ACM is the professional society for computing professionals. ACM accomplishes its work through Special Interest Groups (known as SIGs). One of the largest ACM SIGs is SIGCSE, the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education.
On February 27 – March 2, 2019, SIGCSE held the 50th annual Technical Symposium. The SIGCSE Technical Symposium is the largest computing education conference worldwide. It attracts over 1,500 researchers, educators, and others interested in improving computing education in K-12 and higher education.
Along with faculty collaborators David Largent from Ball State and Dr. Christian Roberson from Florida Southern College, Dr. James McGuffee (Dean of the CBU School of Sciences) presented a three hour workshop entitled: “Transform Your Computer Science Course with Specifications Grading.”
As proposed by Linda B. Nilson in Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time, specifications grading is an assessment construct that relies on pass/fail grading of assignments and assessments, the structuring of course content into modules linked to learning outcomes, and the bundling of assignments and assessments within those modules. One of the intentions of this type of course grading construct is to more closely align assessment with student attainment of intended learning outcomes. While there has been very visible work in incorporating specifications grading in some academic areas (e.g. in mathematics), examples of the use of specifications grading in computer science courses are less common. The goal of this workshop is to introduce the concepts of specifications grading, explain how to apply these concepts to a wide range of computing courses, and have the participants apply these concepts to one of their current or upcoming computer science courses. Each participant should leave the workshop with at least one revised course syllabus or assignment that incorporates specifications grading.
In addition to leading the Wednesday night workshop, Dean McGuffee also chaired a professional papers session on Thursday afternoon. The theme of the paper session was assessment. The topics of the papers ranged from automated programming graders, a computational thinking abilities assessment for middle grade students, and an examination on the fairness of multiple-variant multiple-choice examinations.
For additional information, please visit https://sigcse2019.sigcse.org/