How can software metrics help novice programmers?

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Many computing education studies have reported poor learning outcomes in programming courses for novices. Yet methods for measuring students' ability to generate computer programs remains an open research problem. In this paper we review some limitations of existing approaches for assessing student programs. We then propose a set of valid and reliable metrics for the direct measurement of novices' program code. Distributions of each metric are given for student populations. The metrics can be utilised for both diagnostic and formative assessment. Examples of formative assessments are given and a new diagnostic metric is presented for Perkins' "stoppers" and "movers" learning styles. This metric captures the multi-dimensional distance of a student's program from a target solution. The metric can be used by instructors to triage a large set of submissions and to tailor formative feedback to individuals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Thirteenth Australasian Computing Education Conference ACE2011
    Place of PublicationDarlinghurst, Australia
    PublisherAustralian Computer Society
    ISBN (Print)9781920682941
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    Event13th Australasian Computing Education Conference - Perth, WA, Australia, Perth, Australia
    Duration: 17 Jan 201120 Jan 2011
    Conference number: 13


    Conference13th Australasian Computing Education Conference
    Abbreviated titleACE


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