Autograding in Computer Science education
The use of autograding in computer science education has greatly risen in recent years. Not only because the student numbers for CS (computer science) courses are going through the roof in recent years (The Computing Research Association reported the number of CS undergraduates in the US more than doubled between 2013 and 2017), but also because of the many pedagogical benefits that come with autograding.
We explore the pedagogical benefits of autograding in our previous piece here. In short, the benefits are two fold: students get better feedback more quickly and teachers are enabled to decrease their workload and focus on teaching again. We have seen these experiences time after time in the courses of teachers that have adopted CodeGrade, read some of their stories on our Case Studies page here. In line with our own experience, Chris Wilcox also concludes his research on autograding  with: “The benefits of automation are both tangible, such as higher exam scores, and intangible, such as increased student engagement and interest.”
Developments in autograding
Autograding has been proven to be highly beneficial for teachers and students alike. Over the past 5 years, CodeGrade has helped hundreds of teachers and hundreds of thousands of students with better coding and computer science education. As an educational tool originally designed by and for teachers at the University of Amsterdam, we have always very closely worked together with teachers and experts to continuously improve our platform.
Over the past years, we have seen a big rise in popularity of non-CS coding courses (i.e. R Statistics courses for Business Classes or introduction to Python for other STEM programs). With the rise of these courses also come new needs for autograding. In general, we see that non-CS students benefit from quicker and more clear feedback and prefer using an online code editor with all dependencies pre-installed for them. Teachers also prefer less technical approaches.
These changes in the field and the experience and feedback gathered over the past years have inspired us to come up with our next big feature…
Introducing the next step in Autograding
CodeGrade is introducing AutoTest V2, the next step in autograding. AutoTest V2 is faster, easier to use, has a built-in code editor and improved output to students. It is even more flexible for hardcore CS courses, and even more easy to use for non-CS courses.
We are officially launching AutoTest V2 in our webinar on the 22nd of February 2023 (click here to sign up!). But I’d already like to share some of my favourite new features in this post.
Code editor with instant code execution
As more and more students are learning to code, we are trying to make their first steps as smooth as possible. CodeGrade’s new code editor integrates with any LMS (the students can write code directly in Canvas, Brightspace, Blackboard or Moodle!) and can run any programming language instantly. Students can start working from your template to solve small or large code projects. We have already rolled out our online editor for K-12 courses, R Business courses, Introduction to Python courses and many more and the results are fantastic!