The CS concept inventory quiz show

Nafeesa Dewji, Steven A. Wolfman, Geoffrey L. Herman, Leo Porter, Cynthia Taylor, Jan Vahrenhold

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


This session is a chance for researchers studying concept inventories (CIs) - low-cost assessments highlighting student misconceptions in a field [2] - and CS education practitioners to communicate about advances in concept inventories in an engaging and utterly ridiculous way. We use a "quiz show" format to present CI items from various authors' work across the computing curriculum. On each question, audience members and volunteer contestants consider their own response and guess students' common responses. Then, they see how authentic student data illustrate the misconceptions these items probe. The session's goal is three-fold: educate practitioners about recent results in concept inventory research that may suggest surprising trends in student learning, popularize concept inventories as a tool in research and practice, and collect the audience's expert responses to concept inventory items. Along with making the session fun, the quiz show format gives audience members a stake in their own responses and in predicting students' responses to the CI items. Our challenges for contestants - which are not simply to answer the items but rather to guess aspects of students' response to the items - focus attention on key misconceptions exposed by these items. As a side benefit, this avoids requiring any-one to publicly answer the questions, which could be professionally embarrassing. Below, we briefly recount background on concept inventories, give an outline of the session's activities, illustrate how a sample question might be used for the show, explain our expectations of the audience, and explain why this session's plan is well-suited to the SIGCSE special session format.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2015 - Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
EditorsAdrienne Decker, Kurt Eiselt, Jodi Tims, Carl Alphonce
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781450329668
StatePublished - Feb 24 2015
Event46th SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2015 - Kansas City, United States
Duration: Mar 4 2015Mar 7 2015

Publication series

NameSIGCSE 2015 - Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education


Other46th SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityKansas City


  • Concept inventory
  • Misconceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)


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