Pre-Assessment (to help identify class level and prep for differentiation)

Would it be reasonable to use the reflection questions (or rather, variations of them) from the various lessons in a Unit/Chapter as a pre-assessment for my students (for instance as a google Forms)?

I have several students who have already taken AP CS but are now in CSP–I get the feeling that they feel that they already know the majority of the material (and some of them may be right!) . My concern is that they may not be broad enough or detailed enough…or may somehow “ruin the experience” for students who don’t already have a traditional CS background.

Any suggestions on other places I can find (or use to create) a pre-assessment for this type of differentiation? (I’m reluctant to use the same questions that I would use at the end of the year as test prep).

I think that is a nice idea. A lot of students know CS concepts but are unable to write about them. The reflection questions will not only show you what they know and don’t but will be great for their own self reflections. It can be a humbling experience for some of the know-it-alls. You will also be able to stress to them how important writing is in this class.

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Even if some students know the content of the lessons, hopefully they’re still getting something from the “creative” aspect. For example, even if they knew how to convert between binary and decimal, students can still exercise problem-solving by creating a number system from scratch in the circle/triangles/squares activity. As far as I know, that is one of the intents behind the curriculum - to address students from a variety of technical backgrounds.

Do you feel those students aren’t getting much engagement and rigor at all, or you feel they’re getting some but not enough?

I had some students like this last year and I felt their engagement was sometimes lower than other students because of it. However, it was hard for me to tell if they were just disinterested in the exploratory aspect and just wanted to learn “the content”, or if they were cocky and thought they already knew everything, although sometimes they also excelled at the activities for whatever reason and maybe thought we were going too slow…

As for “pre-assessment”… maybe they can read some of the relevant articles from some of the lessons and whatever they can’t thoroughly explain, that might be an opportunity to identify those as holes for them to fill in during the lesson? For example, reading an article about DDoS attacks and try to explain how the attack works, with specific reference to what DNS is and how DNS works.

Thanks folks.

This is what I came up with for Unit 2, Ch1 (again, I’m not confident that I’m hitting the right points)–in your opinion, is this a reasonable overview while still being easy and quick to assess?

As to the students: some are overly cocky, some feel like they aren’t getting deep enough into the learning and some could probably teach the class, content-wise. I’m currently planning to have some do the extension activities and then do some type of presentation/flash talk, while others are doing programming extensions from people in the CS field. For instance, researching the process and creating a program to encrypt a message in a image file–then write up with a “layman’s explanation”. I feel like they would need to understand: how colors are stored, how pixels are stored/processed to save an image, different file types, lossless/lossy formats, etc.

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Can’t open your Google Doc.