- The Computer Science Teachers Association released a study finding that teachers use a patchwork of assessments to monitor students’ progress and struggle to find reliable, high-quality tests.
- The study was based on extended interviews with 25 computer science teachers during the 2014-15 school year.
- The interviewees also noted that the diversity of solutions students derive for computer science problems can make assessments particularly difficult.
According to the CSTA, the study highlights just how hard it is to make sure students understand computing concepts and to identify good ways to test that. As the subject grows with importance, finding ways to make sure students grasp the ideas will become increasingly high-stakes.
“Computer science education is at a crossroads,” Aman Yadav, an associate professor in educational psychology and technology at Michigan State University and chair of the CSTA Assessment Taskforce, told eSchool News. “It is crucial that schools, school districts and state education leaders not only provide access to CS for all students, but also equip teachers with the tools and resources they need to understand if and how their students are learning and understanding the concepts that will prepare them for the jobs of the future.”
The report highlighted a number of possible fixes, including building an assessments database, developing new tests, and training teachers on how to assess computer science concepts.