Formative Assessments for CS Principles Programming

Figure 1 A modified nominal group technique utilizing 'think-pair-share' and 'almost-experts'

Project Description

When this research began, AP Computer Science comprised only 0.9% of all AP tests taken in 2014, with roughly 39,000 students. After initiatives such as America Competes, CS10K, CSforAll, and the official launch of the new AP CS Principles course in 2016, this number jumped to 2.1% or 104,000 students. This tremendous surge in Computer Science enrollment is a success for the programs, but also reflects the rapid rise in the number of K-12 teachers teaching computer science for the first time. Few of these teachers have a background in computing, and need just in time support to help provide formative feedback for students.

Project Details

  • Initial rubric design stemmed from auto-graders
  • These task-based rubrics were identified as biased against low-performing students
  • Learning-based rubrics were developed using the Delphi method
  • An 'almost-expert' NGT Hybrid method was created for rubric development at scale
  • Baartman's Wheel of Competency Assessment was used to validate and provide quality assurance