Assessment Activity Plan : Programming with Scratch Cooperative Assignment

Course Name: Introduction to Programming C++

The course is ten weeks, offered online for non-programmers, it provides learners a solid introduction to programming using powerful, fast, and popular C++ programming language. The programming concepts are introduced to the learners in a gradual process throughout eight modules. At the end of each module, the learners should be able to complete the module tasks or project that are designed to reinforce their understanding and to enhance their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.


Learners Characteristics:

  • The majority of the students are Millennial females aged between 18 and 25 from Middle East countries, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.
  • Programming skills are quite variant among learners, some had experimented coding in previous learning experiences or on their own, others are novice as the course require no prior knowledge. Yet, all learners demonstrate good computer skills such as using the Internet, installing and using application programs, downloading and unzipping files, and so on.
  • None of the learners had a previous online learning experience, unfortunately, some of them (30% ) lack self-discipline and self-directed skills necessary for successful transition to e-setting.
  • Majority of learners are suffering from programming anxiety and expressed their concern about being able to learn programming . They fear that they won’t be able to apply programming concepts while implementing realistic applications

Learning Objective – Module:

To engage learners in hands-on experiences project and to apply three fundamental concepts variables and constants, input/output statements, and flow control statements for selection and repetition that were introduced in the previous modules to implement their first collaborative programming project using Scratch platform.


The Assessment Strategy:

 Week 5: Programming with Scratch Cooperative Assignment

Assignment Due-Date End of Week 6 (Sunday 11:59 pm) (Value 20%)


Assignment Overview:

During the first week of the course, you have been paired with two other learners for your first programming project of the course. As a group, use your creativity and knowledge of programming and Scratch to create a program of your own design. You may choose to create a game, story, presentation, or anything else of your choice.

Please feel free to look through the applications that come with Scratch for inspiration (https://scratch.mit.edu/starter_applications/), but your work as a team should not be terribly similar to any of them. Try as a group to think of an idea on your own, and then set out to implement it. If, along the way, you find it too difficult to implement some feature, try not to fret, and alter your design or work around the problem.

Important Notes: 

  1. Please make sure that the selected application topic doesn’t violate any of the institute’s code of ethics.
  2. Team members are to use the closed forum created for your group to discuss the design and implementation of your project and set workload distribution.
  3. The assignment is formed of two parts . Part A is for application development and Part B is for self-Assessment report.
  4. You are required to submit a link to the application as well as the individual self-assessment report at the end of week 6 (Sunday 11:59 pm), The assignment is worth 20% of your final grade, please refer to the rubric below for more details on the grading criteria.

Part A: Develop an Application using Scratch Platform (15%)

Your project should fulfill the following technical requirements:

  1. The green flag to start/reset the program
  2. At least two characters/Sprites.
  3. At least one backdrop, and different artwork and color schemes
  4. At least one loop, one condition and one variable
  5. At least one sound effect.
  6. The application must be deployed online in the Scratch platform 

Part B:  Self- Assessment (5%):

Answer the following reflective questions (max 1 page).

  1. Briefly describe your contribution to the cooperative application?
  2. If you were to do this application over, what would you do differently to improve your work
  3. Provide a self-assessment mark using the rubric? Give a brief rationale for this mark?

Please note: Each member is to submit the self-assessment document at the submission designated area. You won’t be graded until this part of the assignment is submitted.


 Programming with Scratch Team work Assignment Rubric

Levels Level 1

Doesn’t Meet Acceptable Standard

Level 2

Meets Acceptable Standard

Level 3 

Approaches Standard of Excellence

Level 4

Standard of Excellence

0 1 2 3 4 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10
Major problems exist Minor problems exist Minor issues exist No issues
Application Purpose and Structure

  (2.5 Marks)

No clear purpose of the application or structure. Plan and storyboard were incomplete.Game rules and goal were unclear and disorganized Has some sense of purpose and structure. Plan and storyboard reflected some attention to details. Game rules and goal covered the basics Has clear purpose that makes sense and has well organized structure. Plan and storyboard reflected the details in a consistent way . Game rules and goal were thorough and clear Has a clear purpose and multiple layers sophisticated structure.Plan and Storyboard were thorough and well laid out to achieve high outputs. Game rules and goal were thoughtful and engaging and incorporated flow
Start of the Application  

(1 Mark)

Green Flag does not start/reset Green flag starts but doesn’t not reset the program to the initial characters position and backgrounds. Green Flag starts and resets program to the correct characters positions but few parts weren’t reset. Green Flag starts and resets the program to the correct characters position and backgrounds.
Characters / Sprites       

(2.5 Marks)

The applications has no/ one character.The character does not provide a way for users to interact with the program. The application includes two characters. They provide a way for the users to interact with the program, but they don’t align with the program’s purpose. The application includes two characters /more. They function well and allow users to interact with the program, and they align well within the program purpose. The application includes two characters/more. They provide the user high and efficient interaction with the program, and they effectively served the program purpose
Visual Appeal

