"Development and Preliminary Validation of the Assessment of Computing for Elementary Students (ACES)"
As reliance on technology increases in practically every aspect of life, all students deserve the opportunity to learn to think computationally from early in their educational experience. To support the kinds of computer science curriculum and instruction that makes this possible, there is an urgent need to develop and validate computational thinking (CT) assessments for elementary-aged students. We developed the Assessment of Computing for Elementary Students (ACES) to measure the CT concepts of loops and sequences for students in grades 3-5. The ACES includes block-based coding questions as well as non-programming, Bebras-style questions. We conducted cognitive interviews to understand student perspectives while taking the ACES. We piloted the assessment with 57 4th grade students who had completed a CT curriculum. Preliminary analyses indicate acceptable reliability and appropriate difficulty and discrimination among assessment items. The significance of this paper is to present a new CT measure for upper elementary students and to share its intentional development process.
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