Dr. Volker Seeker is course organizer for Introduction to Object Oriented Programming at the University of Edinburgh and has taught multiple graduate courses. Volker has been teaching his Object Oriented Programming course for multiple years in a row and has seen the number of students rise over the years. This year, it was one of the largest courses at the School of Informatics and he taught over 420 students.
Before CodeGrade: only a Final Exam
“Before CodeGrade, there were no formative assignments. So the only assessment happened in the form of a final exam.” Volker mentions as the biggest difference.
“The course always just had a final exam. It had a lot to do with the difficulty of providing feedback and grading continuously for a cohort of students that large. Another reason they definitely wanted a final exam was to avoid plagiarism. There were no tools to check for plagiarism or make feedback more efficient.”
Volker explains that students were not satisfied with the final exams. “One problem the students always had with the final exams, was that you are in this confined situation and only have 2 hours to solve your programming exercises. As beginners, this was very discouraging.”
After CodeGrade: Formative and Continuous Assessment
“With CodeGrade, I could make the switch in my course to having no final exams at all and provide continuous assessment to my students, with multiple coding assignments throughout the course.”
This takes away many of the problems students had with the final exams in previous years. “Having these formative assignments was much nicer for the students. With CodeGrade, and the continuous feedback feature, students could submit their code, and right away see what did work and what didn’t and whether it compiled or not. Now students can see clearly what happens and what the problems were after handing in, they could fix it or ask me about it. I could then very easily just check it on CodeGrade and point them in the right direction. It’s all just way more clear and encouraging for the students.”