Like any content area, teachers need to see what students know when it comes to coding. They need to have fantastic Dara to make instructional decisions, and that data needs to be easily accessible. It’s also nice to have it automatically grade.
When looking at coding data, you should always start by looking for mastery. Can you see if students are mastering both the coding concepts and whatever other content you are trying to get them to show (such as core class knowledge.) That mastery could be delivered both through a score given by the software and by what students create. It’s always great to have varied data points.
To understand that mastery, you can also look at three activity-type data points, and the first is simply lesson completion. In most coding resources, there is some sort of metric that just tells you when students get through a lesson. If the lesson is structured correctly, it should not allow them to advance without doing things like coding puzzles correctly. You can infer that they are mastering whatever concept the lesson is on if they are doing that puzzle correctly.
The second thing to look for is some type of assessment that automatically grades for you, this is usually in the form of a multiple-choice quiz, but it could be in other formats. Having something like this gives you the ability to check mastery quickly and adjust instruction if necessary. It takes the onus off the teacher to assess, saving time for both the teacher and the student. Just like any automatic assessment, its value is I. How you use it.
You also need to look at what students create to know where they are and if they have mastered concepts. Creation should be the ultimate goal, but it’s also the hardest to assess. All you can ask from a coding platform is that the projects are easily shareable and accessible. If they are, you should be able to apply rubrics to them easily, and students will also be able to share them for authentic feedback. That access is everything here.
As you look at data and assessments, just remember it’s always good to be varied. As long as you get the correct data and it’s easily accessible, that’s about all you can ask. As coding becomes even more prominent, you may see other forms, but they still need to conform to that ease of use for you. You have to be able to act on that data!
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