Continuous assessment in the evolution of a CS1 course: The pass rate/workload ratio
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The first programming course (Programming-1, CS1) in the Informatics Engineering Degree of the Facultat d'Informàtica de Barcelona was completely redesigned in 2006 in order to reinforce the learn-by- doing methodology. Along the following eight years several pedagogical measures - mostly related with continous assessment - were introduced with the aim of increasing the pass rate of the course without lowering its high quality standards. This paper analyzes to what extent the added workload on faculty entailed by these measures affects the pass rate. We use a classical marginal cost-benefit approach - from Economics - to compare these two values along time. This process allows us to relate the evolution of the pass rate of students with the workload of the faculty through a productivity curve, as well as to assess the impact of each pedagogical measure. We conclude that, for this course, continuous assessment is expensive. In fact, abstracting from short term oscillations, the slope of the productivity curve is close to zero.
CitationBlesa, M., Duch, A., Gabarró, J., Petit, J., Serna, M. Continuous assessment in the evolution of a CS1 course: The pass rate/workload ratio. A: "Computer Supported Education: 7th International Conference, CSEDU 2015, Lisbon, Portugal, May 23-25, 2015: Revised selected papers". Springer, 2016, p. 313-332.
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