Chip Anderson is tech entrepreneur and adjunct professor at Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech). He teaches several programming courses to undergraduate students, from Introduction to Programming in C# to more advanced Object Oriented Programming courses.
Challenges before CodeGrade
“Before CodeGrade, there were multiple challenges present in my courses. Especially for the starting students in my Introduction to Programming course, it has been hard to make sure the students understand the quality of the code that we expect.” Chip further explains this problem: “It is important for students to understand that you have to do the full assignment and pay attention to the details. Especially at the introductory level, programming is all about the details: making sure you get all the i’s dotted and all the t’s crossed.”
Chip mentions another common challenge that he wanted to solve with CodeGrade: “At higher levels, we want to give the students real-life programming problems, but at the same time need to make them easy to grade too, so that I can get back with a grade and feedback to my students in time.” It was always a time crunch for Chip to get back to his students in time, as his teaching style is to give a lot of manual feedback and code examples. Before CodeGrade, he always had to make a compromise between interesting assignments and quality and timeliness of feedback.
How CodeGrade solves these problems at LWTech
With CodeGrade, Chip can now communicate to the students in his introductory courses very well what he exactly expects from them: “CodeGrade allows me to basically put in a bar, an expectation level, for our students. They get this very early on in the process of their assignment, so they can understand exactly what to do and what they need to pay attention to in order to become successful programmers.”
To do this, Chip uses a couple of different tools that CodeGrade offers. Firstly, he uses the Hand In Requirements to exactly tell his students what they may and may not hand in. After that, he uses the autograder to give feedback to his students continuously throughout the assignment.
Chip also wanted tools to greatly reduce the amount of time needed to grade while keeping up with his very high feedback standards. “CodeGrade has greatly reduced the time to give feedback. It has given me many more options to reduce grading time and improve the quality of my assignments as a whole.”