Assessing Coding Lessons - Ellipsis Education

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Framework for Assessing Coding Lessons

Watch the Virtual PD

This session includes 5 different ways to alleviate the computer science grading burden while still evaluating students’ foundational knowledge, problem solving skills, and creativity. Participants will be able to identify ways to assess coding lessons and leave with a Ellipsis Education coding lesson for teachers to implement in their hybrid or virtual classroom.

We will send you an email with a link to the webinar on demand.

About the Presenter

Amy Marcou graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Marketing and Graphic Design from Xavier University while filling up her elective schedule with courses in graphic design and information technology. Amy was a Computer Science Teacher for 3.5 years at St. Malachy school for PreK to eighth grade.

Grading Coding Projects

Grading is an inevitable part of most educators’ days… and nights… and weekends! At times, grading stacks of papers or projects can be monotonous and time consuming. On the flip side, it’s an opportunity to enter the minds of your students and their creative thought processes. When it comes to grading in your computer science class and more specifically, coding projects, the task of grading can easily consume your time and energy as you find yourself getting caught up in line by line details.

While we understand some of that comes with teaching coding, we encourage you to step back, see a bigger picture, and embrace the opportunity to see how your students are shining. Here we offer some advice on how to alleviate the grading burden, give you some time back, and evaluate your students’ foundational knowledge, problem solving skills, and creativity.

Grading During Hybrid Learning

Sharon Albertson, a teacher at Southmont Junior High School, taught elementary music for ten years and then spent two years creating a STEAM program at the elementary level. This year, she moved to the Junior High to introduce computer science to seventh and eighth grade students. For the past two years, she focused on developing this program and exposing students to the STEAM concepts, the 4C’s, coding, and the engineering design process. Until this year, she was not responsible for grading, but rather on developing the program and engaging her students. She saw students excited to learn and working hard in all areas, so there was also no need to grade for accountability. This year, however, teaching in a hybrid scenario has created new challenges, and grading has become more important for her classes. While most of her students were “showing up” daily for class both in person and virtually, there were also those that did not. Sharon felt like she should be grading students for accountability to reward those students that were putting in the time and effort.

“Because of the class time we are spending on coding these projects, it is important to give a grade for students who are following through and who are able to input correctly or debug the mistakes they have made,” she said.

After her students completed the first Scratch project in Computer Science Fundamentals, she spent hours going through each student’s project, taking screenshots of key areas where they needed to check for bugs, and then wrote an email to each student. She quickly realized she could not spend hours grading 50 projects every week. That’s when she reached out to the Codelicious team for help and advice on some grading best practices for coding projects.

If you face similar challenges in your computer science class and struggle with how to grade coding projects specifically, we hope these best practices will help you as well.

Removing barriers to teaching computer science.