For many years, exams in Computer Science have consisted in large part of written pseudocode questions. This creates a problem in that students are learning and writing code in Integrated Development Environments, where they are able to run their code freely, but are given a completely different environment for examinations.
Over the past two semesters I have worked with Dr. Blanchard and a fellow student, Alexis Dougherty, to collect information on student opinions of this divergence between practice and exams. We have found that students strongly prefer Compile-and-Run environments for exams, and score better under such circumstances.
The focus of this study will be to experiment with the possibility of installing digital interfaces in large classrooms where students will be able to take tests digitally. This would ensure that students are able to use a Compile-and-Test environment, while eliminating the logistical and test-security problems of students using their own machines for exams.
To do this, we will attempt to create an environment that can be run on low-cost single-board computers. These computers could then be hooked up to standard monitors, keyboards, and mice to create the digital interfaces for students.