Dr. Ana Oprescu is a lecturer at the Bachelor of Computer Science and Master of Software Engineering at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). In the computer science undergraduate level, she teaches a course on programming languages. In this course, students are taught different programming paradigms by getting exposed to 7 different languages. Ana already used CodeGrade for her manual grading for the past years, but since this year, she has also fully automated the grading of the 2 weekly assignments using CodeGrade’s AutoTest.
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“Last year we noticed that the individual assignments were not as effective as they could be, because the manual feedback from our side was too late.” In the Programming Languages course, in which a new language is presented each week, timely feedback is very important. “The formative point of that was lost, so we had to improve this for our students. Luckily, with CodeGrade, we had the resources to improve the feedback loop for these individual assignments with automatic testing.”
Programming Languages features some common and some more exotic languages: students start with Bash, then study Haskell, Prolog, Python, Erlang, Go and finish with C++. CodeGrade’s auto grader offers the flexibility to work together with any programming language.
“For each language we assigned one of our Teaching Assistants as ‘language champion’. They would be in charge of setting up the automated tests. To give students feedback we organised grade-a-thons, where we all sat together with pizza and walked through examples in CodeGrade. Then we would create shared snippets, which are these inline comment shortcuts in CodeGrade, so that everyone could start grading efficiently and consistently on their own.”