it in relation to the above mentioned factors and concerns. Our reflection on this experience informs our proposed actions to improve future usage of automatic assessment of programming assignments at our institution.