Steve Cassidy 2008


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Session A - RR 5-09

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Steve Cassidy 2008

  1. 1. Promoting Creativity in Computing via Portfolio Assessment Steve Cassidy Department of Computing, Macquarie University
  2. 2. COMP249 Web Technology <ul><li>HTML, CSS, Web Design </li></ul><ul><li>Core technologies of the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Javascript programming </li></ul><ul><li>Python server-side programming </li></ul><ul><li>XML </li></ul><ul><li>Security on the web </li></ul>
  3. 3. COMP249 Assessment <ul><li>Tutorial question submissions </li></ul><ul><li>CSS design task </li></ul><ul><li>Web application task </li></ul><ul><li>XML task </li></ul><ul><li>Final Examination </li></ul>
  4. 4. Creativity? <ul><li>Balance between: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Precise specifications to help clarify what is expected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desire to automate some feedback (programs are formal systems)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowing room for innovative solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not penalising students who go further than expected </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creativity vs. Plagiarism </li></ul>
  5. 5. Portfolio Assessment <ul><li>Assessed collection of student work </li></ul><ul><li>Range from career long to unit based in scope </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity for authentic assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity for reflection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But can authentic reflection be ensured? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. 2007 Experience <ul><li>Portfolio of three items, added to existing work </li></ul><ul><li>Three submissions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two for formative feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One for summative grading </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Students submitted zip files </li></ul><ul><li>Staff unpacked, completed rubric </li></ul>
  7. 7. 2007 Experience <ul><li>Significant improvement in “feedback” scores </li></ul><ul><li>Generally very well received </li></ul><ul><li>Some amazing, creative work </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy staff load providing feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Students confused about requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Overall assessment load too heavy </li></ul><ul><li>Students wanted more guidance about what to submit </li></ul>
  8. 8. 2008 Implementation <ul><li>Custom web server software provides a framework for submission </li></ul><ul><li>Staff workflow is streamlined </li></ul><ul><li>Tried to clarify expectations and give examples </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce assessment load, increase value of portfolio </li></ul>
  9. 9. Creativity? <ul><li>Open ended task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Guidance but no prescriptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where do the boundaries come from? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Differences between abilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good: tell me how to get an HD! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Middle: I have to submit three times? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor: what am I supposed to do? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Great idea for making students suffer, nice job, Steve. Don't take it bad, I think it was great, may be it is too much work, though. Perhaps you can compensate in future semesters with less work in the assignments... nah, make them suffer too. Cheers.
  11. 11. At first I was against the idea of a portfolio and would rather do more assignments. But then I realised that the portfolio was good because it gave me a chance to implement the skills I had learned in a way that I found interesting/useful. It also provides work that can be shown to future employers. Great idea!
  12. 12. It is not usual to be creative in assignments. This portfolio forced me to be creative and think of my own ideas. I enjoyed the challenge.
  13. 13. Future Work <ul><li>Balance between guidance and freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Admit to levels of ability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>different student goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>very clear guidance on how to achieve a pass </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>very clear boundaries for the better students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Balance with other assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Balance staff workload </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrate peer assessment </li></ul></ul>