First Try, No (Autograder) Warm Up: Motivating Quality Coding Submissions

Liia Butler, Geoffrey L. Herman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Instructors face the challenge of encouraging well-tested, quality code submissions from students while battling the double-edged sword of the autograder. While autograders can provide feedback to students quickly, students can become reliant on the autograder as the primary means for determining correctness of their code. In a similar spirit, instructors also frequently promote submitting early and not waiting until the last second. To encourage students to submit fewer erroneous submissions and completing programming assignments earlier, we examine a policy change in lab submissions from time-restricted submissions to point-restricted submissions, implemented in consecutive semesters of a large Computer Architecture course. We survey students on their initial perception of the two policies, then survey students on their perception at the end of the semester. We also analyze the lab data, comparing success metrics and timelines of submissions between the two semesters. Several labs experienced a statistically significant increase in correct, first submissions under the point-restricted policy. We use these results to lead discussion about our experience using a point-restricted policy for larger programming assignments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 25 2023
Event2023 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - The Harbor of Engineering: Education for 130 Years, ASEE 2023 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2023Jun 28 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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