Crowd-sourcing high-quality CS Ed Assessments: CAS’s Project Quantum
Bold new project from the UK’s Computing at School project aims to create high-quality assessments for their entire computing curriculum, across grade levels. The goal is to generate crowd-sourced problems with quality control checks to produce a large online resource of free assessments. It’s a remarkable idea — I’ve not heard of anything this scale before. If it works, it’ll be a significant education outcome, as well as an enormous resource for computing educators.
I’m a bit concerned whether it can work. Let’s use open-source software as a comparison. While there are many great open-source projects, most of them die off. There simply aren’t enough programmers in open-source to contribute to all the great ideas and keep them all going. There are fewer people who can write high-quality assessment questions in computing, and fewer still who will do it for free. Can we get enough assessments made for this to be useful?
Project Quantum will help computing teachers check their students’ understanding, and support their progress, by providing free access to an online assessment system. The assessments will be formative, automatically marked, of high quality, and will support teaching by guiding content, measuring progress, and identifying misconceptions.Teachers will be able to direct pupils to specific quizzes and their pupils’ responses can be analysed to inform future teaching. Teachers can write questions themselves, and can create quizzes using their own questions or questions drawn from the question bank. A significant outcome is the crowd-sourced quality-checked question bank itself, and the subsequent anonymised analysis of the pupils’ responses to identify common misconceptions.