1. Outcome (a) assessment
Outcome (a): An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics to solve problems
Assessment of Outcome (a) was conducted in CS 146 and the results are as follows.
For Sections 1 and 2 combined (the same instructors who taught in Spring 2012), for performance indicators 1, 2, and 4, students did very well, with approximately 90% of students performing at a satisfactory level or better. Indicator 3 was not quite as good, with about 20% missing the mark. From Katerina Potika: “Calculating the running time of a new sorting algorithm is still difficult for some students, especially if the algorithm is a special case of a known one or a combination of more than one known algorithms.”
For Sections 3 and 4, the individual outcomes are less meaningful. Of 50 students who passed the class, over 90% had satisfactory marks on two indicators, and almost that many had unsatisfactory marks on the two others (which were actually both assessed with a difficult, two question combination problem). I do not believe that this is due to such different levels of mastery on these topics, rather that I (purposely) give the students questions which vary greatly in difficulty. The reasoning for this is described in detail in Section 4, with the goal of using all indicators as a whole as more sophisticated way to measure the single learning outcome. Using this approach, I would judge that 90-95% of passing students achieved the overall outcome.
Several difficulties have come up in assessing this course, detailed below. These include differences in instructor indicator question difficulty levels, instructor pass rates, whether or not to include failing students in statistics, and, more generally, different beliefs in how indicator questions should be used to measure overall CLO performance.