Uassign: Scalable interactive activities for teaching the unix terminal

Jacob Bailey, Craig Zilles

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

Abstract

We describe uAssign, an assignment system for teaching and assessing command line terminal skills. uAssign allows instructors to create auto-graded terminal assignments that require students to perform a high-level action that can be completed in many ways. Assignments can be randomized so that students can't re-use old solutions. uAssign is implemented via an in-browser terminal emulator that uses WebSockets to connect to a Docker container. Performance testing and its use in a large-enrollment lecture course show that it is efficient enough to handle a large number of concurrent users. A survey of students shows significant improvement in terminal skill confidence after using uAssign and that students have a high level of satisfaction with uAssign assignments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2019 - Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages70-76
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450358903
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 22 2019
Event50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2019 - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Feb 27 2019Mar 2 2019

Publication series

NameSIGCSE 2019 - Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education

Conference

Conference50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2019
CountryUnited States
CityMinneapolis
Period2/27/193/2/19

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Auto-grading
  • Command-line
  • Scalable
  • Terminal
  • Unix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

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