Towards an Assessment Rubric for EiPE Tasks in Secondary Education: Identifying Quality Indicators and Descriptors

R. Weeda, C. Izu, M. Kallia, E. Barendsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


The ability to explain program code has shown to correlate with code writing skills. Explain in Plain English (EiPE) tasks have the potential to serve as learning activities, in order to develop and enhance skills that are critical for programming (e.g., program comprehension and abstraction). However, assessing students’ work and providing clear feedback on these tasks can be challenging, as quality indicators are not well established.

This work aims to fill this gap by investigating indicators and descriptors which characterize the quality of students’ code explanations in secondary education. Firstly, we carried out a literature review to identify quality characteristics and descriptors that differentiate the quality of students’ responses in tertiary education. Then, we analyzed the quality of upper-secondary students’ responses to a simple EiPE task. The results of that analysis were used to refine our quality characteristics and descriptors, which were then translated into a prototypical rubric. In the final phase, the rubric was iteratively tested by two teachers and improved based on their feedback. The final rubric prototype can be used to provide feedback during formative assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research
EditorsNick Falker, Otto Seppala
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-8921-1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Event20th Koli Calling Conference on Computing Education Research
- Online, Koli, Finland
Duration: 19 Nov 202022 Nov 2020
Conference number: 20


Conference20th Koli Calling Conference on Computing Education Research
Abbreviated titleKoli Calling 2020
Internet address


  • EiPE
  • feedback
  • formative assessment
  • program comprehension
  • rubrics
  • secondary education


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