Developing a Common Format for Sharing Programming Assignments

Computer science educators spend a lot of effort designing programming assignments, and many are willing to share the results of this investment. However, sharing of programming assignments occurs primarily in an ad hoc manner through informal channels. There are no widely used mechanisms that support instructors in finding and sharing such resources. Often, the additional work required to prepare and self-publish assignment resources in a way that others can then adapt or reuse is a significant inhibitor. Also, other instructors may have to spend an inordinate amount of time and effort to reshape a potential assignment into something that can be used in their own courses. This working group report proposes a common format for packaging assignments for sharing. This format is easy for instructors to create (requiring no specialized tools), is extensible and flexible enough to handle assignments written for any programming language at any level of proficiency, supports appropriate metadata, and is easily manipulated by software tools. As more and more instructors use automated grading tools to process student submissions, it is our hope that such an interchange format can lead to a community practice of sharing resources in a way that overcomes existing barriers to such reuse.

Main Author: Edwards, Stephen
Other Authors: Borstler, Jurgen, Cassel, Lillian, Hall, Mark, Hollingsworth, Joseph
Format: Villanova Faculty Authorship
Language: English
Published: 2008
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