Measuring effects of modality on perceived test anxiety for computer programming exams

Robert Deloatch, Brian P. Bailey, Alex Kirlik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The modality students use to complete programming-centric exams is shifting from paper to computer. We developed and distributed a survey to investigate how exam modality affects student perceptions of test anxiety and performance during programming-centric exams. We examine the distribution of modality preference among students and understand how students cope with test anxiety. We found a majority of students report at least moderate perceived anxiety (rating ≥ 4 on 7-pt scale) on paper- (69%) and computer-based (64%) exams. Though moderate anxiety was experienced by a majority of the students, we found 1 in 5 students had no strategy to cope with anxiety. Additionally, we examine how students perceived anxiety during testing affects their thought process and behavior. We found computer-based exams were perceived as more beneficial to the quality and speed of student's solutions and a majority of students preferred computer-based testing (67%). Lastly, we introduce possible technological solutions to benefit students experiencing test anxiety while not impeding less anxious students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages291-296
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450338561
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2016
Event47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education, SIGCSE 2016 - Memphis, United States
Duration: Mar 2 2016Mar 5 2016

Publication series

NameSIGCSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education

Other

Other47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education, SIGCSE 2016
CountryUnited States
CityMemphis
Period3/2/163/5/16

Keywords

  • Computer-based testing
  • Programming-centric exam
  • Test anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

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