Student Perceptions of Fairness and Security in a Versioned Programming Exam

Chinedu Emeka, Craig Zilles

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

Abstract

Using multiple versions of exams is a common exam security technique to prevent cheating in a variety of contexts. While psycho-metric techniques are routinely used by large high-stakes testing companies to ensure equivalence between exam versions, such approaches are generally cost and effort prohibitive for individual classrooms. As such, exam versions practically present a tension between exam security (which is enhanced by the versioning) and fairness (which results from difficulty variation between versions). In this work, we surveyed students on their perceptions of this trade-off between exam security and fairness on a versioned programming exam and found that significant populations value each aspect over the other. Furthermore, we found that students' expression of concerns about unfairness was not correlated to whether they had received harder versions of the course's most recent exam, but was correlated to lower overall course performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationICER 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages25-35
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450370929
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 10 2020
Event16th Annual ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research, ICER 2020 - Virtual, Online, New Zealand
Duration: Aug 10 2020Aug 12 2020

Publication series

NameICER 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research

Conference

Conference16th Annual ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research, ICER 2020
CountryNew Zealand
CityVirtual, Online
Period8/10/208/12/20

Keywords

  • assessment
  • exam security
  • fairness
  • programming
  • question variants
  • randomized exams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software
  • Education

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