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Board 57: Work in Progress: A Balancing Act - Evolution of Assessments in An Introductory Programming Course in ECE After Curriculum Redesign

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

ECE Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Yuting W. Chen University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Dr. Yuting W. Chen received the B.S. degree from University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign in 2007, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2009 and 2011, all in Electrical Engineering. Prior to joining the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a faculty in 2015, she worked at IBM Systems Group in Poughkeepsie, NY in z Systems Firmware Development. Her current interests include recruitment and retention of women and under-represented students in STEM, integrative training for graduate teaching assistants, and curriculum innovation for introductory programming courses.

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As enrollment grows in Electrical and Computer Engineering, it becomes an increasingly challenging task to implement appropriate assessments in large introductory courses to accurately evaluate student learning, while adhering to given resource constraints. This is especially challenging in programming courses, where the natural environment for evaluation requires a one to one ratio of student to terminal. On the other hand, purely computer-based assessments take away the opportunity to examine one’s understanding of main concepts - students must have true comprehension of the materials when there is no terminal available to hack to get the correct answer. Additionally, curriculum redesign brings another layer of difficulty and also opportunity for improvement, which makes choosing and designing assessments a crucial task. In this paper, we will discuss the three phases of change in assessments in a sophomore-level introductory programming course in ECE after curriculum redesign. Details of each phase will be presented along with challenges, lessons learned and the motivation for improvement. We also study and analyze student perception on these assessments in terms of fairness in content and grading. The results are shown in a longitudinal comparison across six semesters.

Chen, Y. W. (2019, June), Board 57: Work in Progress: A Balancing Act - Evolution of Assessments in An Introductory Programming Course in ECE After Curriculum Redesign Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32380

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