A conceptual model for re ecting on expected learning vs. demonstrated student performance

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology Series, 2013, 136 pp. 77 - 86
Issue Date:
2013-01-29
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© 2013, Australian Computer Society, Inc. Educators are faced with many challenging questions in designing an effective curriculum. What prerequisite knowledge do students have before commencing a new subject? At what level of mastery? What is the spread of capabilities between bare-passing students vs. the top-performing group? How does the intended learning specification compare to student performance at the end of a subject? In this paper we present a conceptual model that helps in answering some of these questions. It has the following main capabilities: capturing the learning specification in terms of syllabus topics and outcomes; capturing mastery levels to model progression; capturing the minimal vs. aspirational learning design; capturing confidence and reliability metrics for each of these mappings; and finally, comparing and re ecting on the learning specification against actual student performance. We present a web-based implementation of the model, and validate it by mapping the final exams from four programming subjects against the ACM/IEEE CS2013 topics and outcomes, using Bloom's Taxonomy as the mastery scale. We then import the itemised exam grades from 632 students across the four subjects and compare the demonstrated student performance against the expected learning for each of these. Key contributions of this work are the validated conceptual model for capturing and comparing expected learning vs. demonstrated performance, and a web-based implementation of this model, which is made freely available online as a community resource.
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