(2 Marks)

The application doesn’t have backdrop. Little or no color were used. No artwork was used. Some contrasting colors and backdrop were used. “Borrowed” artwork was used Original artwork or imported images were used creatively. Contrasting colors and backdrops were used to give each of the program scenes a visual appeal. Application artwork significantly support the content. Original artwork was used creatively . Contrasting colors and backdrops were used to give each of the program scenes a unique visual appeal.
Sound Effect

(1 Mark)

No sound effect was used. Sound effect used, but it does not enhance the program. Sound effect used to enhance the program. Sound effect used effectively to enhance the program throughout all scenes.
Programming

(4 Marks)

The application shows little understanding of blocks and how they work together. It doesn’t fulfill the majority of the programming requirements (one loop, condition and variable), and has major logical and debugging problems. The application shows some understanding of the blocks and how they work together.It contains at least one loop, condition and variable, but it has some logic and debugging problems. The application shows complete understanding of blocks and how they work together to meet a goal. It fulfills all programming requirements efficiently, free of logical and debugging errors. The application shows advanced understanding of blocks and procedures. It contains additional programming blocks and contains more than one loop, condition and variable, free of logical and debugging errors.
Team Work  

(2 Marks)

Student rarely worked with the team. Student worked sometimes with the team. Student worked effectively most/ all of the time with the team. Student worked effectively in the team, and had a significant contribution in the final application production.
Self-Assessment  (5 Marks) 0 1.25 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.25 4.5 4.75 5

Rationale

Albert Einstein wrote” Learning is experience. Everything else is just information” (Goodreads, n.d.). The assessment given to learners is midway through the course, it is the first collaborative project that allows learners to apply fundamental programming concepts to develop a product. The task gives the opportunity for educator to recognize which concepts the learners grasped and which not. Accordingly, the educator will adjust his/her course content and tasks to meet the current learners needs (Sewell, Frith, & Colvin, 2010, March).

Part A of the given authentic assessment asks students to use Scratch to design their own program/application. Scratch is a visual programming constructs or blocks for building an application logic and flow (Scratch Team at MIT, n.d.). It allows learners to demonstrate a deep understanding of the given programming concepts in a less stressful environment. Unlike the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) such as Microsoft visual C++, Scratch is “tinkerable” (Scratch Team at MIT, n.d.) which means students can dynamically change pieces of code and immediately see the results. This direct feedback enhances students’ understanding in a highly interactive environment and reduce the anxiety and frustration of programming, this is essential for learners at beginner level. The given assignment gives the students a great sense of control and responsibility for their product, they are given the choice to select the topic, type, and the design of their application given that they fulfill the technical requirements which enhances their self-directed skills. Additionally, the assignment promotes communication and interaction via discussion threads, and hence, the community of learning . This also allows the educator to monitor learners interactions, and hence, intervene if needed. Further, it prepares the learners for a work world in which teamwork and collaboration are increasingly the norm.

Part B, implies submitting an individual self-assessment, the requirement won’t only support learners to evaluate their understandings and skills, but, it will also enable the educator to address one prevalent challenge of collaborative projects in which the group work have to be “translated into individual grades” (Crocker, 2015, November). The self-assessment asks each learner to outline and grade his/her contribution in the project, and hence, along with discussion threads, the educator would be able to assess the process of the task along with product, this is crucial to attain fairness (Crocker, 2015, November). In addition, it will allow the educator to provide specific i.e. tailored feedback addressing each learner’s needs. Accordingly, if the learners respond positively, act on the given suggestions, and apply the educator’s recommendations in their future collaborative projects, their learning and skills will dramatically improve.

Validity and reliability were highly considered in many facets of the assignment, the requirements align well with the learners’ level and what was covered up till this part of the course i.e. course objectives, and accordingly, content validity is fulfilled. Further, the instrument mimics the future work experiences where characteristics such as teamwork and self-assessment are two essential practices that comply criterion-related validity (Moskal & Leydens, 2000, November). Clearly, Learners are not doing exactly the same products, and thus, there was a need to have a specific set of characteristics that the group’s work will be evaluated upon. An analytic rubric was provided to communicate the expectations of each characteristic at four different scaling levels in a direct, clear, and concise way. The instrument won’t only ensure validity but also the consistency of scoring (Jonsson & Svingby, 2007), the details given within rubric elements will reflect the differences between achievement levels and emphasize that each characteristic was weighted fairly according to the time and effort required to accomplish it. Further, it will facilitate the self-assessment process.

To sum up, the parts of the assignment were designed to be authentic, meaningful, motivational, engaging and coherent ( Sewell, Firth and Colvin, 2010). While the assessment weighs 20% of the final grade for this course, its ultimate goal is feedback rather than just grading which in turn will assist learners in achieving the goals of their learning experience ( Sewell, Firth and Colvin, 2010).
References:

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