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Building A Web Based System For Automated Grading Of Computer Modeling Assignments.

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.248.1 - 6.248.8

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Paper Authors

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Robert Fithen

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1520

Building A Web Based System for Automated Grading of Computer Modeling Assignments.

Bob Fithen

Arkansas Tech University


Arkansas Tech University like most Engineering programs requires a computer programming and application course. One major challenge in handling such a course is reflected in the grading methodologies for the assignments. Simple and loosely specified assignments by the professor lead to unorganized responses by a majority of students. In contrast, highly specific problem statements give the professor the flexibility to use these specifications to determine the grade on a particular assignment. The major problem with this approach is twofold. First, the professor must write a detailed specification for each assignment. Second, the professor must carefully assess each assignment to determine if in fact the student satisfied the given specifications. The second item requires the most time and effort. Traditionally students simply handed in printouts of their computer codes, outputs and some descriptive comments. As a result of the written presentation skills of some students, large amounts of time is required to determine if the given specifications were actually met. In response to this issue the author has written a dynamic web based system that automatically grades each homework assignment. Each assignment will be grade entirely based on meeting the given specifications. For each assignment a grading code must be written which meticulously checks each submission for correctness. Since each assignment may have multiple specifications, partial credit is possible for those multi-part assignments. When each student submits his or her assignment the code is stored in a predetermined location on the web-server and the grading code is automatically launched. The student is given immediate feedback through a set of diagnostic messages. In addition the student’s grade for each assignment is immediately stored on the web-server and the student may check his or her grade on their own individual web page.

1. Introduction

This paper describes a web-based system built by the author that accepts, grades, and tracks student’s progress through an engineering based computer-modeling course. This computer-modeling course uses Matlab as is central programming language.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Fithen, R. (2001, June), Building A Web Based System For Automated Grading Of Computer Modeling Assignments. Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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