CodeGrade is launching its best and most effective autograder for code: AutoTest V2. Learn more about the pedagogical benefits for students and workload decrease for CS education teachers in this blog!
February 20, 2023

The next step in autograding code

In 30 seconds...

  • Autograding has been proven to help students learn more effectively and can decrease the workload of a teacher;
  • Over the last 5 years, CodeGrade has worked with many teachers and experts to continuously improve our autograding experience.
  • 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;
  • With the new integrated code editor students can code directly in their LMS and get real-time code running and feedback via the improved autograder;
  • We will be officially launching AutoTest V2 on the 22nd of February 2023, you can sign up to join our webinar live by clicking here!

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 [1] 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!

CodeGrade's new editor with instant run button!
Use the most powerful autograder in your coding course now!

Easy and fast teacher set up

We have taken all feedback on AutoTest V1 to heart and have started building the new autograder interface from scratch. The result: even more flexible for advanced CS courses and even more easy to set up for simple courses! The new and intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows you to build your autograder block by block, nesting blocks to your likings. You can duplicate individual blocks and decide which blocks are graded, ungraded, hidden or how they are weighted.

Not only is the creation easier, it is also way faster. The start-up time is now instant and all individual blocks are cached. We see already that it greatly reduces the set up time needed by teachers.

The easy and intuitive Autotest V2 layout!

Real-time and improved output to students

With new technological advances, AutoTest V2 can now provide real-time instant feedback to students in a scalable way. We have discussed the importance of the feedback loop before, but in short: getting timely feedback is essential when learning how to code. CodeGrade’s AutoTest V2 not only provides instant results, but can also give meaningful feedback on code structure, code style and functionality out of the box. With instant feedback, students are even more motivated to improve their code and try again.

With AutoTest V2, you can now fully cater and customize the student experience. Specifically decide per block what the students get to see, how (and if) it is counted towards their grade and which feedback you want to give your students.

Want to see more?

AutoTest V2 is now available to everyone in CodeGrade. Want to get started? Learn how to set up your first Python assignment here.

We will have officially launched AutoTest V2 for our clients! Watch the summary of the launch event below or click here to read more!

We believe the future of Computer Science education is powered by effective autograding. Autograding should never replace teachers, but should enable them to teach as effectively as possible, especially now that student numbers and workloads are going through the roof. AutoTest V2 is our next step in bringing you the best autograding experience.

CodeGrade is never finished, we take our collaboration with teachers and experts very seriously and always listen to feedback and advances in the field. The upcoming months will bring more and more features to CodeGrade and AutoTest V2, so stay tuned!

Devin Hillenius

Devin Hillenius


Continue reading

The Case for Change: Accessibility, Inclusion, and Equity in Computer Science Education

Learn how to drive institutional change, create safe spaces, teach accessible, and develop inclusive coding assignments with Dr. Brianna Blaser, Dr. Yasmine Elglaly, and Dr. Richard Ladner.

How to Check for Plagiarism in C, C++, and C# source code

Simplify plagiarism checks on C-family source code by integrating CodeGrade into your courses.

How to Stop Caring about Grades

Learn to save time with grading with alternative methods for teaching. Make your course accessible and inclusive with methods backed by research.

How to Stop Caring about Grades

Embracing a New Era: Harnessing Generative AI for Computer Science Education

Discover the transformative impact of Generative AI (Gen AI) on computer science education. Explore innovative tools and methodologies reshaping learning experiences and preparing learners for an AI-centric future. Uncover benefits, challenges, and evolving practices at the intersection of technology and pedagogy.

Sign up to our newsletter

See how CodeGrade can transform your courses today!